Meat & Greet
At its core, the Big Apple is just a small town. Last weekend, I attended the grand opening of Project Runway contestant Emmett McCarthy's new boutique at the invitation of none other than my extraordinary octogenarian butcher, Moe Albanese, who also happens to be Emmett's landlord. Although the obvious pun would involve meat markets, Emmett's St. Paddy's Day launch was actually an enthusiastic family affair, complete with his proud mother passing hors d'oeuvres and collecting compliments.
The presence of two such creative but different designers (along with fellow contestant Kara Janx, who's already been copied) made me think about -- what else? -- the uneven levels of protection against knockoffs. Emmett designs beautiful and classic pieces that, apart from their labels, have barely a hope of intellectual property protection. (It's a bit ironic that scientific formulae like the store's moniker aren't subject to protection either.) Diana's technology-meets-fashion pieces, on the other hand, may qualify as "inventions" eligible for patent protection, assuming that the length of the process (a couple of years, give or take) and the expense don't make such applications impractical. Query: assuming the law doesn't change, how will such incentives affect the future of the industry?
Congratulations to both Emmett and Diana -- and be sure to check out the boutique!