For decades product plagiarism has been seen as the price of success in the fashion world: a hit bag or a viral costume and someone (sometimes many people) will cut it unknowingly, often almost overnight.
So when a handbag licensee for Guess, Inc. decided to make a bag that looked a lot like Telfar shopping, maybe Biggest hit handbag For the past year, it probably wasn’t like a big deal. Even though the guess seems to be that there are such double handles, similar shapes and identical logos – in an embossed “G” circle within the teeler’s embossed tee. If you satirize, you can confuse the two.
But he was one of the few black creatives of the Tuffer Tribe, or designer, who heads his own fashion brand, and his work had no meaning to so many people.
On March 27, a protest wave began to build on social media, with the industry projected to mimic the work of one independent designer of color at a time History of casteism Finally being addressed.
A day later, the brand withdrew the product from sale – it was offered on various third-party websites, including Macy’s and Hudson Bay – and issued a statement.
“Signal Brands, the handbag licensee of Gess, Inc., has voluntarily stopped the sale of its G-logo totes. Some people have compared shopping bags of Totors Global on social media. Signal Brands does not want to create a barrier to the success of Taffer Global and, as such, has decided to stop selling G-logo tots independently. “
And it all happened without Telfer Clemens himself or his creative director and business partner, Babak Redboy, who would ever make a public statement about the issue, or post a picture.
Indeed, Mr. Redboy did not even know that Gess had decided to withdraw Totes until a reporter read his statement over the phone. (Mr. Clemens, who is a Liberian-American, visited Liberia a lot in March and came back after the entire Broha was over.)
Mr Radboy said that he and Mr Clemens had become aware of the Gess copy when a friend from Australia emailed them about the bag in February.
At the time, Mr. Redboy said, he and Mr. Clemens had decided not to pursue any action, because they were “not afraid of it – and we didn’t want to draw attention to it.”
Seems, he said, missed the whole point of the bag, which was “not about an item, but about the culture of the bag, the story around the bag and the incident of the bag” – what the bag symbolized to people Was who bought it in other words instead of the actual bag.
The fact that, for example, it represents a luxury of its kind, is built for communities that were often marginalized before the fashion world; It is now sold only to Direct-to-Consumer on Mr. Clemens’s website. And each time a drop occurs, it is sold out almost immediately and lucky few who manage to buy online are often happy about it online as if they had won the lottery; And it has thus become a sign of community.
Nobody could copy him. So Mr. Redboy and Mr. Clemens never saw the Gess Bag as a threat to their business. On the other hand, he saw a court case as a complicated endeavor and a long-term financial drain.
This is actually the second time the social web has picked up a false wrongful weapon for Mr. Clemens. TThat last time In July 2020, when Gap signed an agreement with Kanye West, it seemed to go back on its plan to cooperate with Mr. Clemens.
Reactions were different from callouts made by the Instagram watchdog Diet provider – They are wider and more personal.
Each time, Mr. Clemens and Mr. Redboy are left silent, as they do not describe themselves as victims of a large, evil corporation. As far as they are concerned, they are playing their, very long, game, and this is not a particularly fashion game. What does this have to do with building your community and setting your own rules.
This is an approach that has given rise to a deeply loyal and highly active fan base, which is increasingly evident, more akin to BeyHive or Rihanna Navy than any fashion customer group. Ges Licensor, for example, has also created a bag that closely resembles the Prada bag, but it has not drawn nearly the same flaw as the faux Telfar.
This allegiance explains why, Mr. Redboy said, he and Mr. Clemens thought, when speculating, “the public can decide for us.” The public did.
“Love how we stood up for Telfar and guessed from here,” went A tweet In reply.
“It’s a brilliant, happy ending,” Mr. Redboy said. And a lesson, perhaps, for any other brand that happened to see.