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Last week, there was a lot of discourse around whether Balenciaga copied Menace's Hoodie Tote Bags. I think Steven is totally valid in saying that and calling them out given it's Balenciaga and since we know that the emerging smaller/designers of today are on a lot of the moodboards for the bigger companies to get inspired by or sometimes to just flat out copy.

But here's what got me thinking, as people joined the conversation, it turned out two brands also made something similar BEFORE Menace. These turned out to be Margialela and Headless. This begs the question can an idea ever be original?

Fashion is so huge coming with a lot of pressure for designers to "be original" and to create something "new" that "stands out". But is that seriously possible? I've seen (and been in) cases where I genuinely believe things weren't copies and that it's more of a matter of great minds thinking alike. This is very valid. Fashion has so many great creatives the potential of similar ideas being recreated by different designers is very possible. I think its unfair to claim that Steven copied the brands that did it before him (ie great minds think alike) but when it comes to whether Balenciaga copied Steven, I can also see both sides of the coin in the sense that It could've been another case of great minds thinking alike but also very much so Balenciaga x Under Armour flat out copying Steven. Big fashion companies literally have people who scroll social media for new ideas etc, why do you think Shein gets away with everything?

The last notion I want to touch on that's the hardest pill to swallow is that sometimes it's not about who did it first, but instead, who did it best. I've found that people will always have a bias toward the party that did it the best, which is an unfortunate case but the best are always remembered and somewhat seen as the originators. This is where the lines of "inspiration" and "references" become blurred because how much needs to change for it to be a new idea? Now Virgil's 3% rule comes into play with this but this idea may need its own separate post.

What do you think about this bitter pill? Let me know. Also, comment your opinions on the whole situation below.


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