Clothing Firm Pirated Itself... And It Worked Great

from the competing-in-the-market dept

As fashion designers in the US are, once again, pushing for a misguided new "fashion copyright," it's worth remembering that studies have repeatedly shown that knock off fashions are what help make the fashion industry so successful. They serve a few different purposes. They make the authentic versions appear more valuable (who would knockoff an unpopular fashion?). They help differentiate the market by letting the clothes diffuse to the lower end that would never buy the designer level clothes, and they push designers to keep innovating each year, because they want to keep coming out with something new to stay ahead of the counterfeiters.

Now, it appears that at least one clothing designer decided to use these facts to its own advantage. ReallyEvilCanine writes in to let us know how a South African t-shirt designer made its own counterfeit line of t-shirts and used that to boost the perception of the original line, while also being able to differentiate and sell into different markets:
The brand, Love Jozi, created the "knockoffs" using the name Luv Jozi, and plenty of people picked up on it, at times lamenting how the Love Jozi people must be upset, but noting that "all the biggest brands" get copied. The Love Jozi people let the whole experiment run for about two years before revealing it. However, in the process, they showed that rather than worrying about counterfeits and fakes, there's something to be said for cornering the market on such things yourself. As REC noted in the submission, even when counterfeiters don't "play fair," you can still sell looooooots of t-shirts.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 21st, 2009 @ 10:46am

    Question

    "looooooots of t-shirts"

    How long before that term gets trademarked?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Sep 21st, 2009 @ 11:36am

    Re: Question

    angry_dude would need to sue for royalties then, as he holds the prior art I believe. :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    LtGenPanda, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 11:39am

    Re: Question

    DH, are you a paid shill, or just a shill?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Bubba Gump (profile), Sep 21st, 2009 @ 11:39am

    since when???

    Are t-shirts epic loooooooooots???

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Sep 21st, 2009 @ 11:44am

    It's so simple...

    It's so simple, if you think about it. Instead of complaining about the fake knock-offs, make the cheap gear yourself, so you can have the money from the high-end market AND the low-end market. Instead of lawsuits that only costs money, drives public to the fake (cheaper) brands, and leaves dirt over your good name.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    bubba, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 12:12pm

    armani has been doing this for years

    armani jeans and armani exchange are just crap versions of crap with the word armani worked into it...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 21st, 2009 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Re: Question

    "DH, are you a paid shill, or just a shill?"

    A. I'm confused. I've been accused of plenty of stuff, but being a shill? I honestly have to wonder which side of the copyright debate you would think I'm "shilling" for?

    B. Do you honestly believe anyone would pay for the idiotic shit I write? If you know someone who would, I'd love to speak to them...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 12:29pm

    Re: It's so simple...

    Smart companies would smack themselves in the head and go "Why the hell didn't WE think about this?!" Stupid companies will keep cruising as per usual.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Fushta, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re: Question

    swing and a miss [at sarcasm]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    Misanthopist (profile), Sep 21st, 2009 @ 1:00pm

    that's good and all..

    That's good and all.. but it is essentially a company diluting its own trademark when done poorly.

    Example: Henckels Knives...

    They are awesome kitchen cutlery. But they were also rather expensive. Til they got tired of the knockoffs making money off their name.

    So they decided to make money off their own name by launching a similarly named low end company.

    My parents saw henckels knives int he store one day for what they thought was an awesome price and immediately got them for me as a present. As it turns out, they were crap, and WAY overpriced crap.

    So you know what? Ever since Henckels decided to cannibalize their own brand recognition in order to eek out a few more percents of profit margin, I have decided they are a shit company and instead of telling everyone how great their knives are, I warn people to stay away lest they get ripped off by paying too much money for cheap crap knives.

    I think the move to cannibalize your reputation is an incredibly short sighted move that ultimately leads to rapid departure from the market.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 1:22pm

    Re: that's good and all..

    Well *anything* done poorly will harm you. That's obvious. That doesn't mean this isn't a great idea that all those complaining designers shouldn't take notes on.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Sep 21st, 2009 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re: It's so simple...

    smart companies so rare in this day and age :(

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Rabbit80, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 3:06pm

    Brilliant - they actually made a bigger demand for the "genuine" article - so they sold to three different markets at the same time.. Those who thought they were fake but a good price, those who saved for the expensive article - and those who buy into all the expensive fashion crap anyway!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    ReallyEvilCanine, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 6:11pm

    Re: that's good and all..

    Your example = FAIL

    J. A. Henckels has had multiple lines for decades. Anyone dumb enough to spend $15 on a 14" chef's knife which normally costs $200 really, really ought to know that something is amiss. Either that person is knowingly buying stolen goods or pirated merchandise, and either way has no expectation of the quality that the 5-star JAH knife line costs.

    If your parents ever see Shen knives for under $80 a pop, tell them to avoid those, too. Same goes for that $700 Cadillac over at the dealer around the corner.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This