Friday, 9 October 2009

The difference between a tribute and a knock off

Shoe news today is that Steve Madden is being taken to court by designer Alexander McQueen. Quite frankly, looking at the knock-off that they've done, (black shoe boots - top pic), I'm really not surprised.

But I'm not angry at the designer either, (ok, ok I meant the person who sent a picture of the McQueen shoe to the factory in China). I've worked lots on the High Street and the value market, I know it thrives on catwalk trends and that your employer doesn't want to see your amazing creative idea for a new shoe boot, they just want to see a version of whats on the catwalk.

Some design houses are very litigous indeed, some to the point of being a bit obsessed about it. Jimmy Choos' original account on Twitter was just full of Tweets about who was going to get the 'cease and desist' letter next. Cannot find it anymore, but I'm certain they 'went after' a kiddies train ride for having the name Choo Choo?
Some brands do not seem care at all, see Prada, who I've heard, had a deal with their outsole maker to sell the outsoles to other brands once they had done with them.

But then there's 'The Tribute', which I quite like. See my last post about Insa Heels, you'll notice that one of the designs is for an heel that looks like a pair of legs. This was probably heavily inspired by Thea Cadabras' 'Maid Shoe' from 1980 (bottom shoe pic, above), but I like the way it has been updated for the Noughties, you will note that the heel is now size zero! If I was Thea and I saw this, I'd be flattered, not mad.

No comments: