If you’re someone who stays on top of the latest topics on social media, you would be familiar with issues around fashion entrepreneurs stealing outfit designs from other designers.
Our What They Think series focuses on controversial topics as well as what Nigerians from various works of life think about these topics. This week, we spoke to 5 Nigerians on what they think about patronising designers who ‘copy’ original designs and the reasons for their answers.
Alero is a fashion enthusiast, and here’s what she had to say about the concept of stolen designs,
“I think it’s wrong especially with fast fashion brands ripping off smaller and upcoming brands. It is one thing to get inspiration from a design and another thing to outrightly copy it. Although I admit, the difference between the two, that is, inspiration and copying isn’t very distinct in fashion.”
Regarding patronising brands that copy designs, she had this to say,
“Well, original designs can be really expensive and that can be very discouraging but I don’t support buying the copied ones either for several reasons. I’d rather thrift the original, so I can get it at a cheaper price.”
“I think recreating an original design depends on many things, as there are fashion outfits that are very common designs. However, if it’s a signature piece from a fashion brand, then recreating it as a designer is not that nice. I am also not disputing the fact that other people can draw inspiration from brand designs.”
So, would Feranmi Perez purchase a copy of an original design, perhaps if it was cheaper?
“I’ll rather purchase the original design if I’m financially buoyant of course simply because I like originals. And I really wish fashion designers had some sort of legal backing or copyright to prevent their designs from being stolen.”
Adedayo Salami, a recent graduate had this to share,
“Personally, I think it is a matter of ethics, that is, personal ethics, business ethics and things like that. But as a fashion brand owner, if you intend on relying on a copied design from another brand to ultimately make your brand flourish, I don’t think that would work. However, because of the laws, or lack of, guiding the fashion industry, a lot of designs will still end up being copied and one thing designers can just do is to make it better and more superior compared to other designs.”
So, here’s what he thinks about people patronising brands that either make the original designs or the copied ones,
“Whether people would patronise a brand with the original design or the copied design depends on brand positioning. For example, even though the Alexis dress design by Melodia brand was copied and sold for cheaper, people still wanted to purchase from Melodia because of how the brand has been positioned. So, I would definitely patronise the brand that produces the original designs because of the satisfaction that comes with it.”
Eyilayo Okogwu is a recent graduate and writer, and here’s what she shared,
“In my opinion, life is based on copying someone and though it could be annoying at times, it just shows that you’re doing good. With respect to fashion designers, I think people will always copy designs because everyone wants to make greatness. I think the best thing for them is to make theirs really unique and different, so it’ll be hard to copy.”
She also shared with us if she would patronise a copied design and her reasons why.
“Whether I would buy a copied design, or the original one depends really. For example, I got the copied AirPods last year, as opposed to the original I usually get and it didn’t even last a month. So, in this case, I could have simply used the money on something else.”
Iyinoluwa Oludiya is an avid fashionista and content creator, and here’s what she had to share,
“If it is an original design and they are recreating and selling it as theirs then I think it’s wrong. Fine, a lot of styles in the fashion industry are repetitive and so many styles are not truly for anyone. But I feel like if a style is unique, and whether or not it’s an offshoot from another style, others shouldn’t copy it and sell it as theirs. I also think fashion designers can protect their designs from potential copycats by law since it is intellectual property.”
Iyinoluwa Oludiya also had this to share regarding patronising brands that copy designs or not,
“I think it depends on the quality. If the original design is of higher quality, then I’ll go with it and if it’s the other way round, I’ll go with the copied design.”
So, we understand that most designers get bespoke inspiration from other brands and social media pages such as asoebibella, Ankara styles, but there should be a constraint when it comes to ready-to-wear designs. However, if packaged nicely and with better quality, as some of the people stated above, they would definitely go for the copied designs.
So, what do you think? Would you purchase a copied design or the original one, especially if the copied design goes for a cheaper price? Let us know your answers in the comment section below.