One of my favourite bloggers, Jessica Stein from Tuula, sporting a Givenchy Rottweiler Tee
By now, most people will have come across the Givenchy Rottweiler. Ricardo Tisci's Rottweiler first made an appearance in Givenchy's Menswear F/W '11 collection, before making its way into the Womenswear Pre-Fall 2012 RTW collection, this time in the form of a photo taken by Ralph. A. Clevenger. Bloggers the world over have been seen sporting a Rottweiler top, not to mention celebrities, from Liv Tyler to Kanye West. Tisci's idea has successfully bridged the gap between hip-hop and hollywood.
It will come as no surprise that the Rottweiler has been copied to death. A design this popular, and this easy to copy, is a dream for knock-off maestros. However, I was very surprised to find that a British brand, Doll Boutique, who recently premiered their own label on their website, decided to produce their own copy.
Givenchy Menswear Fall 2011
Givenchy Womenswear Pre-Fall 2012 RTW
Doll Boutique Bad Dog Jewel Sweatshirt
I hardly need to point out that Doll Boutique's offering is identical to Givenchy's Pre-Fall design in every way except for the fact that they have used a sweatshirt instead of a t-shirt. What perplexes me is that Doll Boutique had not updated their website for what seemed like several months while they were preparing their new collection. Surely the point of a new collection is to exercise your creative freedom to design whatever you want? Instead, their debut collection does not bode well for the future if all they can manage is a copy of a much-loved Givenchy design.
There are legal questions at issue here which potentially interlink. First, the obvious knock off of the Givenchy design. While a design itself cannot be protected by law, Givenchy has edited Clevenger's photo, and therefore Givenchy may have copyright protection. Secondly, does Doll Boutique have Clevenger's permission to use his photo on their sweater?
A friend pointed out that girls not interested in high fashion would not know that this sweater is a Givenchy knock off. However, Doll Boutique has long been known as one of only two retailers of Jeffrey Campbell shoes, and it could therefore be argued that their target market is in fact the fashion-savvy. This adds weight to the argument that they sell this sweater because they know that their customers will recognise it as Givenchy, rather than selling it because they think it's a cool design.
I emailed both Givenchy and Clevenger last week, and although I have not received a response from either, I am not bothered, as Doll Boutique's sweater has now been listed as 'SOLD OUT'. Interesting, considering the rest of their new collection is still available...
I'm going to go ahead and call this a victory for Redhead Talkin'!