Monday, January 31, 2011

"Something Isn't Right!"

If you have ever seen the animated movie of the Madeline picture books that were oh-so popular when I was younger, you will remember Miss Clavel (the stern but kind-hearted nun) waking up in the middle of the night and saying the title phrase because she could sense something was wrong.

I am not a nun, I don't teach little girls in two straight lines who wear straw hats, and I am not French, but when I read Cheap and Chic Living's link to a Jezebel article on Forever 21's blatant copycat designs, I could have been that nun, storming down the hallway to assess the situation....

A little over-dramatic, but the situation calls for it! ;)

Now, I know that F21 knock-offs aren't big news- heck, I thought it was funny that they got sued by Louboutin for using his copyrighted red soles on their heels. I mean, really, who would be fooled by a cheap pair of shoes when the quality and style of that designer is so iconic?
But what about smaller, less well-known designers? Would anyone even notice if their designs get ripped off?

Apparently, yes, because if you look at this photo, you'll see that the top row of shirts (F21 design) are virtually the same at the lower row of Trovata shirts (they even stole the mismatched buttons on the middle shirt!). The similarity is blatant and inexcusable not only because they are stealing designs, but as they have come under fire repeatedly for labor issues, (read the article for a summary), you can bet whoever sewed the copied apparel is not being paid a fair wage.

This takes the proverbial wind out of my sails because F21 has always been a sort of quick-fix type of place to me that sells super trendy pieces I don't want to sink money into and a great place for costumes. It's just not as fun when you know that the piece of clothing you buy could have been an idea stolen from a cool, niche designer. Where's the fun in discovering something new that is actually not new, but rather, is kinda old...and kinda stolen?

Does the F21 "rip-off stigma" affect whether or not you shop there?

Just to lighten the mood since it's Monday, let me add:
"We love our bread, we love our butter, but most of all, we love each other."
Barf if you must, but do you remember this?!


  1. I dont shop there and Im so shocked to see that the pieces are pretty much the same..Wow!
    Happy Monday, darling

  2. omg i didnt know that! thanks for sharing

  3. It is so crazy because the little guys really get screwed...I shop there occasionally but I am all for buying from the companies themselves!

  4. I totally remember the bread and butter and love it...and the only thing I've ever gotten at F21 was two pairs of shoes a month ago. For many of the reasons you listed - and because I prefer things that don't disintegrate in the wash! AHAHAHAHA!!


  5. This is completely unfortunate. A huge bummer because F21 is my quick-fix as well... I might have to start buying my trendy cheapies somewhere else now.
    xo Josie

  6. That's crazy how the designs are so blatantly copied--I find that store a little stressful, so this is just another reason to avoid it. I love how the nun's name is said in the show--Miss Claw-VELLE--it's fun to say. :)

  7. I definitely pop into F21 now and then, but yes it's a bummer that they tend to do direct knockoffs! they got in trouble a few years back for doing blatant copies if DVF.

  8. I read about this! Too bad that people aren't creative enough to come up with their own designs, huh? ;) I used to buy from F21 all the time, but no longer go there. The fabric is just too cheap and never seems to last very long...

    Great post!

  9. I do shop there, but I've always thought their clothes were similar, not identical ripoffs! Its kind of messed up, but I guess if you're not that great of a designer and not working on your own or for a good company, you'd probably end up working for a lower quality store like F21 and end up being a copycat...

    BTW, it's so weird that you mention Madeline. I watched it all the time when I was younger and haven't thought of it until a few days ago when I saw one of the DVDs on eBay.

  10. i still shop there, but when i can afford the actual designers clothes i always buy them instead!

  11. Ps: I am hosting Paloma’s Nest GIVEAWAY today:).Just in time for Valentine’s Day!
    Hugs and kisses, my dear

  12. After reading that article I was truly shocked at the way they do business. The blatant copies (right down to the buttons...) is shocking and truly unoriginal and unethical. F21 is definitely a quick fix for shopping however I think I will shop elsewhere like H&M (I haven't read any articles about them...yet).