Sunday, June 8, 2008

Legal Designer Knock-Offs

From Left: Prada Resort 2008, Express Purple Haze Dress, $128

Now that Prada's Resort and Spring 2008 lines are on sale, I'm heavily tempted to purchase one of their gorgeous floral dresses. However, the appearance of the cheaper look from Express makes me pause. While we can all appreciate the proliferation of "the look for less," I cannot help but consider them low-end designer knock-offs. While no one has a patent on florals, one can question the similarity of the look. Is this akin to the dreaded Chinatown fakes, or do low-end designers have a right to repackage a noteworthy design for the masses?
Personally, I have no legal insight here, just the concern of a wise shopper. Does the Express dress cheapen the worth of the Prada one? In some ways, it does seem less special; in other ways, it is clear from the actual texture and design that the two are drastically different--it's akin to the difference between a diamond and a cubic zirconia (the discerning eye can tell them apart). One cannot possibly dress with the assumption that everyone has that discerning eye, and yet one wants the value of that piece to be acknowledged.
Ultimately, this debate calls our attention to one simple question: putting labels aside, do you truly love the piece? If not, knock-offs forgotten, the item is not worth purchasing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think it's best to stay away from knock-offs that are almost straight copies of, rather than inspired by, nicer pieces. The Express dress isn't direct enough of a copy to be a problem, in my opinion, as long as someone really likes the dress. I think a mistake is made when someone thinks they are passing a fake off as real if for no other reason than it seems like the person is trying too hard to be someone they are not.