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The President's War on Copying

To kick off New York Fashion Week, Wall Street Journal reporter Teri Agins asked fashion icon and CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg a few questions about the state of the industry.  Here's what DVF had to day about the counterfeit question:

WSJ:  What are the biggest challenges facing the industry today?

Ms. von Furstenberg:  .... Another problem is counterfeiting and how quickly they just replicate designs from fashion shows.  They copy you, and it gets into the market before you even ship.

WSJ:  Why is the American fashion industry pushing for copyright protection for apparel makers in the U.S.?

Ms. von Furstenberg:  At first, my attitude was, "Oh well, my clothes are copied everywhere.  There's nothing you can do."  And then I started to see how they pull it from fashion shows and copy it.  You can see it on eBay.  I started to say you have got to have some rules.  You have to do something.

Laws are created to intimidate people [with the threat of litigation], to tell them no, you don't do that.  The more I talked about it, the more I realized this is good for everybody.  Even if you can't stop everything, they wouldn't be boasting about it.  By passing a law and protecting design, you elevate the whole industry.

WSJ:  People argue that copying propels the fashion cycle because it creates trends.

Ms. von Furstenberg:  You will still have trends.  Why all of a sudden is everything yellow?  Why all of a sudden do young girls wear combat boots?  It starts from the street.  That's the mystery of fashion.