Post # 1
So bees. Real life moral dilemma here. Help me out.
I found a dress that I’m thinking may be the dress. It’s beautiful and awesome (in the sense that it is worthy of awe) and it’s the first gown that I can really see myself wearing on my wedding day. The dress is made by this tiny little boutique who make all of their dresses by hand and produce amazing quality work. But, as you can imagine, that work is pretty expensive.
I can’t afford the dress but I love it so much that I just can’t let it go. I was thinking that maybe I could get it made up in China as many brides who can’t afford their dream dresses do. But I feel like that would be really wrong. I think it’s easier to rationalize doing something like this when you’re having a Maggie or a Casablanca made up -but this is a tiny little company that could easily fold if people take advantage of them and stealing their design…ugh I dn’t know.
I’m feeling extra guilty because I read a post on a blog I follow today about the seamstress author discovering one of the designs from her collection of beautiful organic fabric, high quality wedding dresses was stolen by J. Crew. I felt so made on her behalf and now I’m worried that by having this dress made up I’ll be contributing to the problem.
Is it okay to do this? What would you bees do if you were me?
ETA: I don’t mean any offense to bees who had their dresses made in China. I just feel like this is different to a big company who can afford to compete with sites who make up their dresses.
Post # 3
Is it possible to negotiate with the store since its so small?
Maybe tell them how much you love their designs but it’s out of your price range? They might be able to do a dress very similar to your dream dress but with less emblishments or slightly different materials to lower the cost.
Post # 4
@PinkPinstripes: That’s a great idea! The dress is kind of a lot out of my price range but I’d be willing to go a little over budget if I could maybe talk them down.
Post # 5
I have mixed feelings on the replica scene as it is. I am in another community chock full of amazing, talented, crafty people and often (Mostly on Etsy, but some people have experienced it “in real life” too) they have their designs and their product stolen, replicated and resold. It’s painful to have these people show up and go, “But if you really liked it, why didn’t you buy from me?” One even had to shut down her Etsy store because of it. No profits mean she simply couldn’t go on.
I understand wanting the dress of your dreams. I also understand that “the bridal world” is insanely inflated when it comes to prices. I don’t think it’s okay to “rip off” bigger companies simply because they’re bigger, but I don’t think it’s right to “rip off” the smaller guy, either. However, nothing is new under the sun. In a parallel universe, you could have your dress made by a replicator and it just so happened to resemble another dress with no “ripping off” intended.
I feel your pain. I fell in love with Verragio rings, but they were incredibly expensive. I also fell in love with two other rings which were also incredibly expensive. I borrowed elements from all three rings to make a custom ring of my very own. It isn’t an identical replica of any of the three, and I highly doubt anyone could pick a piece of it and say, “Hey, that belongs to [Other ring!]”
Justifying it for me was adding “my own touches” to it. Take it away from the original and add a piece of me and my own design to it. That way, it isn’t “ripping off” anyone, it’s simply taking things you like that you can’t find anywhere else and putting them all in one place.
Post # 6
@Ruby-Redshoes: I wish I had advice to offer! Maybe an Etsy seller could make something similar? Then at least you are still supporting a small business.
I’m curious about the shop though. I live in CA and my friend recently got her dress from a small boutique after falling in love with it, despite being out of her range. You aren’t in Pasadena are you?
Post # 7
While I think I understand why brides have replicas made, in reality it is theft of someone’s original design. I think the fact that it is a small boutique is making you more uncomfortable with the theft.
An analogy would be shoplifting. Whether you steal from WalMart or your local Mom and Pop store, it is stil theft.
Post # 8
I would keep looking. You don’t want to feel guilty about the dress you get married in!
Post # 9
I would either keep looking or see if you can get it for less either by negotiating or contacting the designer directly. I’ve seen episodes of Say Yes to the Dress (not sure how realistic that is) where they came down in price for the bride and I’ve read stories where the designer felt bad and sold it to the bride at cost. I think it’s admirable that you would rather buy the original than a Chinese copy and I’m sure the designer would appreciate that as well.
Post # 10
Would it actually be illegal to have a replica dress made? I know that has no bearing on whether or not it sits well with you, but it is not against the law to have a knockoff made in China since it won’t be hitting shelves in retail stores… As for whether or not it’s legal for an American business on Etsy to make a knockoff is another question. Does anyone know the exact laws about this
Post # 11
If it’s the quality and details that you love as opposed to just the overall general ‘look’ of this particular dress, I can promise you that receiving a cheap knock-off will be a huge disappointment.
Post # 12
@CorvusCorax: Legal or not it is morally and ethically wrong.
Post # 13
Well, I would get the dress I love.
Yes, mostly because the designer made that dress and I feel that she should be rewarded for her efforts.
Another thing is, replicas never come out the same. They…approximate. And cut corners. I don’t want an approximately similar but crappier version of the dress I love. I want the dress I love.
If I can’t afford the first dress I fall for, I’ll keep looking for a dress I love in my price range, or get one custom made (an original design). The replica route thing is not for me. Those 2 factors just don’t sit well with me at all.
There’s always this idea “I love it but I can’t afford it.” Well, there’s lots of things I love and can’t afford, but I don’t get cardboard cutouts of them or something 🙂 (Don’t you love my venue? This famous castle? Please, don’t lean on it, it’ll fall over. Oops, watch your drink!) Instead of thinking that way, there’s always a way to find something to love that works with the budget that you have.
Post # 14
@CorvusCorax: it’s not illegal in the US it’s only illegal to copy specific designs/logos for example the Louis Vuitton LV or the Chanel C’s
Post # 15
@Ruby-Redshoes: I totally get how you feel, and would feel the same! Plus, in my opinion, the replica dresses I see just never look as amazing as the original. Have you asked if you could purchase their sample?
Post # 16
I have two stances on this subject I think that both parties can be at fault. Sometimes the dress makers inflate their dresses to a ridiculous price which is not fair as much as it can be unfair to small businesses to copy their designs and put them out of business but this is usually a rare scenario but in your case I would be iffy about it too. Trying to talk them down would be the best way to go
Btw some replicas come out better than the original it just depends on the skill of the company or seamstress