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Forever 21 shameless in copying YSL tribute heels
January 26, 2010, 12:30 pm
Filed under: Shop | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Forever 21 Jocelyn Pump

I stopped by Forever 21 yesterday after work to blow off a little steam. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine. I know the clothes are offensively trendy, poorly made, and therefore disposable, and I know that many of Forever 21’s business practices (copying designs, running sweatshops) are less than admirable. Still, I find myself shopping there from time to time because I like experimenting with new trends on the cheap, taking them for a test drive of sorts because I’m not yet ready to commit to buying the investment piece. I mean, fur and feather vests and studded leather shorts might be fashionable now, but I’m not about to drop $500 for a high-quality designer version that will sit in my closet gathering dust a year from now. Sure, fashion repeats itself, runs in cycles, blah blah blah, but do I really want to be wearing sequined hotpants when I’m 50? I think not.

YSL T-Strap Tribute Pump

What I found during my recent visit to the Forever 21 on Broadway at Prince (SoHo) were a slew of high heel platforms that reeked of Yves Saint Laurent: same towering heel and generously stacked platform, same velvet (albeit much shoddier than the real thing, obvs), right down to the vertically overlapping F21 logo on the insole of the shoe that is a blatant rip-off of the vertically overlapping YSL logo on Yves Saint Laurent shoes. Were it not for the F21 logo, I would have shrugged off the very-similar design as one that simply followed the trend of the sky-high platform heel that we’ve been seeing on the runways over the last year or two, but that logo is just too much!

Ah, adventures in copyright. Forever 21 is a pathological copyright infringer, having been sued by the likes of Diane Von Furstenberg, Gwen Stefani, Marc Jacobs, Bebe, Anthropologie, Trovata, Express, and Anna Sui (and not all designers/stores whose designs have been copied have even bothered to sue). We’re talking well over 50 lawsuits over the last three years relating to copyright infringement alone, most settled out of court. Between copyright infringement and lawsuits protesting the working conditions at their sweatshops in LA, their legal team has been very busy.

The debate over fast fashion has at its epicenter the rather blurry line between inspiration and flat-out copying, and the question of making fashion affordable and accessible to the average person. How much is too much? How far is too far? And why should only rich people get to look nice? The CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) has been pushing for the Design Piracy Prohibition Act, a bill that is currently pending in Congress. This legislation would provide protection for designers against fashion piracy. However, given that all design is inspired by something and often by other design, and given popular support behind such fast fashion brands as Forever 21, H&M, and Zara, I’m not sure that this legislation has legs. After all, I’m pretty average, and still, knowing what I know, I still shop fast fashion because it makes sense for my budget. I’m not above it.


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Same here. I’ll invest in classic pieces that will endure over time and possibly even increase in value, but I refuse to but the latest hot silhouette if it’s just going to die on me. That said…I am NOT buying Forever 21 shoes. They hurt!

Comment by Jill

I agree with Jill, F21 shoes are uncomfortable. And I also can’t stop from shopping there. Where else can I walk out with a complete outfit for $100. It’s ridiculous what the dept stores charge for a shirt and pants. I just hand wash everything I buy from F21 that I want to last and make sure don’t buy anything with polyester sleeves because it makes you stink after a hot sunny day!!

Comment by golivemiami

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Comment by allenlisakings

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