“Is Anything Ever New?” Student Perceptions of Design Piracy in their Apparel Design Work
and as Consumers
The purpose of this study was to better understand fashion design students’ beliefs and perceptions of the practice of design piracy. Different from counterfeiting when objects are fraudulently branded with a designer’s name or logo, design piracy is the unauthorized copying of another manufacturer’s or designer’s styles. Design piracy of apparel is possible within the United States because intellectual property rights do not protect clothing designs (Magdo, 2000). As early as 1910, Women’s Wear (now Daily) described the practice as the “copying evil.” Since the early nineteen hundreds, over eighty bills have been submitted to Congress to limit the practice. Groups such as the Fashion Originators’ Guild of America (FOGA) were created, in part, to end the practice (Marcketti & Parsons, 2006).