Piracy as a Common Business Model for Fashion Design

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Discussion

Massimo Menichelli in Business Models for DIY Craft‎‎ :

"The business models of Fashion Design can take a secret form, that has a direct connection with the Open Culture and that can be useful for building new business models for DIY Craft: piracy. Like Shanzai in China, we actually have more innovation and economic revenues when all the actors of a manufacturing ecosystem collaborate and share knowledge and project, and this shows that Open Source and Piracy are indeed a viable business model.

Kal Raustiala and Christopher Sprigman described the importance of copying in the Fashion Design ecosystem really well in their article “The Piracy Paradox: Innovation and Intellectual Property in Fashion Design”: there are no copyright or patent protections in Fashion Design, there are only trademark protections. This means that any wear or fashion product can be copied entirely, except for the brand. The lack of copyright actually accelerates creativity and innovation: one side effects of a culture of copying is the faster establishing of trends and the faster induced obsolescence, leading to more sales and revenue, and to more creativity and innovation (because the life cycle of a fashion design is increasingly shorter). Look for example at Fast Fashion brands like Zara and H&M, which are benefiting from this, copying famous high-end fashion designs and manufacturing them at lower prices (for a different market than the high end one).

Even Johanna Blakley at TEDxUSC 2010 explained what all creative industries can learn from fashion’s free culture (more informations here). Further resources are Chris Sprigman’s podcast and David Bollier’s and Laurie Racine’s report."


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