Business Fashion Knockoffs Perils and Term Paper

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In this manner, a chain of custody could be established. if, say, Aldo's product had suddenly jumped from one step of the process to another, it might indicate that Aldo had not gone through the usual channels; had possibly stolen the idea, or copied it to a significant degree from Alexander McQueen. In either case, the designer could protect himself or herself by following the customary procedures of their marketplace.

Can Knockoffs Be Stopped?

With so many ways to counterfeit designer fashion items like clothing, shoes, and handbags, and so few laws to prevent the actual production of pirated merchandise, stopping knockoffs would seem to be an almost impossible task. Nevertheless, knockoffs can be controlled if designers, retailers, and government authorities remain vigilant. As noted by American designers, merchandising is the key to the American design process. It is also the key to controlling the flow of counterfeit goods. While manufacturers all over the world can copy designer clothing, for example, manufacturers and officials can try to ensure that laws are followed and that retailers do not stock and sell illicit merchandise. More specific to the designers themselves would be a strategy of concentrating to an even greater degree on the uniqueness of their own offerings. Designers can produce clothing, shoes, cosmetics, and so on, that simply cannot be compared to cheap knockoffs. They can use celebrities to raise even further the prestige level of buying the genuine article, and in other ways contribute to the cachet of having something that conforms to proper standards and was produced by a designer who looks at their creations as works of art.

Such strategies would go a long way toward encouraging consumers to look for the little details that separate the real thing from the fake. Consumers would learn not to be satisfied with imitations no matter how similar they might superficially appear. Concepts such as these would probably significantly eliminate the look-alikes, if not the outright frauds which, once again, should be handled through tougher law enforcement, and a greater emphasis on international trade agreements that penalize nations that condone counterfeiting of designer merchandise. False goods should be confiscated and destroyed, whether they are already in the store, or on their way to this country from overseas. Those who engage in the manufacture of knockoffs should be punished as need be with fines or imprisonment depending on the severity of the case. Designers should also be permitted to sue those who knowingly steal intellectual property like clothing designs.

Conclusion

Fashion knockoffs are a major problem that costs designers scores of billions of dollars each year, and risks reputations and stunts creativity. Everything from clothing to shoes to handbags is copied or imitated to such an extent that many legitimate designers find it difficult to market their creations without having to have fend off competition from less expensive, inferior goods. Many developing nations see in counterfeiting a convenient additional source of income and employment. Nations like China, Taiwan, Turkey, and Mexico, supply much of the market in knockoff fashions. American tourists bring back counterfeit merchandise, as well. These faux fashions are sold openly and legally in stores and on the internet, and also illicitly in back alleys and barely legal markets. Many items are copied directly from their originals and produced either domestically by unscrupulous operators, or aboard in countries that do not enforce concepts of intellectual property rights, or else actively connive in the manufacture of counterfeit goods as a means of earning hard currency. Contributing to the problem are the almost complete lack of laws governing intellectual ownership of clothing, shoes, handbags, and similar items. Considered goods of utility, they have traditionally been available for all to copy.

Designers, retailers, and government officials must work hand in hand to see that existing laws are applied and concepts of intellectual property are extended where necessary. Designers, too, can protect their creations by adhering to the highest and best principles of marketing, and ensuring that they and their competitors follow proper procedures in bringing items from the design stage to the selling floor. Knockoffs can be curtailed, but it will be a hard fight.

Works Cited

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Nike Says Company Is Making Knockoffs; the Sneaker Giant Accuses a Bradenton Operation of Selling Fake Shoes with Its Logo." Sarasota Herald Tribune, 3 June 2005, BS1. http://www.questiaschool.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=110652854

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STATUS FAUX; Knockoff Retailers Bag Customers with Similar Looks, Cheaper Products," the Washington Times, 30 October 2005, D01.

Nike Says Company Is Making Knockoffs; the Sneaker Giant Accuses a Bradenton Operation of Selling Fake Shoes with Its Logo," Sarasota Herald Tribune, 3 June 2005, BS1.

Nejdet Delener, "International Counterfeit Marketing: Success without Risk," Review of Business 21, no. 1 (2000): 16.

Susan W. Brenner, and Anthony C. Crescenzi, "State-Sponsored Crime: The Futility of the Economic Espionage Act," Houston Journal of International Law 28, no. 2 (2006).

Congress Considers Fashion's Copyrights," the Washington Times, 28 July 2006, C10.

Moises Naim, "The Five Wars of Globalization," Foreign Policy, January-February 2003.

Clare Ulrich, "Nano-Textiles Are Engineering a Safer World: Juan Hinestroza and Margaret Frey Are Pushing the Textile Frontier by Developing Nanofibers to Act as Biological Sensors and Shields against Viruses, Bacteria, and Hazardous Particles," Human Ecology 34, no. 2 (2006).

Norma Rantisi, "6 the Designer in the City and the City in the Designer," in Cultural Industries and the Production of Culture, eds. Dominic Power and Allen J. Scott [book online] (New York: Routledge, 2004, accessed 1 December 2007), 101; available from Questia, http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=107996121;Internet.

Norton Paley, the Manager's Guide to Competitive Marketing Strategies, 3rd ed. [book online] (London: Thorogood, 2006, accessed 1 December 2007), 293.[continue]

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