:Copy Cats:

Well, I watched this video a while ago on Ted Talks called “Lessons From Fashions Free Culture“.  It was very interesting to me.  In it, Joanna Blakely spoke about how Fashion is a Copyright free industry.  All ideation is public property.  I tend to be a possesive person, especially of my own original ideas (…but wait, there are no original ideas!!) and this video caused me to ruminate quite a bit on the concept of sharing and public property in the fashion world.

I emailed my Dad about copying not too long ago.  He is a highly successful User Experience Designer ( slash graphic designer) and is my main source of career advice for creative feilds. I told him I was confused over the concept of sharing.  Should I horde my sources and information to give myself a leg up in the fashion industry?  Or should I allow my knowledge to be public property?

These are some sage words my Dad sent me:

“Be that person who was willing to help and guide others, don’t hoard it for yourself. There are others who will always be better or more on top of it than you. So that means you can’t keep your edge by keeping it to yourself, you just have to keep pushing the envelope. I am so grateful to those who helped me so in that way I give that to others. One key bit of advice, if you help someone else out, they will generally help you out someday. Like helping someone get a job, well one day they may rise to higher position and they may want to hire you or refer you to someone that has a great opportunity for you. I always try to help other people out, it creates a spirit of goodwill and I genuinely like it. Think about the reputation you want to have.”

I love this.  I have a harddd time sharing a lot of things in my life (oldest child!!) and I want to create a new type of culture within myself.  I want to encourage a culture of sharing.  Even having this blog is a way for me to do that.  I think of things, write about them, someone else likes it and they take off with it.  Maybe someday I can garner inspiration and ideas from them!

A couple of copy cats:

Balmain F/W 09

Isabel Marant F/W 2010

ummmm… sure looks like the same darned collection to me!

Are those not the same shoes?


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18 thoughts on “:Copy Cats:

  1. Rachel @ a la Modest

    Oh my… This is one of my biggest pet peeves. I actually had two people copy the title of my posts around the same time I wrote them! Who knew? I didn’t think anybody got my references or even cared about the titles. Geez. One person just blatantly asked me for my files to put in their folio (I’m a graphic and web designer) even when all that person ever did was to supply the little bit of TEXT that was on it. That was just last night, and I am seriously using your comment box to vent about this.

    I think intellectual property is the least protected even though it does exist, and you can put a Creative Commons badge on your work to protect it. I really do need to be more open and share, but I’ve been burned so many times by people who don’t even give credit back. Thanks for writing about this. I’ll have to think about this more…

  2. Sarah Corley

    Wow, I TOTALLY know what you mean!! I came up with a category on my blog a while back and noticed a few weeks later that one of my twitter followers had almost completely copied the idea. I don’t mind too much as long as they take a new spin on the idea. But yes, it’s hard to share sometimes, especially when you feel like the idea was yours.
    Great post Brittan!

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  8. lisa

    I watched the same video a while ago. What made the biggest impression on me was the clip of Tom Ford talking about how counterfeiting doesn’t actually hurt the designer’s bottom line because the people buying the knockoffs likely weren’t the same demographic that would’ve been able to afford the genuine article.

    As for sharing vs. hoarding knowledge, I think it has to feel like a reciprocal exchange in order for that feeling of goodwill to be maintained. I’ll try my best to be helpful to those who ask for help. But there was this one blogger I used to talk to who would be very close-lipped while I was quite open about new opportunities I came across, connections I’d made, resources I’d found, etc. After a while I felt like she was being a sponge who offered nothing in return, and I started keeping quiet too.

    1. brittansalisbury Post author

      Thanks for your comment! I agree reciprocated sharing makes it a whole lot easier to let go of your knowledge, sources, and inspiration. For me, I feel that If I am going to hold back information it would depend on how original or unique my thoughts were in order for me to decide if I wanted to share or not… If its something that could be easily accessed with a little searching I would want to help to save the other persons time…

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  10. bonita

    It’s an interesting debate because as an artist I too feel very strong about art theft, but somehow am completely muddled as to how I feel about fashion theft.

    Mainly because I adore things like Jimmy Choo shoes, but never in a million years could afford them. Knock offs are my saviour.

    And as for my blog, if people wanted to take ideas from me, I really wouldn’t mind if they gave me at least some credit. I guess I think that if the owner is try to sell their work {eg, specific graphic art commissions} and you steal it and try to sell it to the same market they are selling it too, then that’s not really fair on them because they do not get the return for their work.

    But with the highend designers, they are selling to a particular market that wouldn’t go near a knockoff with a ten foot barge pole. And the knockoffs are selling to a market that can not afford the highend products. So the markets do not cross and both people get their money that they deserve for the work that they do.

    With blogging, for me it is not fair if the ideas are stolen without credit because then the ‘return’ for the idea {blog exposure or more readers} is not passed onto the original owners who worked on the idea.

    However, it is a an interesting concept of what goes around comes around, and I think I need to think about it all more!

    Sorry for the uber huge comment, but this is such an interesting topic to me. ^__^

    bonita of Depict This!

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