Fashion plagiarism at its best!

04:54 PM | 3 Jun, 2015
Fashion plagiarism at its best!
KARACHI (Maliha Khan) - In the land of poorly implemented laws, Pakistanis are shamelessly plagiarising left, right and center in the name of 'inspiration' and 'tribute'.

One such guilty designer who recently came under the spotlight is Nida Khurram, who launched her latest "luxury" Swiss lawn collection, only to be publicly humiliated on social media by the original illustrator of the designs (Antonio Soares from Portugal).

Absolute disgust

In her (pathetically poor) defense, the collection is titled "Tribute to the Fashion Illustrators".

When one pays a tribute to someone else's work, common sense dictates basic etiquette be followed, like acquiring the original owner's permission, actually honouring them, and taking their work forward in ways that make them feel proud, rather than 'disgusted'.

If in fact you're making loads of quick, easy bucks off of someone else's hours of effort and creativity, then the least you could do is not insult yourself (if not your fellow countrymen) further.

By definition, plagiarism is copying someone else's work and passing it off as one's own, without any credit or reference whatsoever to the original author/designer/owner. If this is what you need to resort to, to make your business 'ventures profitable', as an optimistic Khurram was reported to have commented upon the launch of the now notorious collection, then surely it sheds sufficient light on the scope and extent of your own professionalism and talent (rather, lack thereof).

Now interestingly, there is such a thing called Appropriation in Art, whereby one can use someone else's work with minimal to zero alteration, and still 'get away' with it. The catch, however, is that the new work of art must recontextualise the original work that is being 'borrowed'. That is, the old piece of work may still be intact in itself but the new piece of art is acceptable in its new form if the entirety of the message and purpose changes. Additionally, the idea or concept in question should not fall under public domain.

Moreover, the two pieces of work should not be in direct and/or close competition with each other. There are several cases where people have apparently earned thousands off others' work and without serious legal trouble.

In the case of such Pakistani instances, however, quite a few observations make one doubtlessly conclude that something is indeed fishy. First and foremost, the fact that a lot of these illustrations were meant for international clothing and accessories brands, have been copied by a local clothing brand, closes any possible gap on the competition front as far as the definition of appropriation art goes.

Secondly, the context had not sufficiently changed by incorporating illustrations used in/meant for clothing brands such as Chanel. Not even close.

Furthermore, half-wit attempts to save face by saying things like, "It doesnt say inspired its a TRIBUTE, the illustrators should be proud that their work is shown to the world and liked and praised, we never owned the illustrations....", and then hastening to remove such public comments (the status seen in image below was removed shortly after it was posted), only confirms the desperation to mint money off someone else's work trying to pass it off as own. It clearly demonstrates a lack of knowledge and understanding of art and fashion, making one wonder whether the major requirement to become a fashion designer here is mere money and name, rather than education, training, and talent.

Inspiration much?


If indeed one understands and acknowledges that one does not own the illustrations, how could one possibly believe one could get away with selling someone else's intellectual property without having to face the music? How blatantly unethical can it get to use someone else's effort for personal commercial gain, with no credit or monetary share going to the owner?

These are signs of a hollow economy, desperate to achieve something or the other in the short run, without any investment in the long term. This huge, looming shadow of shame and shamelessness is a thorough  reflection on the system as a whole that has failed on so many fronts, be it the business sector or the law enforcers, that to piece back our tarnished reputation is next to impossible.

Maliha is a fashion blogger.


Pakistani rupee exchange rate to US dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 26 Feb 2024

Pakistani currency remains stable against US dollar in the open market on February 26, 2024 (Monday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.

Euro currently stands at 302 for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 26 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.5 282.55
Euro EUR 302 305
UK Pound Sterling GBP 352.5 356
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.1 76.8
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.35 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.88 751.88
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.76 36.11
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.1 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.79 917.79
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 726.53 734.53
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 317.87 320.37
Thai Bhat THB 7.79 7.94


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