We’ve all seen that guy or girl dressed in designer stuff from head to toe, looking like they stepped straight out of a Vogue magazine. It looks good, and other people definitely take notice.
But not everyone can afford that kind of stuff, and so we have brands that copy those high-end designs. Maybe ‘copy’ sounds a bit too negative, so let’s say “inspired” instead.
Every millennial wants to look ‘fly’, doing their best to stay at the forefront of fashion and hype. A $600 Off-White™ flannel shirt? Screw that, H&M flannel for $30. $1000 Balenciaga sneakers? Let’s see…oh look, Zara made a similiar looking one for $100.
Don’t get me wrong though, I have nothing against these “inspired” designs. I buy clothes from H&M all the time. The clothes are decent enough and I’ll still be able to afford some fried chicken afterwards (priorities).
But I do feel like there is a certain, fine line between a tasteful copy and a terrible one. No offence to Zara, but the company is probably the guiltiest of all at terrible copycat fashion.
I’m sure some of you have already heard stories about how Zara blatantly rips off designs from other designers and brands. Just take a look at that copy of an Adidas sneaker above. You might as well call it version 2.0 of the original; it looks pretty much the same.
The way Zara has copied the sneaker designs of Adidas and Balenciaga is the kind of copycat I don’t agree with. There’s no element of creativity or originality at all. The people who “designed” it didn’t even try to be different.
Another example is the Skechers shoe that copied the Adidas Yeezy Boost V2, and it’s such a bad copy that it looks ridiculously hilarious.
Take a look for yourself at the Skechers copy above. I don’t even have to elaborate any further.
I feel that in terms of footwear, it’s easier to tell when a brand is copying another designer. But for clothes and apparel, it’s a little more complex.
There are only a finite number of ways you can make the cut of a clothing; the prints start to recycle over time; patterns like stripes and plaids are bound to be found everywhere. You got to have a god-like creativity to come up with a design that’s truly original.
That’s why the line is blurred when it comes to “inspired” designs for clothing. H&M does this very well, always staying on top of the latest trends. Justin Bieber wore something like this? You can find it at H&M. Selena Gomez wore that? Get a cheaper version of it at H&M.
I think this is fine though, because as I’ve said, there aren’t a lot of ways you can change how a standard button-up shirt looks. Why pay $200 for a black shirt when I can get it for $40? It’s also not as if H&M just copied-and-pasted a Gucci logo on a tee and called it Kucci or something.
At the end of day, fashion is something that’s constantly updating itself. Trends come and go, and with cheaper options, it means regular people like myself can get in on the latest movement.
I think that with copycats around, it also pushes the fashion industry forward in a way. They’re kind of like a competitor or a threat to brands and fashion houses; it pushes the brands to come up with better and more creative designs.
So you know what? If you’d like to buy that Zara sneaker, go ahead. I hate it, but what does it matter to you. You might just be helping fashion move forward (or you might just be destroying it); and you know what they say: imitation is the best form of flattery.