There are many big names in the fashion industry who are not bothered by the fact that they are indulging in plagiarism. They lose sight of the moral aspect and ignore the fact that fashion in its truest form is an art.
It is so unfortunate that a number of pakistani designers have fallen for this negative trend and are becoming subject to plagiarism accusations.
The fashion bloggers have highlighted that two of Sapphire’s designs are exact replicas of artworks by Shelley Steer and Johanna Burai. Incidentally Shelley and Johanna work freelance and they are graphic designers based in London and Sweden. Shelley works from London and Johanna from Sweden.
When contacted Shelley and Johanna outrightly denied that their permission to use their designs had been sought by Sapphire. Communicating through Instagram, Shelley said, “I most certainly did not give permission. [It is] sad that people/companies think it’s alright to steal someone else’s hard work.” Burai shared similar sentiments, saying, “I had no idea as they [Sapphire] have not contacted me. A big company like theirs should be aware of things like this. This is my print and I make prints like this for big fashion companies and they pay me for it.” Quite rightly these designers have expressed strongly how bad they feel about the situation. One thing that can be appreciated is that the social posts have reached the attention of the local fashion fraternity. Diverse opinions appear on this plagiarism issue and many have pitched their opinions on the matter.
Another positive aspect that is noticeable is the attitude of Sapphire. Their rep, Khadija Shah admitted to using the designs of Johanna Burai for Sapphire products. He went on to say “We are a brand in our infancy and used the web or social media quite literally as a common-interest fashion resource for selecting patterns for our ready-to-wear range, as is the norm for all high-street brands in our country since there is no copyright or intellectual law in place here,”.
At the same time there are many other designers who plagiarize yet do not accept that they are indulging in this practice. In this connection we must compliment tribune for highlighting this unwanted and undesired act.