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Karmic Relief

Earlier this week, the master "minimalist with heat" Narciso Rodriguez announced the sale of a 50% stake in his company to Liz Claiborne, a move engineered by friends in the industry to alleviate the designer's financial woes. 

At the same time, Gap's unsuccessful attempt to appeal to baby boomers, Forth & Towne, saw the beginning of the end.  The website has shut down, and the shops will soon follow. 

From Counterfeit Chic's perspective, both events are worthy of celebration.

Narciso is not only a major modern talent but also a charming individual -- not to mention the answer to the all-important question, "What's a girl to wear to testify before Congress?"  Forth & Towne is (or was), shall we say, somewhat less than original in its offerings.  Below left, a Narciso Rodriguez creation from Spring 2006, in natural linen piped in black (and reversible to solid black); below right, the F&T version from Spring 2007. 

Of course, Narciso Rodriguez is no stranger to being copied.  One notorious knockoff artist alone sold 80,000 copies of the dress that made Narciso a household name, a custom-made wedding gown for Carolyn Bessette Kennedy that was intended to be one of a kind.  With a record like that, it's no wonder that so many of his other designs have been poached over the years. 

Still, every now and then justice is done.  The creative designer wins, the copyist is vanquished, and everyone lives happily ever after.  Until the next time.