Ah, China. What can you say? It seems the shoddy workmanship and design piracy is finally catching up with them…and just in time for the holiday season.
In a report by WWD today, James
Williams of Loeb & Loeb said recent China recalls have affected
business. He said China has been losing some of the West Coast premium
market. In regard to the Design Piracy Prohibition Act pending in
Congress, Williams said if passed, it could have a major impact on
"The legislation heavily favors high-fashion producers
by outlawing quick and cheap knockoffs of expensive designs," he
explained. "The law would give subject designs protection for three
years, which would allow the fashion houses time to translate their
couture collections downstream into diffusion lines. Therefore, the law
offers the high-end designers the dual-edged advantage of couture
design protection and expansion into diffusion without competition from
What dies this mean? Well fast-fashion retailers like Zara, H&M, Forever 21 and the like will stand to lose their entire business model. They will no longer be allowed to get away with knocking off major designers. Three years after a trend is not very desirable at any cost is it?
Williams sees a down-side however, "I have some concerns with the legislation. While I
agree with the concept that designers who pour time and money [into]
creating a $1,500 dress should not have to compete with a $29.99
version that is a pure knockoff. But the law is not confined solely to
this high-fashion-fast-fashion relationship, but rather applies to the
industry as a whole."
He said if you walk through Coterie or any
of the major markets, "you’ll see that in any given category (dresses,
for example), much of the high-end designers look alike. It’s a
trend-driven business and if you give everyone the right to sue if
someone else’s garment looks similar, it has the potential to radically
impact the industry in a negative way."
This is a major concern of smaller designers who can not afford to fight the big guys. If/when this passes, watch the law suits fly!
Dress: Forever 21