April 12, 2011

earth shattering, life or death kind of questions

studio waterstone

Which came first, the chicken or the egg???

studio waterstone

Recently, I opened a magazine to see a HUGE spread just inside the cover. It was this amazingly gorgeous Ralph Lauren bag - all rustic and artsy and...wait a cotton pickin' minute!! Ralph Lauren copied me! He copied Studio Waterstone! Just look!! He's now using the "belt" strap on a basic bucket bag that clearly is intended to look old, weathered, recycled maybe? I don't know. You tell me.

After my family picked themselves up off the floor (a result of laughing hysterically at my ridiculous claim) we discussed this topic. Okay, okay, I know that Ralph hasn't actually studied my little business of creating handbags using recycled materials.

Or has he?

We're clearly influenced by the big designers and new trends - Is it possible that the big designers study indie artists to see what's happening on the other side of the fence?



  1. I think it is completely possible and I think it is highly probable. I think designers (and those who work for them) scope around to see what independent designers and crafters/artisans are doing. They see something they think is "hot" and then set about copying it -- maybe not down to the nth degree but enough that the original designer would recognize it. They likely feel the original designer isn't a big enough, known "name" to stake any claim....

    And it's all kinds of wrong!!!

  2. Yes, I think it probably does happen! I know that Anthropologie buys individual designs from indie artists, and I think that other big stores probably spend some time checking out what's hot in the handmade world.

  3. I definitely think that the fashion industry checks out the handcrafted world. I have seen it happen way too many times, especially at stores like Anthropologie, glad to hear from Kelly that they are paying for some of the designs.
    I guess if marketplaces like etsy are pulling money away from their demographic, they are going to check us out.

  4. ABSOLUTELY! There have been quite a few Etsy artists I've seen in the old forums with this exact claim. I don't think any of your handmade friends are going to laugh at that one!

  5. I'll bet they have "people" who scour the net and check out all the trends coming out of blogs just like yours. It's entirely possible!

  6. Interesting question! It is quite possible that top designers are browsing sites like Etsy for new ideas (or someone else's ideas)!!! ~Val

  7. I really think they do as well. Not that boho is new but I've begun to notice that the recycled look fits quite nicely into that category and more designers are borrowing from the indie designers ideas. I'm noticing this looking creeping in just recently while it's been around - in my shop, for one, as well as many others - for at LEAST a year now.

  8. Oh absolutely. I know of more than a few people who have been knocked off. Horrid.

  9. Totally Possible, at least you got copied by a "big" name (not that this makes it better) I get copied by "little" wanna be's.


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