Recently Second City Style was made aware of an online store based in China that sold wedding dresses that upon first glance looked like copies of well-known, sought after and expensive designer wedding gowns. This site was selling them at a fraction of the price. Then upon second glance it appeared the photos of these gowns were taken directly from the original designers sales and marketing promotions.
I write this in the past tense because when I checked their site today their account was suspended and the site can no longer be accessed.
Kanacca Online sold dresses from 129 designer "styles." Not onlywere there Oscar de la Renta styles, Vera Wang styles, Angel Sanzhez styles, Reem Acra styles and Monique Lhuillier styles…there were styles from smaller, lesser-known designers like Vwidon of Chicago and Jane Wang in New York City. It seemed any bridal designer who has a website with photos was fair game for Kanacca.
Is it possible this site, using actual photos from the Angel Sanchez collection, was selling an actual angel Sanchez dress for $169 (with free shipping included)? Is it possible this dress was an actual Angel Sanchez? This writer thinks not.
Does the story end here? No it does not. Kanacca appears to still operate. Shanghai Kanacca Apparel Co. Ltd is another site selling their knock-off gowns as well as an Ebay store. However, they do not mention the original wedding gown designer in either of these stores. The photos are the same, but Kanacca watermarks them with their own name, as if they belong to them. Is Ebay aware that this is happening? Do they care?
The original Kanacca site (when operational) included a disclaimer that they only used
photos of the branded dresses "for reference" and they would not put the brand name (designer label) on the dresses they sell. Their site also had a section detailing their "Procedure for Making Claims of Copyright Infringement," including the address of an agent to send notices of claims for alleged copyright violations. This is not normally something you see on the websites of legitimate apparel companies.
One might therefore believe Kanacca has been called out for copyright infringement before. If someone copies someone else’s design, but doesn’t put their label on it, that still seems wrong. If indeed this company is "copying" these designers’ hard work, how do they get away with it? I am not a lawyer, but this seems improper in the most basic sense.
Read the follow-up: "Wedding Gown Designers Are On To Kanacca. Part II"
– Lauren Dimet Waters
Update: since we published this article the Kanacca website is back up.