"No, we're not talking about the fraud of misrepresenting lingerie or other garments or using their logos and labels; but we're talking about cheaper versions of designer pieces.
...Fashion has had knock-offs since it began. And let's be honest; there really are few design innovations in fashion because the human form hasn't really changed. True innovations in textiles and structure are patented and protected. But the look and details can't be protected, not even the red soles of women's shoes. And, overall, they shouldn't be. For, like recipes, you can't protect something nearly anyone can come up with. Or can become inspired by, such as vintage looks. (Heaven knows how much of this "inspired by the past" has played a part in fashion design history.)
Don't mistake this for downplaying the significance of designers or their work. But there are realities to be faced. And that includes, as Coral aka Treacle noted, options for garments and undergarments, including less expensive pieces and a wider spectrum of sizes and fit. Fashion as an industry survives by meeting the needs of all, not a (somewhat literal) slim few."
Fashion retailers, brands and manufacturers are facing a "moving target" when it comes to garment sizing and fit. A focus on changing consumer shapes, communication with both offshore factories and customers, pattern blocks and fit forms, as well as processes and training are all needed now if the industry is to prevent problems in the future, say leading executives.
Clothing brands and retailers are "facing a moving target" when it comes to sizing and fit, and that target "is moving faster than ever," according to Ed Gribbin, president of fit specialist Alvanon.
Speaking at a conference organised by the Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry (ASBCI) last week, he explained part of the problem is due to the fact that consumers are constantly changing shape.
Around 40% of the US population is likely to be obese by 2025, according to Gribbin, and the UK is not far behind at 35%.
"As we tend to gain weight, we tend to morph our body shape, making pattern cutting, sizing and fit a particular challenge for the retailers and brands today," he said.
Other issues compounding the problem include high number of stock-keeping units (SKUs), seasonal innovation, the need for shorter time to market - and the fact "there is no one definition of fit."