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Originally posted 2015-01-29 09:00:54.
Designer for Atelier de Geste, Beau Rhee was surprised to find one of the models in John Galliano’s debut show at London Fashion Week wearing a two-toned legging design that she featured in her own collection. Rhee watched the fashion show on Monday to see the Maison Margiela fashion show and was excited for the new haute couture fashion designs. Unsure whether the similar designs were simply coincidence or mere imitation, Rhee posted the pictures on Twitter and Instagram to receive her followers’ opinions.
Rhee’s unique two-tone leggings were used in Pharrell’s “Marilyn Monroe” music video; she was allowed to promote her line and was credited for the design. If John Galliano in fact saw Rhee’s designs somewhere and incorporated them into his fashion line, Rhee stated that she would like some form of credit. Replicas of a fashion designer’s works are increasingly emerging and becoming an issue in the fashion industry. Attorney David Korzenik stated, “To the extent that a design is gratuitous or arbitrary and not part of the function of the clothing or accessory, it may be eligible for a copyright protection.” Unfortunately, the courts are often reluctant to grant intellectual property rights to fashion designs because clothing is mainly a functional product. Galliano can try to prove that the leggings were not a unique artistic expression or idea—that others have incorporated the design before. Korzenik further explains, “Copyright law must balance protection of individual expression with protection of a rich public domain, and therefore it cannot always address all forms of unfairness. Ideas of one person may inspire others and yet not be compensated. We create things out of a common language and shared culture.”
Rhee has discussed her rights with a lawyer but has decided that beginning a legal battle wasn’t worth it and instead, opted to voice her opinion about design infringement, an issue that has yet to be addressed by the court.
Image Credits: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B7Q7yIPCAAI_l51.jpg:large