Walking around the streets of Montreal, you may notice a few “Montreal uniform” staples.
Longchamp Le Pilage bags, Links of London Friendship bracelet, and Michael Kors EVERYTHING. Watches, bags, cuffs, boots, sandals, earrings.
This isn’t a new thing. The MK obsession in this city is a trend that began around 2010, but its worth nothing, because there is still no sign of slowing. And truthfully, I love me some MK boots.
As a mid-range fashion and accessories brand, Michael Kors staples are an integral part of the uniform in this city, especially in an around the McGill University campus (TBH, I suspect many of these uniform-wearers are student imports from the GTA rather than Montreal natives, but I stand to be corrected).
I’ve wanted to write this blog post for some time, because it would appear that other local retailers have taken note of this. Namely, Le Chateau.
I don’t want to hate on Le Chateau because its a Canadian company based out of Montreal. And I don’t mean to single them out, because there are many other retailers that do the same sort of thing, but I can’t help but notice that over the past few seasons, some of these things looks an awful lot like the other, amirite?
Which brings me to some troubling questions. Where is the line between imitation and inspired-by?
At what point does a inspiration or imitation become a knock-off?
Is Le Chateau copying Michael Kors, or is just a symptom of everyone copying everyone?
Is imitation the greatest form of flattery? Or, is it an easy way to get trends to the masses?
And, are we OK with it?
There is such a drive for consumerism, a need to have what everyone else has. To have THE boots, THE bag, THE watch. And, I’d venture to say the majority of consumers cannot afford a new MK (or Celine…or Chanel…) bag every season, so maybe less expensive “inspired-by” alternatives, allows everyone to have a piece of the pie, as part-and-parcel of the democratization of fashion.
What do you think?
For further reading, here are a few great articles on this subject: