Monday, June 11, 2012

Knock It Off

Anyone who has looked for wedding shoes recently knows that Badgley Mischka makes fabulous bridal shoes. This is one of their popular styles.
I was shopping at DSW this weekend when out of the corner of my eye, I spotted this pair of shoes.
This isn't the first time I've come across knockoffs in my wedding-planning journey. Check out this gorgeous Amsale dress that I tried on while dress shopping.
Now, check out this one by Wtoo.
Then there was The Wedding Dress That Almost Was.
I tried on this Marisa dress at Macy's and loved it. I stood in front of the mirror for about an hour, admiring myself. I loved the way it felt and how tiny it made my waist look. I tried on veils, belts, and jewelry with it. I imagined walking down the aisle in it and dancing the night away in it. I priced it out with my mom and confirmed that I could afford to buy it. As I took it off in the dressing room, still smiling ear-to-ear, the consultant said, "Isn't it stunning? It's a knockoff of a Vera Wang dress!"

That one sentence was the only reason I didn't buy the dress.

Knockoffs are big business, especially in the wedding industry. Young people in the U.S. spend more than they ever have before on luxury goods, and on their wedding days, they want those same luxury items. Often, a bride's pocketbook doesn't match her taste. Enter: knockoffs.

I have made it a policy for myself that I will never knowingly buy a knockoff. A fashion designer is not allowed to copyright his or her designs in the United States, which technically makes the practice of knocking off another designer's work 100% legal. But while it is technically legal, I think that it is akin to stealing. Designers spend lots of time and money developing their work, and I believe that it is wrong to unfairly profit from someone else's intellectual property. I think that if I like someone's work enough, I should pay them a fair sum of money for it. If I can't afford it, I should move on. There are plenty of artists and designers out there fabricating their own original, affordable creations, and I would rather support one of them than "steal" from a better-known designer because I think that art is important and that creativity ought to be highly valued.

In the end, I bought a different wedding gown, and I'm proud to say that I purchased it directly from the independent designer's showroom.

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