Can Fashion Be Stolen?

Fashion Month is over, however, there are still some felt tremors from the trends, looks, and innovations that dropped during the Big 4 fashion weeks. But not all of these lingering looks are positive.

A not-so-new and very common problem in the fashion industry is the issue of stealing ideas, inspirations and designs. And Milan Fashion Week was no exception to this issue. UK designer, Edda Gimnes took to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook on September 21 to announce she had been, in short, ripped off.

The S/S 2019 Moschino collection was comprised of stunning looks. Comprised of distinguishing features such as asymmetrical designs and dresses, as well as a prominent feature: sketchbook-like coloring as patterns. This structured yet messy design was the reoccurring theme throughout the whole collection, from hats to heels, and was even spotted in the set pieces surrounding the runway.

Stunning collection, great approval rating, but what's the catch? The catch, according to Gimnes, is that it wasn't Moschino's idea – it was hers. Rather than making unsupported accusations, Gimnes came prepared with the receipts to back up her claims. She posted side-by-side pictures of her S/S 2016 and 2017 collections.

What do you think? Personally, I see it as a direct rip-off of a hard working up and coming designer who didn't get one shred of acknowledgment in this collection. Now, there is the small possibility that this look may just happen to look alike! It's a big world, and great minds think alike. However, what makes it worse is the fact that Gimnes met with Moschino personnel in November of 2017. During this meeting, Gimnes showed the representative multiple collections and design ideas, including the collection in question.

Coincidence? If it is, it's a pretty big one.

Moschino and its creative director, Jeffery Scott, quickly denied the accusations and brought their own receipts, claiming that this scribbled inspiration had been tossed around Moschino for many years. These concepts were apparently present in a Moschino campaign ad in 1986, in their Fall 1996, 2008, and 2014 collections, as well as in their Spring 1992 one.

While we don't know for sure whether or not Gimnes was ripped off, or if her collection was just simply similar, things like this are not uncommon.

Among the runways of the Big 4, Balmain and its creative director, Olivier Rousteing were called out for copycat designs by Thierry Mugler. If you don't know who Thierry Mugler is, he (ironically) used to be the creative director for Balmain.

Mugler posted photos of Rousteing's collection for Balmain alongside his for Balmain from seasons 1979, 1991, 1998, and 1990. With these photos came captions like "Really?," "No comment!" and "Probably a tribute ha ha!"

Considering they were both designs for the same fashion house, Balmain made no comment, and the drama subsided and fashion week went on.

However, back in 2017, the internet erupted when Kylie Jenner's new camouflage sets were released upon the accusations that she had stolen inspiration from another up and coming designer. This particular inspiration was supposedly stolen from an independent brand called Plugged NYC.

Designer for the brand, Tizita Balemlay shared side by sides of her brand and Jenner's brand, noting how similar each looks, and even the poses were. Again, camouflage is and was an up and coming trend, so it may have been another honest similarity, however, Balemlay provided screenshots of emails between her and Jenner's stylist confirming that Jenner had, in fact, bought the clothes from Plugged NYC way before her release date.

This accusation came only a week after Kenner's older sister, Khloe Kardashian was accused of stealing design inspirations from another up and comer.

You may think, "Why don't these designers patent their ideas? Or trademark them?" and the simple answer is that you really can't! Fashion inspiration, or really any idea that is intangible, can't be trademarked. It's so hard to define what is or isn't a direct rip off rather than a harmless inspiration. So, unfortunately, the fashion world is stuck in this limbo between originality and stolen looks.

Report this Content

More on Odyssey

Facebook Comments