In between the eight—count them, eight!—runway seasons, the fashion world is moving and changing faster than ever. However, there is one thing that moves faster than the industry itself: knockoff vendors. With the high interest in designer goods, these cheaper alternatives are being sold by vendors before the designers even place their items in stores. Some even come out mere days after a runway show. This has been causing a great loss for designers that thrive on exclusivity.
So, how can the big name labels beat the underground copy cats? According to Refinery 29, designers are beginning to fight back. To keep their labels less attainable, popular knockoff targets, such as Mary Katrantzou and Proenza Schouler, are adding obstacles to their design process. Both labels, known for their printed designs, have decided to spend more time individually creating one-of-a-kind pieces—think unique embroidery or complex beaded items. In making the design process more unique and labor intensive, designers hope that it will make it nearly impossible to mass-produce quality knockoffs. After all, their customers pay for exclusive items, and the luxury brands say they hope to keep it that way.
If you've already noticed recent aesthetic changes in some of your favorite designers, you’re probably right. Katrantzou started this process last season when she focused her time on constructing inimitable silhouettes. While it does take more effort to create the rare looks, in the end, it makes for a beautifully unique collection. As for the knockoff industry, their fast-paced retail sub-industry may begin to move a whole lot slower.