Fashion Tips From Chuck Schumer

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China-baiter Chuck Schumer understands the real danger Red China poses to our fragile republic: fake Kate Spade bags. And–surprise!–he has come up with a solution:

Designers Nicole Miller and Narciso Rodriguez joined Sen. Charles Schumer and others on Wednesday, pressing for a law to battle cheap fashion imitations, saying their works should be protected by copyright laws just like any other creative art.

"Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it's bad for our fashion industry here in New York," said Schumer, D-N.Y., one of the sponsors of the Design Piracy Prohibition Act, introduced in the U.S. Senate on Aug. 2.

Over at The New Republic, UCLA law professor Kal Raustiala patiently explains, once again, why that Forever 21 version of the Vera Wang original is a good thing:

The answer lies in something that we all know instinctively about fashion. As Shakespeare put it in Much Ado About Nothing, "The fashion wears out more apparel than the man." That is, people don't buy new clothes because they need them–they buy them to keep up with the latest style.

The fashion industry responds to our desires by churning out new designs at a rapid clip. But fashion designers don't maroon themselves on a desert island to create their work. Designers pay close attention to the work of their peers, and they love to mine the past for ideas. When they see something that they like, they copy it–or, in the argot of the industry, they "reference" it…

The result is the fashion industry's most sacred concept: the trend. Copying makes trends, and trends are what sell fashion.

I covered similar ground back in 2005, when Schumer was complaining about the same.

NEXT: Consumed

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  1. Extending copyright into an area where trademark and fraud laws already cover the problem is a bad idea. If they aren’t going to enforce the laws already on the books, what good is another statute going to do? Oh yeah, that’s right, it’ll be expanded by lawyers and judges until creativity is stifled. Silly me.

  2. Counterfit jeans?

  3. Democrats protect the powerless again. Thanks for standing up Chuck.

  4. I’m waiting for Schumer to demand the adoption of the Candlemaker’s Petition.

  5. It’s fitting that both “Schumer” and “Wang” appear in the same story.

  6. But gee I don’t understand? How can anyone make money designing clothes without copyright protection? The same way the music industry will go instantly silent when they can no longer enforce theirs.

  7. Warren: trademark, old chap. Trademark.

  8. Maybe this will finally convince middle-class America that Democrats are on their side.

  9. Reason #1588 to ban Levi’s.

  10. People, unless a new law is put in place, we will no longer be able to purchase a $1500 cocktail dress! They’ll all be $15, and how will we be able to party with our peers in such inexpensive frocks?!? Where’s the outrage?

  11. Dang, at last I get to be the first to make the Simpsons reference! Who can forget Homer’s impassioned speech condemning counterfeit jeans:

    “Herman, how could you? We’ve all thought about counterfeiting jeans at one time or another, but what about the victims? Hard-working designers, like Calvin Klein, Gloria Vanderbilt, or Antoine Bugle Boy. These are the people who saw an overcrowded marketplace and said, ‘Me, too!'”

  12. Now I understand. Chuck Schumer can’t deal with a minor nit like the Iraq war.

    Not while he has these truly momentous issues to deal with.

  13. Isaac,

    I’m sure he would stop the war, but those durn Republicans keep stymying him and his copartisans by forcing them to vote for more war funding and authorize warrantless wiretapping.

  14. At least the senior Senator from NY isn’t showing any cleavage. There are some of us here in NY who just feel we need to apologize for both of them. Repeatedly. Vociferously. In perpetuity. Sorry. Sorry. And again, sorry.

  15. Now just hold on, everyone. There’s actually a fashion designer named “Narciso”?

  16. *sigh*. Too bad we can’t have a rule saying ” you say a mindboggingly stupid thing as a politician and lose your seat.” I knew that 90% of politicians don’t understand the Constitution or how our government operates. Now I discover at least some of them don’t have the foggiest idea about IP, either.

    I usually vote Democratic, but throw this idiot out.

  17. Fashion Tips Tits From Chuck Schumer. Why else do you think they call him “ol’ fashion tits”?

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