Control of creativity in the fashion and home textiles industry

An interesting article comparing handling of intellectual property in the fashion industry with the film and music industry. A must read for the so-called “product developers” and “fashion designers/labels” in Pakistan, and especially useful for merchandisers interested in an alternative view on their product development prowess. Excerpts below:

“… the fashion industry long has accepted that creativity is too large and fugitive an essence to be owned outright as property. Fashion is a massive industry that thrives in a competitive global environment despite minimal legal protections for its creative design….”

“It is precisely because fashion pervades so many aspects of our lives that we fail to appreciate the “social ecology” that supports it – the open sharing, unauthorized innovations, and creative appropriations. To be sure, the fashion industry aggressively protects its brand names and logos, utilizing trademarks and licensing agreements. In most cases, however, the actual creative design of garments is not owned by anyone. The couturier dress worn by a Hollywood starlet on the red carpet can be knocked off immediately and legally appear days later on department store racks.”

For the full article see Control of creativity? Fashion’s secret.

A debate that arises out of this in the local market context is the fight over retaining intellectual property rights over local designs in both fashion apparel and home textiles, where “design houses” often find their designs copied and available in substandard quality and often with the same brand name. Your thoughts are invited.