Saturday, January 8, 2011

Designer Spotlight: Counterfeit Country – Is Tom Ford right?

Following the unveiling of Tom Ford’s SS 11 show, commentary behind his concept of secrecy begins. His ultra-private runway, in attempt to avoid his work being copied and overexposed via the internet, provokes the question about how detrimental counterfeits and knock-offs are to the industry.

Tom Ford SS11 Collection

Many like myself are pro-authentic, AKA "all or nothing", but consider what effect “fakes” have on our society as a whole. Rip-offs may, in fact, help to promote an egalitarian society and diminish the presence of the poverty line where the rich are very rich and the poor are very poor. After being told of a poor Vietnamese man sitting by the side of the road with the biggest and most extravagant D&G belt, perhaps counterfeits help give everyone access to and become involved in the fashion industry, regardless of what level.

On the contrary, what effect does the old Vietnamese man have on the industry? Stefano Gabbana probably doesn’t want this image associated with his label. The fact is, high-end designers want their wares to be worn by the upper class to reaffirm the division of society. Without these classes, what would make designer fashion any more special than something picked up from St Vincent de Paul?

The issue of piracy in the film industry has plagued the fashion world likewise. It isn’t fair and takes away from the quality and concepts that designers, particularly those from Australia, bring to the table both nationally and internationally.

Sass & Bide's Black Rat pants are an example of an Australian designer piece which was copied and mass produced. Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton, the masterminds behind the label, worked their way from a stall in London's famous Portobello markets to worldwide recognition. The tireless work and draining effort that consumes designers is constantly being short-changed.

Sass & Bide Black Rats

So, is Tom Ford right in making a statement against the immediacy and exhausting of designer pieces by the media and the internet? Or is the digital age and the subsequent designer copies leading to the greater good?

1 comment:

  1. I think Tom Ford made a smart move here. Copies cheapen brands. For me, the LV monogram no longer has the same sense of luxury it once had because it reminds me too much of street knock-offs. It doesn't help that these copies look more and more like the originals.


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