Young designer Yasmin Kianfar accuses Topshop of copying one of her designs, and they remove it from their website.
BY ALICIA WAITE | 16 MARCH 2012
Left: A dress from Yasmin Kianfar's spring/summer 2011 collection. Right: Topshop's £60 laser cut dress.
Becoming a successful designer in the already-saturated fashion world is hard enough as it is, but when huge high-street retail organisations come along and swallow up your designs, things must look even more bleak than usual. And a bleak day it must be for designer Yasmin Kianfar today, who woke up to discover that high-street giant Topshop are selling a dress remarkably similar to one of her own.
Posting "When bad things happen to good designers #Topshopstealsdesigns" on her Twitter page this morning, the 24-year-old British designer added a picture of a dress from Topshop's "Dress Me Up" range which bears a striking resemblance to one of Kianfar's spring/summer 2011 designs, albeit in a different colour.
The distress call didn't fall on deaf ears: Susie Bubble, popular blogger, journalist and champion of young design talent rallied immediately with a succession of tweets urging Topshop to take the £60 dress off the website: "It's not the first time I've asked high-street retailers to take down designs that copy young designers so here goes... Yasmin Kianfar S/S 11 vs @Topshop current lazer cut dress? Come on @Topshop ,@YasminKianfar is too small a designer to be aping. I say, take it down!"
Kianfar, who graduated from Central Saint Martins to much critical acclaim, has carved out a name as one to watch despite having only released four small collections. Stocked exclusively at Browns and on their website brownsfashion.com for the past two seasons, the designer's delicate laser-cutting has become her signature feature, and though the process is not used only by her, it's difficult to deny the similarities between Kianfar's and Topshop's designs.
But all is not in vain: numerous retweets of Bubble's request and cries for Topshop to remove the item were finally answered this afternoon when Topshop's managing director, Mary Homer announced the following:
"The style in question has been removed from sale with immediate effect. We apologise for any misinterpretation of the design and its similarity to Yasmin Kianfar's work."
That's one important point to young British designers.