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Land’s End rips off belt design

If you’ve been a reader of mine since the Modcloth scandal of 2010, you know me as someone who will talk about problems I see within the fashion world, even if it leads to an employee leaving me cryptic messages (thanks IP tracking!). Because of that post, Modcloth removed the listing of one of those dresses, and also recognized me and my readers (as well as readers of The Gloss and others who profiled the problem) as a force to be reckoned with.

Recently, it has come to my attention that another company is doing something more devious than just pricing their poly-blend products at astronomical prices.

Land’s End has allegedly taken Kiel James Patrick’s belt design and is selling it as its own design, for about half as much. Here are the two designs, side-by-side:
belts

A little too similar to be a coincidence, right? They’re even laid out the same way, photographs taken in front of grey backgrounds.

Design stealing is, sadly, nothing new in the fashion world. I found this blog post about LL Bean stealing Eliza B sandal designs (quite brazenly, I might add). Last year, a similar controversy cropped up with US state necklaces and Urban Outfitters. In that case, Urban Outfitters removed the necklace from their site, but as April from Regretsy pointed out, there were many other sellers on Etsy with similar products, so who’s really the originator of the product?

In Kiel James Patrick’s (KJP) case, according to the statement he sent to Ivy Style, he’s not claiming to be the originator of a nautical belt, but created a hand-crafted, high-quality belt that took months to perfect. KJP also says that his designs are not sold to corporations, such as Land’s End, so their seemingly identical design was not created by him, nor is he receiving any payment for it.

We can argue if this is something that we think should go on in the fashion world or if we think it’s right/wrong, but that’s not where I’m taking this discussion. I want to call out Land’s End for their blatant rip-off of a small company (20 employees!), and I want them to remove the belt from their shelves.

As it’s noted on the Ivy Style site, designs cannot be copyrighted. But, most designers (indie or well-known) aren’t going to rip someone else off, because it can be traced, and everyone wants to be original. There is a difference between seeing someone else’s design, being inspired, and creating something you deem as better. Wouldn’t you want to have something better than someone else, not a blatant copy? (Again, I don’t want to argue about fast-fashion and all that - that is not the point of this post.)

Let’s make some waves. KJP already tried to comment on the Land’s End Facebook and Twitter, and Land’s End hasn’t responded. If you take a look at Land’s End’s website, you can leave comments and reviews for products. I suggest we all jump over there and leave comments on the belt, bringing the star (boat) value down to one. Tell them the design is stolen from a small business In Rhode Island. Let’s make Land’s End give us an answer. If they didn’t “steal” the design, there would be no reason for the silence, in my opinion.

By bringing the star value of the product down, and making sure others are aware that the design isn’t original to Land’s End, hopefully Land’s End will be forced to do something about the product (e.g. pull it from the shelves!).

Please head over to the Land’s End website and help KJP get the answers they deserve.

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4 thoughts on “Land’s End rips off belt design

  1. I agree with what you are saying but I will say this having come from the Art world. There are no original ideas. BUT people do copy all the damn time and it isn’t cool.

    When I was in college in 2001. I came out with a line of T-shirt. I bought byhillary in 2002 because I wanted to sell them online. I thought I made the idea up, they were really fun and people on campus seemed to like them.

    Fast forward about 3 years and Urban Outfitter was selling something similar. Of course I was ripshit but did they honestly see me? How? I like to believe they did but I dunno is it my ego..

    And this. This I admit is a big claim but whatever I am all about building my own ego today. In 2007 I took a Storytellers class. I wrote a mock screenplay treatment. I then did a group project and we storyboarded it me and two other girls and we did a whole big semester project with my idea. (I still have the drawings on flickr. They suck but the idea is there) So last year they were a filming a movie right down the street from my work. I heard people talking about it. I was DUMBFOUNDED. My stupid movie idea that I had been elaborately been formulating since May 2003 when I got this teddy bear I named Calvin P Higginbottom, well they made a DAMN MOVIE that sounded just like my class project. Of course instantly assumed my teacher sold the idea beacuse schools own your projects. I was so upset. But realisticlly did that happen? It might of but did it? Or is someone just as warped in the head as me they had the exact same idea and have enough pull (ahem seth mcfarland) and made a movie out of it.

    My point is so lost at this point. Cause I know for sure these clothing companies are stealing ideas. I can’t tell you how much “marc jacobs” i see at Forever 21. It sucks. MARK an avon company had a necklace in in 2006 very similar to now the famous “j crew” necklace.

    Ok I will shut up now. OY.

    • LOL. I know what you’re saying, and it’s something that happens ALL THE TIME in the fashion world. I’m not trying to argue that, I’m just trying to call out Land’s End for it, you know, help the “little guy” fight his fight.
      I’m sure part of the “problem” is that you can’t copyright a design. No one can own the right to a peplum skirt. IMO, the importance of fashion is todo something origina with that peplum skirt, to make it unique.

  2. Miss Suze, I always agree with you but this one is a stretch. I could not even read the post in it’s entirety. These belts are not even close to being the same. Similar yes, but the same NO! You can tell just in the images that the designer belt is far superior in quality and design. Also I have almost the exact same belt sitting in my draw from 2010 and another from 1980′s that I stole from my mom. So did Kiel James Patrick steal the design from my 2010 or 1980′s belt? Also with the whole state necklaces they were showing those at market a whole 2 years before the whole Urban Outfitters thing happened. I even twitted about it… Well I will finish reading this post in its entirety and maybe you will sway my opinion…

    • I agree that KJP’s belt is far superior (and I’m guessing you have a MUCH better eye than I do for fashion), they look nearly identical to me. KJP did say that he doesn’t think he’s the creater of this belt design, but the Land’s End version looks too similar to his to NOT be a copy. I would feel differently if it didn’t have a plaid interior, or a different colored leather strap.
      However, I do think this is something that happens very often and is very common in the fashion industry. But that doesn’t make it fair or OK.
      But, then again, life isn’t fair! :)

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