Flattery or Forgery?

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1. Christian Louboutin Alicette 2. Steve Madden Reilly

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But when fashion companies copy designs from other designers, is it a sign of a job well done or is it creative infringement? Many retailers have made a name for themselves by providing more affordable versions of high end designs, often with cheaper fabrics. Some people love the low end versions and others wouldn’t be caught dead in them. What’s your take, is it flattery or forgery?

1. Prada Sport Linea Rossa 2. FILA Helmsman Low

I walked past a sneaker store the other day and noticed a pair of Prada Sport sneakers in the window. I thought, “Hmmm, since when does this sneaker store sell Pradas? That’s interesting.” I took another glance and saw a FILA poster. That sneaker store does not carry Prada Sport, they carry FILA, and those FILAS look an AWFUL LOT like the Prada Sport Linea Rossa Sneakers.

1. Christian Dior Extreme 2. Steve Madden Madalynn

FILA is not the only brand to do this. Cheap-chic retailer FOREVER 21 has been hit with lawsuits for copying designs from Gwen Stefani’s LAMB collection. And Steve Madden, a popular shoe brand, always has cheap versions of high end shoes. His versions are so popular that rapper Jay-Z addressed it in his song Excuse Me Miss. “Young don’t mess wit chicks in Burberry paddings, Fake Manolo boots straight from Steve Madden,” he rhymed. But regardless of what Jay-Z thinks about them, when the Sex and the City Movie came out, many girls opted to buy the Steve Madden Madalynn shoes, a replica of the Christian Dior Extreme Gladiator sandals that Carrie wore during most of the movie.

1. Vera Wang 2. ABS

Shoes aren’t the only products subject to imitation. Handbags and dresses get copied too. Allan B. Schwartz is known for releasing affordable versions of dresses worn by Hollywood starlets on the red carpet. Steve + Barry stores began selling a $9.99 version Mid City tote bag by indepent designers Foley + Corrina, which retails for $444, they later apologized for it.

1. Foley + Corinna Mid City Tote 2. Bitten

I’ll tell you a secret, I bought those Steve Madden Reilly Shoes (pictured at the top of the post). I didn’t even know they were Louboutin knock offs until my cousin told me about it! So, is it okay for retailers to rip off big designers in the name of affordable fashion? Or, should these retailers come up with their own stuff?

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