At what point does referencing and inspiration turn into blatant copying? It's a question that is increasingly on the minds of designers -- particularly young designers and small brands -- who don't have the legal muscle (read: cold hard cash) and time to defend the integrity of their designs.
In other creative disciplines like music, writing and visual art, it is much easier to defend copying. In fashion, referencing, inspiration, and trends form the backbone of our industry (just check out this long list of adventures in fashion copyright). So, where do we draw the line?
Case 1: Steve Madden
Sometimes it's quite straightforward to see what is going on. A post on Manolo's shoe blog alerted us to this blatant copy of the Balenciaga sportiletto shoe. Some may find it amazing that anyone would even wear these shoes, but I find it amazing that any company would be so brazen as to rip designs off in this way.