Yesterday (Saturday) afternoon I was checking out my Instagram feed and fell upon some great photos from Jeffrey Campbell. The photos contained gorgeous sneaker wedges that I immediately started searching for. During the same time I found a picture of a sneaker wedge on my Tumblr dashboard. This specific sneaker wedge was from MARC by Marc Jacobs. I got confused and here’s why…
To your left, the Calf Dorada Sneaker Wedge from MARC by Marc Jacobs ($320), and to your right, the Napoles Wedge Sneaker from Jeffrey Campbell ($200). There are some differences between them but the resemblance is uncanny, right? Although Isabel Marant started the trend, the MxMJ sneaker wedges are very different. The colors on the MxMJ sneaker are bolder and it’s completely made of leather. Isabel Marant’s sneaker is made of suede and leather. I don’t even know what to say about the Jeffrey Campbell sneaker wedges.
It’s common knowledge in the fashion industry that trendy high end designs get copied all the time. Jeffrey Campbell is one of the brands that are often criticized because of these actions. I believe in taking an idea and creating something new and different with it, but when you take a design and don’t change a thing about it… just look at the picture, it’s crazy. I know that profit is of importance because at the end of the day this is still a business and both of these shoes will sell well but it’s still something that bothers me a little and this is coming from a fan of Jeffrey Campbell shoes.
Last week I wrote a research paper for one of my classes about copyright and fashion. You see, garments can’t be copyrighted in the United States because they are considered “useful articles“. In 2010 a bill was created by Senator Charles E. Schumer. The Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act (ID3PA) is supported by both the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA). If this bill goes into effect a fashion designer has the right to defend his/her creative and intellectual property but has to go through a rigorous evaluation process to prove that his/her designs are truly original. If indeed the designer proves the originality of his/her designs, the bill would cover all fashion designs (including accessories) for a three year period from the time the item is first seen in public (Example: on the runway).
Personally I’m against it because I believe that if this bill does get approved it will have a negative effect on the American fashion industry and affect EVERYONE that works in it. What I think might happen: Designers will be spending large amounts of money on litigation and will end up penniless. Struggling, up and coming designers won’t stand a chance. Large retailers like H&M and Forever 21 will probably cease to exist, leaving thousands of people unemployed. The only people that might get something positive out of it, other than the designers and their creative property, is the lawyers and the wealthy. I concluded my research paper by saying that the ID3PA should be further analyzed by various specialists in law and economy to get a better idea of what might happen if this bill does get accepted by Congress. Currently Congress hasn’t done a thing about it and the CFDA has taken action by collaborating with eBay and creating the “You Can’t Fake Fashion” campaign which raises awareness on the counterfeit situation.
I’ve written before that I’m not wealthy. The nice things that I have bought, at least nice TO ME, I worked hard to get them. I don’t have a trust fund and my parents are humble and hardworking middle class people. I’m against buying knockoffs, but sadly I can’t afford $300 sneaker wedges or $1,000 handbags. I’m more of a “go to the t-shirt store, buy 5 tees for $10, cut off the sleeves and let’s go before it gets late” kind of gal. I’d rather go eat to my favorite Mexican restaurant, go see bands, drink beer, and go to the beach…you know, have a life. I know that there are people out there just like me. I’m a realist with a vivid imagination. I like to fantasize about the really nice things but I’m still happy with myself and conscious of what’s going on around me. To think that there are people out there who starve and don’t pay their bills just to get the latest iPad or “those hot shoes that are selling out everywhere”. Now THAT’S INSANE. Think about it. It’s amazing what can come out of seeing a picture of two sneaker wedges.
So what do you think? Will you get the MARC by Marc Jacobs or the Jeffrey Campbell? Will you stop buying knockoffs? Will you google the ID3PA? Did you know that this was going on? Do you even care about any of this? You’re welcome to share your thoughts below. I apologize for the seriousness. I don’t write posts like these very often.
Till the next post guys!! Take care.