A new way of exploiting your Intellectual Property

November 3, 2020, By

70’s fashion is distinct and notorious. This was in no small part contributed to by the fact that a lot of people including teenagers made their own clothes.

In the time before fast fashion and any digital distraction you could buy a pattern and fabric on a Saturday morning and have something to wear out in the evening. In recent times it has become surprisingly difficult to buy dress patterns and materials. It can involve a major trek around town to find what you want, only to decide that it’s all too much effort when you can just buy what you are looking for and be done with it.

Against that background it was nice to read that during the Covid 19 lockdown Harry Styles fans with time on their hands, who could not afford the colourful cardigan he sported on The Today Show, set about knitting their own. It may be that these copied cardies were not being churned out by a factory in China and being sold online, but something rather beautiful happened.

Instead of taking offence and screaming ‘intellectual property infringement’ the label JW Anderson that designed the cardigan released the pattern online. JW are reported to have said they are humbled by the trend and really wanted to show their appreciation. They even asked that knitters ‘Keep it up’.

Other fashion labels have followed trend. Could we be seeing a renaissance for home knitted, homemade clothes? Might this be a good way for designers to build a loyal customer base among a younger set who can’t afford their clothes right now but who may be lifelong fans who will be valuable over time.

Even the Harry Styles cardigan made by JW Anderson looks, may I say a little homemade and dare I say it 70’s. Now where are those knitting needles.

Written by Margaret Briffa, Solicitor

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