Fast fashion’s success is built on imitating fashion; the quicker this imitation happens, the more market trends that have formed from the seasons of fashion arrive and disseminate across society.The main issue is that outstanding designs are constantly being copied and turned into subpar copies of themselves. A obvious duplicate of one of the pieces from the collaboration between Y/Project and Jean-Paul Gaultier for the brand’s FW22 collection has recently been made available for purchase by Fashion Nova, which has put on sale a fitted sheath dress with a “thermal” print of a naked female torso. Just minutes after it debuted on the catwalk, the outfit went viral because it was a replica of a vintage Gaultier print that had been widely duplicated.In addition, the Spanish designer Sergio Castao Pea, who drew inspiration from Gaultier for his designs, claimed that a similar print, that of the naked dress created by Gaultier and Lotta Volkova, was a work of plagiarism.
This isn’t even the first time Fashion Nova has imitated Jean Paul Gaultier; in 2020, a pair of Fashion Nova t-shirts and trousers featured a vintage-style print that was a ripoff of the Billet de Banque print that debuted in Gaultier’s SS94, the renowned tattoo collection, as well as a fitted dress covered in an oriental print that went on to become a trend.Without even mentioning how Fashion Nova, who has always replicated John Galliano’s Newspaper Dress for Dior FW00 and which was earlier copied by Zara, still has a dress with a print of newspaper titles in their catalog. The most recent instance, however, involves Glenn Martens’ outfit. In this case, copying is blatantly obvious, and the dress also closely resembles the original from Y/Project in terms of the designs and colors – albeit with more faded hues. Issey Miyake Homme Plissé has recently been a popular quick fashion company, however most Twitter users have noticed a trend of historical pieces from the early 2000s that have been plagiarized. The primary victims are the aforementioned Gaultier, Versace, and Moschino.
Fast fashion, as they used to call it, imitates current trends on a regular basis in the fashion industry. Despite this, the primary issue is fashion culture rather than sales: it is obvious that Fashion Nova’s dress will be the most popular among young consumers as it is only $24 and not the outrageously expensive as Y/Project dress. And precisely because of this diffusion, hundreds or thousands of young consumers will be persuaded that the print is just another Fashion Nova graphic without being able to fully understand the culture behind it or, in any case, downplaying the depth and cultural significance that are relevant to Gaultier’s work. And many people claim that celebrities wearing Jean-Paul Gaultier, such as Kim Kardashian, Cardi B, or most lately Ester Expósito, make the designer appear cheap and “straight off the Fashion Nova rack,” as one user put it. Instead, fast fashion companies imitate classic designs when celebrities make them popular; it is no accident that at least two of Fashion Nova’s stolen garments were imitated after Kim Kardashian wore them.
Who will be the next victim in the fashion industry?