So lets face it, at 19 years old with only a part time job whilst at university I cannot exactly afford to have expensive taste can I? However, I spend everyday in awe of designer fashion whilst scrolling down my Instagram feed seeing how the other half live and as a result, my mental list of things I want but can’t afford gradually gets longer. Lately though, my prayers have been somewhat answered by the sudden trend of designer chic being slightly ‘borrowed’ and made into retail chic. Yes, this is the craze of designer ‘knock offs’ that love or hate it, are forever taking over the high streets.
Yet in terms of originality, this trend is not exactly ethically appropriate. I mean, I would be damn right pissed off if someone stole my design and that is essentially what most high street fashion retailers are doing. Here is where the debate of whether this trend is right or wrong begins. As for some shoppers, they may not be aware of the similarities a piece of clothing has to a designer item but those more clued up, they face the question of to buy or not to buy? However, the proof is in the pudding as the trends all seem to sell and excel in popularity. So maybe people do just like the fact that they can get a designer-equivalent for a much cheaper price. A high street rip off seems to face far less of a stigma than actually going out of your way to find a fake knock-off designer item. Plus ‘copycats’ in the fashion industry are inevitable, as they always have been, because designers are only doing their jobs of setting trends but clearly these trends are then followed not only by consumers, but fellow brands too.
From a high street point of view, it perhaps seems wise to give people a cheaper option because they know they can sell more due to its similarities but huge differences in price. Yet, I do respect the originality, creativity, and the quality of a designer item. Take a Gucci pair of trainers for example, if I set my sights on having a pair I would rather save up for them than try to scope around for some fake ones online because having the real thing is a big deal and the idea of a knock-off does not hold the same worth or interest to me. Yet when I see a pair of trainers in the likes of Zara which are an obvious high-street take on a pair of Gucci ones, I do not feel the same sort of stigma and would happily purchase them because at the end of the day, they are just a pair of Zara trainers. I mean, I will forever and a day want a real Stella McCartney handbag but for now my Zara one will have to do and so, this is where the debate continues and will continue because brands will always copy brands.
“…the imitation issue is bigger than the question of whether or not the high street should be allowed to do what its doing.” Source: Anders Christian Madsen, 2014.
You decide: is it merely a tribute to designer wear or a downright rip off of creativity? Or if you are looking for something along these lines yourself, check out these high-street items and see if you recognise them:
Zara have provided us with a bit of Stella McCartney, without breaking the bank.
Need a dress like Kendall’s 21’st birthday custom made Swarovski number? PrettyLittleThing has got you covered.