Did Givenchy Really Just Knock Off Wil Fry’s Knock-Off?

Has Riccardo Tisci reached a new low? Wil Fry's "expensive" pattern, created via a collage of various high-end designer tags, has certainly been one of 2013's most buzzed about streetwear designs, yet we could have never guessed that it would transcend the small Internet-based community of streetwear into the big, bad world of IRL high-fashion as it apparently has in the designs of Givenchy's Pre-Fall 2013 womenswear collection. It seems that the Tisci removed all of the branding from Fry's design (for obvious legal reasons), abstracting it into a simple geometric print. That's all it seems to be to the uneducated eye, but as the colors and shapes are virtually the same, the similarities of the two designs are almost impossible not to see (especially when you step back far enough for the names on the tags in Fry's pattern to disappear).

In the past, Tisci has expressed his admiration for fashion parody T-shirts and in general is a fan of streetwear's ability to connect with young people across the world. In fact, his graphic-print garments are often considered more streetwear than high-fashion to begin with. After all, they are the staple du jour of today's hip-hop stars more than anything. Perhaps Tisci felt that by reverse-knocking off the "expensive" pattern, he was taking back the power from a designer who was leveraging his brand amongst others to sell a product This isn't the first time Fry has used Givenchy for his cause, previously adopting the labels "Birds Of Paradise" pattern for his now infamous bootleg Brooklyn Nets jersey.

So, while it's true that this appropriation game can work in both directions, the real question is, should it? Givenchy is a storied fashion house with vast resources, making Tisci in this case come across as lazy designer at best and a petty jokester at worst. It is not his job to get caught up in tongue-in-cheek world of streetwear, but to create the newest and best designs in the world. If people decide to appropriate his original work, he should take it at a sign that he is simply doing his job. By stooping to this level he is giving us no choice but to believe that independent designers are doing work that is in fact more relevant than his own.

10 Responses to “Did Givenchy Really Just Knock Off Wil Fry’s Knock-Off?”

  1. fuckinyehdotcom

    Nothing is sacred. Good for Wil Fry. Good for Ricardo Tisci. Reminds me of the Art Jacobs fiasco, it’s nice when the designers engage with their audience; it’s like a little tip of the hat.

  2. WAVY

    ”It is not his job to get caught up in tongue-in-cheek world of streetwear, but to create the newest and best designs in the world” lol

  3. Man...

    Only tongue in cheek here is when it’s moved aside by Wil Fry’s dick in Jake Woolf’s mouth. Stop sucking of influencers for cool points woolfie.

    • Lawrence

      Dear What up dawg/Man…,

      Stop posting under multiple usernames to seem important.

      We Can See Your IP Addresses

  4. @MickeyKnox

    This is the new thing Versace’s doing it with M.I.A and versus. And now Givenchy, (which he ripped off in this idea, that they both ripped off from wil and other customizers) But I’d kinda rather buy real then pay some dude almost the same amount, for a knock off.

  5. cher_guevara

    If you haven’t heard the NPR podcast of Planet Money’s episode on the ways design trends and motifs get appropriated and morphed, I really recommend it. Basically, they take the position that design trends move fast and is fueled by copying, and the scramble to be seen as “new” ultimately works out for the benefit of everyone. (search for Planet Money, episode 457 – Why Pink?)


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