Mexico: Haute Couture Versus Fast Fashion

Last Updated: 18 September 2019
Article by Giovanna Gamba

Nowadays, we live in an era in which fashion changes and evolves in a blink of an eye. This constant changes in fashion are mostly within the fast fashion industry; while luxury and haute couture brands tend to move at a slower pace. The products fashion brands in general offer to the public, directly respond to a series of elements that are part of the before and after processes.

The gap between fast fashion brands and luxury ones falls mainly in the costs behind the manufacturing of the products. The expenses are the result of the amounts of money invested in the trademark and other types of intellectual property protection, workforce, quality of the materials used, the compliance of environmental legislations, etc.

Big fashion luxury houses are investing in their own anti counterfeiting teams to try to eradicate the increasingly infringements against their brands and designs. More companies now are trying to become greener, as there are emerging consumer groups demanding more environmentally conscious manufacturing and fabrics.

There have been brands like "American Apparel" that distinguish themselves from others for being more environmentally friendly and socially conscious by having local workforce and local fabrics. This brand was not a fast fashion one, as this company's values would make the costs of the products higher.

Regardless of all the dangers and negative consequences fast fashion leads to, many consumers always look for the cheapest option. These types of consumers see the consumption of fast fashion as being smarter and taking advantage of the lower price.

Luxury and Haute Couture brands set higher prices as a result of exclusivity, higher quality and craftsmanship, an intellectual property registration and protection, among others.

These types of fashion companies comply with the highest standards in all of their manufacturing phases, going from the highest fabric to having a legal and experienced workforce that mostly manufactures by hand delivering unique products. It is because of this that these types of products require a longer time for being produced and delivered to their sale point.

In opposition to the above-mentioned, fast fashion misappropriates a considerable amount of designs and other types of registered copyrights. We have been following the legal battles between fashion brands like Gucci Vs. Forever 21, Louis Vuitton Vs. Amazon sellers, and also Aquazzura Vs. Ivanka Trump's shoe line.

The before mentioned high fashion and luxury brands have been hit by a wave of counterfeits being sold on Amazon, fast fashion brands selling replicas of iconic designs, etc.

In the case of Aquazzura vs. Ivanka Trump, the counterfeit claim falls in the replica by Trump of the Wild Thing Sandal of Aquazzura, which is the iconic shoe design of Aquazzura´s trademark, being also their most sold shoe. The ranges between the prices and craftsmanship are obviously very distant apart from one another.

Therefore in June 2016, Aquazzura filed a trade dress infringement action law suit against Ivanka Trump, for copying their "WILD THING" sandal.

As the shoe itself is not a trade dress as we know it, the Italian shoe designer filed a new claim after arguing Trump also copied a shoe design named Christy, which had a patent protection.

In Mexico we still have a long road ahead regarding the protection these types of industry needs.

Our laws do not explicitly extend their protection to trade dress like the United States has. Fashion Law is a new niche that requires experts and a broader copyright protection and penalization.

Our piracy awareness campaigns have to change from the shameful speech to alerting the public of the legal and other type of consequences counterfeiting implies.

At Iberbrand, we always try to be on the right side of the balance and support and protect designers.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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