Big fashion brands rip off smaller ones all the time, most commonly it’s fast fashion brands like Forever 21 or H&M. Last year, Zara copied $795 Balenciaga sneakers as well as Kanye West’s coveted Yeezys.
This is only one example of fashion brands copying each other. It happens all the time and can be seen in fast fashion and sometimes even in ready-to-wear fashion shows.
Why is it legal?
Brands can easily keep copying each other because of outdated copyright laws. Unlike music, drama, literature, and art, fashion is not adequately protected under American copyright law, meaning clothing designs can be duplicated without permission. Lawyer Doug Hand explained, that when copyright laws were being written in 1976, ‘“we were largely a nation of manufacturers rather than designers’. For this reason, until this day the designs of American designers aren’t properly protected and keep being copied by others.