Penniless Socialite: Stuff I Wore: What do you think of knockoffs?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Stuff I Wore: What do you think of knockoffs?

I was pretty bummed that I missed out on Bailey 44's Tiered Stripes Dress from Anthropologie.  And then I walked into Marshall's and I saw this beauty shining like a beacon of light in a dark ocean of ugly dresses.  
Dress // Marshall's
Necklace // J. Crew Factory, worn here and here, similar here
Yellow Flats // ???, worn here and here, similar here
It's a seriously good knockoff.  At only about 10% of the price of the Bailey 44 dress, it has the same thick bands of angled stripes that flatter any body.  In case you don't feel like doing the math, the cheap knockoff was $19.99 and the Bailey 44 was $188.  Do the comparison, scroll up and down a couple times looking at each dress.  It's an uncanny resemblance.
Bailey 44 Tiered Stripes Dress
I will spare you my tirade about cheap knockoffs as theft of intellectual property because I am a hypocrite for buying that knockoff.  However, my purchase does have me thinking about knockoffs and theft of intellectual property.  When does a cheap knockoff just become theft of another designers idea and hard work?  
In the United States the design of an article of clothing isn't protected, but a print on a fabric is.  So, you can see why Marshall's won't be sued by Bailey 44 any time soon.  I don't think you can copyright a horizontal stripe pattern. 
And my reflections about thieving ideas doesn't seem to be stopping me from finding more knockoffs of things I can't afford. I'm thinking of buying another knockoff.  The J. Crew Bubble Necklace that has taken over the blogosphere, but I refuse to pay $150 for it.  You can find an "authentic J. Crew necklace" on Ebay for $14.  Go ahead, pop on over to Ebay and do a search.  I am pretty positive the Ebay version is a piece of crappy plastic with a stolen J. Crew tag on it.

The real deal
You can also find several copycats on Etsy as well.  I am thinking about investing in an Etsy copycat because at least I know I am supporting a small-time artist and designer...and that I'm not getting plastic crap that's going to turn my neck green.

Appletini Bubble Necklace
For some reason, I am more offended by the offering of an item as real than by just offering it up as a great copycat.  What are your thoughts on knockoffs, theft? or just a way for the broke masses to enjoy fashion trends?

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