Adaptation or Knock-off?

I was surfing the interweb the other day and I saw these lovely shoes from Gucci (which I featured here)…Gucci…which look a lot like these that I saw over at Go Jane.

Go Jane


Then I saw this Fendi clutch…

 Fendi…which looks a lot like this one from H & M.

 H & MAnd I’m sure we’ve all seen at least two version of these bedazzled stilettos from Balmain.


Forever 21 has been sued over 50 times for being too “inspired” by the clothes of others.  And recently Diane von Furstenberg found herself in an uncomfortable predicament when one of her design assistants copied a jacket from Canadian label Mercy. 

Many stores (Aldo, bebe, go jane) are guilty of this crime as are many high-end labels (anyone remember when Armani accused DOlce and Gabbana of copying their quilted pants).  So my question is would you consider the above knock-offs or adaptations (an adaptation is an interpretation of a high-end item in a less expensive model with modifications of design and materials)?  Is there really a difference between the two?

I believe that fashion should not merely be the realm of the rich.  Not every fashion fanatic can afford to indulge their habit and I welcome adaptations of a hot new item however the line has to be drawn somewhere.  When does inspiration become imitation?



About Septembre

Septembre Anderson is a passionate journalist, cultural critic and public intellectual. Her work has appeared in Flare, FASHION Magazine,, Complex Canada, Vice Canada and Huffington Post Canada.
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