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Originals vs. Fakes: where's the line & what is acceptable?


I have to admit---I'm not a huge fashion person. The closest I get to fashion are a few of my model friends with gorgeous taste and window (online) shopping for things I'd wear to imaginary events that would require me to dress a bit fancier than a pair of jeans and sneakers, and with a credit card that involved not-so-imaginary unlimited funds since, surprisingly enough, shopping with the one with limited funds is just not that much fun.

But one thing that does make me laugh on daily basis and is fashion related is Diet Prada's Instagram account. As you can imagine from their punny name and the "ppl knocking each other off lol" description, it’s all about posting knockoffs of famous fashion brand---usually the big fashion brand doing the copying. It’s kind of like the fashion police but instead of a fine, they get sh*t from Diet Prada, their 1.1 million followers and their rage, which, in some ways, seems even more appropriate since money is not usually something they lack but good reputation? Well, that one is a bit harder to earn.

Being a designer of sorts, I'm pretty sensitive to copying. And by pretty sensitive I mean it drives me kind of mental. But sometimes there's a really fine line between something being an inspiration for a certain piece and straight forward copying. I mean, how do you know if someone saw that piece his work resembles, completely forgot about it and then it just subconsciously resurfaced when designing their new collection? The mind, after all, is a wondrous thing and it can make up all sorts of things as well as forget, but sadly, sometimes the only difference between a fake and an original is the freaking brand tag.

Now, here's a hypothetical scenario. You're scrolling through Instagram, checking out your favourite brands/artist and then notice that one piece that really catches your eye and makes you fall in love a bit but, as luck would have it, it's way too expensive for an ordinary mortal like you. What do you to? Option one: you save for the next few months and then treat yourself to that piece that is more than just a mere piece of clothing to you. Option two: you spend the next few hours searching for a piece that's similar (dare I say, the same) but in your budget. Option three: you try to make it yourself.

Now, coming from both backgrounds---the (broke) consumer and the (even more broke) artist---this is a real dilemma for me when it comes to pieces like this because on one hand I'd love to have it but I just can't afford it. So I wait. And then wait some more. And then if I'm lucky I either save enough to buy it or forget about it. 

But what is morally acceptable? Is it okay to make it for yourself? Is it okay to make it yourself as long as you don't sell it and make a profit off it? There are without a doubt multiple variables in this equation but I guess in the end it comes down to a personal decision. What can I live with? Unfortunately, a lot of people can live with a lot of stuff so staling, copying and then selling cheaper versions of a piece of art is in no way detrimental to their (not so) clean conscience. 

I guess there's only one thing to do: check in with your conscience and see what you're able to live with. And in case you do end up copying, you better hope the original artist---or Diet Prada---don't find you or you might witness hell breaking loose. 

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