Tuesday, January 20, 2009


While a designer's logo and brand name are trademarkable and his or her fabric design copyrightable, there is (currently) no similar intellectual property protection for the designer's actual designs. In other words, so long as a retailer isn't copying someone else's logo or the fabric design without permission (i.e., licensing), she or he is free to sell the innovative designs of others with impunity. While many in the legal profession continue to work towards closing this "fashion design loophole", for the time being at least, stores like Forever 21 and H&M can continue to copy high fashion style and, using cheaper fabrics and construction, sell it at mass market prices.

What is unusual is when one high fashion design house is accused of copying the design of another equally famous high fashion design house. But that's apparently precisely what Giorgio Armani is accusing Dolce & Gabbana of doing in what has been coined by The Guardian as "Trousergate" -- ah, how I love the British press. Behold the design in question (pictured below left at D&G and right at Armani):

In D&G's defense, an anonymous member of the "D&G camp" is quoted by The Guardian as saying: "The Armani style was never a source of inspiration for us, and it is years since we have bothered to watch his collections." How do you say "mee-oww" in Italian? While these pants do look very similar, Armani has indicated that no legal action will be taken.

While I respect a designer's ownership of his or her design concepts, I have a hard time seeing why anyone would want to copy these particular pants. I mean, these pants are completely ridiculous. They look like ski pants. Warm, sure, but they manage to make the model look bottom-heavy (and I'm pretty sure even men don't want to look bottom-heavy). Besides, I'm thinking ski pants and suit jackets don't exactly work together -- it's a bit like an outfit mullet (business on top, play on bottom), don't you think? In short, I would urge Giorgio and Domenico/Stefano to ditch this particular look pronto and head back to the proverbial drawing board.


Quotidian Grace said...

It looks like the material that is used to insulate pot-holders. UGLY!

Jane said...

It would be very appropriate to wear to the quilt show.

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