Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Local Love: Fashioning the Law of Design

Last night, I attended a lecture sponsored by the Indiana University School of Law, the Herron School of Art and the IUPUI Kelley School of Business. The lecture called, "Fashioning the Law of Design", explained the laws many designers would like Congress to pass concerning the copyrights of fashion design. The speakers in attendance were Kenan Farrell, an IP attorney for KLF Legal, and Beth Bennett of Beth Bennett Couture.

Some of the top fashion designers, including the Council of Fashion Designer of America (CDFA), wants the government to crack down on explicit copying of their work. Both speakers warned against the goverment enforcing copyright law within the fashion industry. Farrell fears the law would force too many fashion designers and retailers into needless litigation. Bennett says as a fashion designer, she looks to other designers ideas and trends, not to copy them, but to find her own creativity and inspiration. Bennett feels knockoffs will never be an exact duplicate of an original piece because of quality.

What does the law mean for consumers? Many designers with mid and lower end retailers get their ideas from the haute couture fashion designers. Today's popular Target sweater walked down the runway last year at New York Fashion Week. Creativity and innovation may suffer; prices may increase.

Moral of the story (per Farrell): Be careful what you ask for.

Two Herron School of Art students showcased pieces last night. Both students are fine arts majors at the Herron School and the work they presented was awesome.

Designer Emily Schorn

Designer Ashten Houpt
Ashten made this piece from bridal magazines.


1 comment:

  1. Okay, I admit that most of my fashion knowledge comes from the occasional "Vogue" and the half-hour of "Devil Wears Prada" I saw, but isn't the whole point of fashion that the styles trickle down to the mainstream? I can see how those laws would apply to knockoff purses which exactly replicate a style, but it seems silly to try to "copyright" a design like a cowl neck.

    But like I said...I know extremely little about fashion. :)


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