damselcorsets.com

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ripoffs and Cheap Knockoffs

Okay, it makes me mad enough when someone rips off my designs that I poured my heart and soul into, and they take them and has them cheaply made in China, BUT it makes me EVEN MORE FURIOUS when I see it happen to a good company that I work with and adore! See how blatantly HOT TOPIC stole this design from Gypsy Lady Hats? The dang hat is probably made of the cheapest, lowest quality things possible, and it will most likely not even stay up on your head and will flop down and look like bum. ARRGGGG I just hate it. I hate it so much that I'm blogging about it when I'm supposed to be leaving on a 24 hour trip to temporarily relocate my entire company to the Midwest for the spring season of ren-fests. My husband is packing our stuff, and keeps coming into the computer room and saying (very kindly and patiently) "Uh....so, will you be done with that soon?" He definitely understands because he's the co-owner of the company, and when we were dealing with cheap knock-offs, he was just as pissed (although, he's an eternal optimist and tried to point out all of the good things that come from having someone steal your work.) He did make some good positive points, mainly that-when someone makes a cheap rip-off, suddenly your items are elevated to "designer" and "couture" and all of those fancy words. Suddenly, you're name brand, and the other people are the obvious lower class, cheap trash.

I think the part that really makes me ill is that people will see both the Hot Topic knockoffs of these hats and the China-made Damsel knock-offs, and some of them won't know the difference. These people are going around giving our companies a bad name. *sigh*

You know, I had some foundation from Covergirl, and I really liked it because it was actually pale enough for my skin, and it was 5 bucks. However, I was noticing that after just a couple of hours, my skin would start looking patchy, and by the end of the day, you couldn't even tell I was wearing makeup at all. I finally buckled down and purchased a $35 bottle of foundation from MAC, and LET ME TELL YOU! I put on a light layer, and my skin looked flawless, creamy, soft, radiant, and even-toned. After 14 hours of walking around Disneyland in 80 degree weather (bless you, spring temperatures!) I still looked like I had flawless skin (mind you, my skin is oily, I have really red patchy cheeks, and I'm sort of...nasty). This lesson is taught to me on a constant basis, and I really hope that I'm starting to learn the value of a well-made and honest product from a company you can trust.

So, I'm asking you lovely people to join me in my campaign against Hot Topic. I mean, let's face it....they're the company who helps high school kids pretend that they're unique....just like all the other Hot Topic kids. It's very "mainstream nonconformist". Shame on them. I think we should all have t-shirts and buttons made. Sweet.
Oh, wow, I need to hop into the van and get going. So long!

27 comments:

  1. Hey, Chelle, when you get out here, maybe you can hold my hand at Sephora, so I can purchase some sweet foundation. It sounds magical.

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  2. While Hot Topic is certainly a plagiarising monstrous blight on the land, I always wonder about their real effect on high-end designers like yourself. It's not like a kid plunking down 15 bucks for a t-shirt and oh yeah, let's get a cheap plastic corset and a hat!, has the money or the shopping skills to get a GOOD piece of fashion. Frankly, it's not like most teens have the self awareness or the reliably-sized body to make such an investment worthwhile, either. I'm not saying it's not a problem--they rip off much more modestly priced stuff, too, like artist's prints and t-shirt designs, and plagiarism always has nasty effects somewhere along the line-- I just wonder exactly how the negative effect breaks down.

    Besides, you know, the sheer soulkilling continued existence of Hot Topic.

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  3. To play devil's advocate for a moment...
    The nice hats cost between $100-200, which is a shitload of money. The Hot Topic hats? $16-20. OF COURSE they won't be as nice. BUT, they are affordable for kids and poor folk like me.
    Isn't it better to have more people wearing amazing hats and vaguely corset like things, rather than baseball caps and low rise pants that show underwear and tramp stamps? The kids buy the cheap stuff now, and then, when they older/richer, they go for the good stuff. And everyone else in the world gets to see interesting fashion and beauty.

    I do get you point about companies stealing ideas and patterns, and I agree it's Wrong. However, there are positives, and those shouldn't be overlooked.

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  4. I have to admit, I looked at the cheap knock-offs on eBay for a while. Then I realized that they didn't make things in my size, relied upon cheap/slave labor, didn't have much integrity as a company, and weren't actually that much less expensive.

    One of my beefs is that American consumers often consider price the most important factor in making a purchase. If we could get over that and start expecting and being willing to pay more for quality items made within the US (and we'd have plenty of money if we stopped spending it on lots of cheap crappy things we don't actually want or need), we could fix so many problems!

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  5. Just very recently I got the knock-off smack upside my head. A kind and wonderful fellow chainmailler told me about two websites currently ripping my original Sharone's Flower pendant. Both are not only selling a poorly constructed version of my pendant but are also selling "kits" for folks to buy to make their own. Lovely. Now I just have to find out if they're using my copywritten instruction booklet. Honestly, I figured it was bound to happen sooner or later but I hope that people recognize the knock-offs for what they are and steer clear.

    Keep up the good work and the rest of us will take care of enlightening those around us.

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  6. Hot Topic has a history of plagiarizing T-shirt designs among other things (hats now). They have stolen at least a few T-shirt designs from Threadless.com, a website I happen to buy a fair few shirts from and it's disgusting when they get their designs stolen. It also happens so much with artists, illustrators and graphic designers. I'd tell your friend to sue Hot Topic because lately they've been settling with other court cases concerning stolen designs and she could probably make a fair amount of money and get her designs out of Hot Topic.

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  7. In response to Wyrdgrrl: I understand what you're trying to say. Not everyone can afford the really nice stuff. It's one of the reasons that I haven't bought one of GypsyLady's lovely hats yet. However, that does not mean that the someone else's designs should be copied for the cheap stuff. Let the companies who make the cheap stuff come up with their own designs. It's an insult to the original artist to copy, and in many cases, people don't even realize that what they're buying is a knockoff of someone's hard work. So when they do get enough money to buy the good stuff, they won't, because they don't bother to research where their stuff comes from.

    To Michelle: I saw this also, and immediately shot an email to GypsyLady. She told me that sadly there was nothing she could do, as the hats were most likely made in China and copyright on fashion is horrible. I normally would buy some little kitschy things from Hot Topic, but no more! And I've encouraged all my friends to stay far away.

    Like other people here have stated, I've learned that price is not necessarily the decision breaker when I want to purchase something.

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  8. "I mean, let's face it....they're the company who helps high school kids pretend that they're unique....just like all the other Hot Topic kids."

    I loved this line. QFT.

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  9. HIDEOUS! Absolutely blatant theft. Mini top hats are so popular now, it wouldn't be such a stretch for them to come up with their OWN design and sell it as the cheapy product it is. Ugh. Absurd.

    But on the positive end, I haven't looked at Gypsy Lady Hats before. But because of the theft of their design, they've come to my attention and I am now headed to check out their stock!

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  10. Holy crap, apparently Hot Topic has been doing this sort of thing for quite a while now! http://youthoughtwewouldntnotice.com/blog3/?s=%22hot+topic%22 UGH.

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  11. I agree with Shayna.
    I know lot of people can't afford to pay $100 for a hat. But that doesn't give anyone the right to rip it off! It breaks your heart to see one of your ideas/designs to be stolen and remade with cheap fabrics and cheap labor.
    I'd rather save my money to buy something really beautiful, and WELL MADE (which will also last longer) than lot of cheap stuff, which breaks down and wears off fast.

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  12. I'm with you! Hot Topic sucks.

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  13. Seriously, how does Hot Topic continue to get away with this crap?
    It's revolting really, have they no shame?
    Reading up about all the other things they've plagiarised well, it sickens me.
    They need to face legal action, a LOT of legal action and get it through their thick skulls that no, plagiarism isn't ok and yes, you WILL get sued.

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  14. Just leaving this here, as I was browsing the web...

    http://www.twospools.com/bodices

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  15. you guys are the smartest customers ever! I love you, I love you, I love you

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  16. @Katy: WOW. That's a pretty damn blatant rip off of Michelle's designs, and they look like crap. What are they using for boning, spaghetti?

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  17. @Auroracita-- I know, right? And the sad part is that they were at a faire that I went to recently, Sherwood Forest, which is just started this year. If I saw them (admittedly I didn't get to every shop...) I would have said something to someone and yeah... It wouldn't have been pretty.

    Also, WTF *IS* with that boning? If they are even using any. I've had so many bad experienced with (not Michelle and Damsel in this Dress) people that I'm only buying bodices/corsets/waist cinchers from her. I've been LIED to about plastic vs. metal boning and now have an unusable bodice that I paid close to 90 dollars for. (I'll name drop here, so people know what LADY LILY ORIGINALS uses and will get a BEYOND WONDERFUL bodice/corset/waist cincher here.)

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  25. You're just a small company I don't think a place with right prices and non chepaly made items would even notice you. You're such a stupid bitch.

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  26. Hi. Just wanted to say I don't hate hot topic but they have some really bad annoying as goth and emos there. The only reason I ever considered getting a few shirts there was because they were geeky. No offense but not the best design it is not bad but it is just a mini steampunk hat,with straps. Of course hot topic would rip it off and make it only half the good quality your hat was and maybe that is why is costed so much. But hot topic is very annnoying nothing but "hot shit" hipsters and goths there.

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