I’m happy to say that the very apologetic and gracious peeps at Patricia Field have pulled the copy of my swear rings from the website after a chat with my gorgeous publicist, Sakita Holley.
READ MY PREVIOUS POST ON THE KNOCKOFF RINGS.
As I expected, the Patricia Field team had unwittingly purchased the pieces from a wholesaler. (I knew Patricia Field wasn’t a big-enough operation to order rings in the quantity that would be necessary to get the retail price so low. Economy of scale!) I’m sure there’s some factory in China that’s pumping out my design. I will try to figure out which one it is so I can have one of my Cantonese-speaking friends call up and read the responsible parties the riot act. And I’m still going to get in touch with any retailer I see selling the knockoffs. This is likely to be as effective and sane as Bill Murray’s pursuit of the gopher in Caddyshack, but I’m okay with that.
I worked up a head of steam for this effort during the four years that retailers and editors snubbed my swear-ring concept after I introduced it in 2008. It took a manufacturer (or manufacturers) that specializes in ripping off designs to legitimize my concept! And that’s the fashion business in a nutshell. When I was outside the industry, I imagined it was filled with people who couldn’t wait to get their hands on the next new thing. In reality, I meet a lot of sheeple who want the next safe thing. And that’s the brutal Bitchtastic Guide to Business™ truth I’m giving you.
But thanks again to the Patricia Field folks for being so cooperative. I’m very confident they’re not going to pull a Topshop on me, because they like to set trends, not follow them, and they understand the issues of small designers!
Miss Peelpants says
Good for them, shame on the wholesaler. Although I fear once something gets to that level, it will be ripped off by so many multiple manufacturers that it’s basically gone. Like the McQueen skull thing.
Walking past the wholesale shops in Soho is incredibly depressing…
Yep, agree with you, it just gets to be pervasive, so I figure I’m tilting at windmills. Even so, Tiffany keeps pursuing people who knock off the Elsa Peretti open heart, which is another losing battle. I think it’s good to make the statement that you’re not surrendering to the knockoff industry even if you can’t “win.”
Good for Patricia Field! I’m happy this worked out.
I am SOOO GLAD to hear that they’ve pulled your design (knockoff) from their shelves! I’ll admit, I was REALLY surprised to find that Patricia Field of all designers/stores had knocked off your pieces! Sadly, a big mass-market retailer like Topshop/Forever 21/H&M/Target doesn’t surprise me, but when it’s a much smaller and esteemed business, YEAH I’m SURPRISED! Kind of reminds me of when Iris Apfel did that line for HSN and knocked off one of Hanna Bernhard’s pieces…a piece that Ms. Apfel actually owned and wore regularly! Granted, the HSN design team is probably much more responsible for the design/blatant copy, but didn’t she at least look at and approve the designs? Anyway, I’m getting off topic here, but…it still surprises me when people who copy think that the original designer’s won’t notice/care. I absolutely LOVE & applaud the way that you stand up for yourself and do what you can to change this and send such a strong message out that this is NOT okay! I’m sure it feels like a losing battle sometimes, but please don’t give up! I can’t wait to see your tenacity and integrity rewarded when the whole world realizes what a talented and genuine designer and person are…keep persevering!
Thanks so much for your encouragement! Makes me feel slightly less insane for pursuing these things 😀
I was shocked by that Iris Apfel thing too — so strange!
That’s fantastic! So nice to know that people still know how to do the right thing.
Megan Mae says
I’m glad they worked with you! I know it is an uphill battle, but it’s really great they were able to own up to purchasing from a wholesaler and remove the product.
sulky kitten says
At least they did the right thing. I’d like it if you could track down the factory now.
Go get them, Wendy! The copy in Patricia Field’s website is a little too similar to your original rings, and I’m so glad that they’ve removed it.
Amber of Butane Anvil says
SO great when people do the right thing – hooray! These victories are such bright spots in the never-ending but necessary battle. Awesome news, Wendy!
Style Eyes says
So glad you got this sorted out! Such a shame that with popularity comes so much copying.
Lynne DeVenny (@ExpertParalegal) says
WendyB, you are my hero.
Susan Partlan says
Boy, I really hope you’re able to track down that design-stealing factory in china but imagine it’s like trying to find a needle in a hay stack. They’re probably working in a building with no signs or windows.
I’m familiar with tilting at windmills :).