Ah yes, copycats.
They are everywhere, and it can seem frustrating. I’ve had so many designer friends complain about this – and seen some talented ones quit because they can’t take the stress of it anymore – and i’ve had it happen to me too time and time again, and sometimes by people i trust. I try not to get worked up about it anymore though – as i recognize the fact that it is just going to happen. Over and over.
But more often than not, when someone is copied i see the same reaction – surprise and outrage.
I know it is upsetting, i truly commiserate… but getting upset won’t solve it.
Lets be honest though – it really shouldn’t be surprising when someone copies your designs. Essentially the whole concept of fashion is based on copying. We all try to emulate what we are told is stylish, we immitate our stylish friends, we ask “where did you get that?!” when someone has something amazing on. The clothing we all find in stores is a filtered down, interpreted version of what those fancy pancy high end design houses come up with. How else would each season of fashion be so thematic? How else could every designer begin releasing peplums at the same exact time, or some all powerful being decide we should all start wearing oxblood (which i insist is maroon). At some point you just need to accept that it’s the nature of the game. If you come up with something good, something special, something unusual – it will be copied.
But it’s not all bad news – maybe it’s worse to not be imitated at all. There is after all the old adage, that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Here’s the important thing to remember: a copycat will always be one step behind you. They can’t outstrip you because they get their ideas from you.
They can’t create, they can only emulate.
Say that to yourself 10 times when it happens (because it will) and when you get upset (because you will)… and then have a cup of tea, because tea fixes everything :)