The Thin Line Between Inspiration and Plagiarism


Have you ever watched a fashion show or passed by a display window, and felt overwhelmed by that deja vu moment. At that very instant you’re convinced you have previously seen the sight before you, however you can’t quite place the moment. Fast-forward days later and media is abuzz over the potential of plagiarism regarding what you’ve previously viewed.

Inspiration Not Imitation

Online media has become an active source of information for many people across the globe this has also made it hard for duplicated work to go unnoticed. Often the excuse provided by those caught out plagiarising designs or work belonging to others is that they have been “inspired” to use elements of a particular designers work. Generally speaking, many people consider unintentional imitation of work is justifiable, therefore absolves them of responsibility. While in some cases similarities may be attributed to coincidence, whether or not people are unscrupulously passing others work as their own is often highly debatable.

When Big Brands Fake The Funk

Numerous big brands have been caught out by unsuspecting fans using work previously created by others. Clarity as to how the work was duplicated is often not clear, but industry spectators have in recent years shown zero tolerance for errant creatives.
Here are a two big and brands that got caught out there.

In October 2015 Balmain Creative Director Olivier Rousteing sent an all-white pant suit with cut-out panels that mimicked Alexander McQueen’s 1997 couture collection for Givenchy. However, the time lapse allowed him to get away with it, at least legally.

sapphire - Alexander-McQueen’s-1997-couture

Design house Sapphire creatives pulled a Swedish graphic designer and illustrator, Johanna Burai’s print straight from Pinterest. Blogger, Aamiriat was the whistle blower names in the scandal, tagging both Khadijah Shah (Sapphire Creative Director) and Burai on the suspicious post sapphire -fashion-johanna-burai’

There is rampant abuse of prints and the fashion industry is not new to plagiarism scandals. With that said, it’s clear that the design community isn’t very forgiving where plagiarism is concerned, whether intentional or unintentional. Coupled with quick access to information over the internet and the potential of any post going viral, the design community is bound to spot the pretenders in world full of talented creatives.
Look at some of Our Work for copy-cat-proof creative talent.

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