Lolita Brand Replicas, Counterfeits, and Knock-offs

This is a pretty hot issue at the moment, and is also one of Lolita's most notorious dead horses. I can hear the groans already, but let's get out the beatin' sticks, because I'm about to drag this dead horse out again! For the sake of clarification, when I talk about "replicas" I am talking about what most Lolitas mean when they talk about replicas, and that is the illegal counterfeit kind that feature directly copied, copyrighted and protected by law, art and logos, that is print replicas. I am not talking about dress A that just so happens to look like dress B, because we all know that you can't put a trademark or a copyright on where you want to put your bows, but you can indeed put one art and logos. In fact, they happen automatically, for everyone, professional or not, as soon as the art has been created.


I have been asked before, on both my Tumblr and Formspring, what I think about replicas, and generally my answer has been something along the lines of "You can do whatever you want to do, but I am not a fan of them", but because of the hot issue around the replica debate, I tended to shy away from elaborating on why I am not a fan of replicas. However, in recent months, especially after the ban EGL placed on discussing and selling replicas, I have been a little bit more vocal about my opinions on the matter.

I'd like to start this post by mentioning that I didn't always feel this way about replicas, there was a time when replicas first started to really be made that I didn't mind them and thought they were a good idea for people to sort of "test drive" styles, or for those "I like it, but I don't $300 like it" pieces. However, at this time there were a very small handful of replicas and very few people owned them. In short, it simply wasn't a big deal. Fast forward to now and replicas are a huge deal. Replicas are no longer just being made of long-sold-out prints or considered just another option, but groups for preordering replicas are being made while the original is still in reserve. People are buying originals with the intent to send to replica makers so that they can then produce dozens of replicas on-demand. Replicas are no longer just another option, but are often times considered the only other option besides brand. After the replica ban went down on EGL, so many people started asking "But what am I supposed to wear?!" and I was just flabbergast at that. Simply put, replicas had become such a huge part of the Lolita community that many people simply didn't know that there was anything other there besides brand and replicas. So think of this post as a sort of continuation of the last post about misconceptions that Lolitas have about other Lolitas, only this is about the 10 major misconceptions people tend to have about replicas and their impact on Lolita.

Oh, Kamikaze Girls, how do you keep being relevant?

1) I wear replicas because brands don't ______!
Let's just stop before we even get to that blank! If your main reason for wearing replicas is because of something brands don't do, you're missing one of the most important things that Lolitas have been proclaiming for over a decade now, and that is: you don't have to wear brand to be a Lolita! There are a variety of other places to buy original Lolita pieces, as well as the ever present option to make them yourself. There are dozens of indie brands from all over the world, "budget" brands that make high quality Lolita, and seamstresses who specialize in Lolita, all who are willing to cater to a variety of different styles, sizes, and budgets! I couldn't possibly name all of them in this post, but check out the tumblr F Yeah Offbrand for some gorgeous non-brand Lolita shops.

The funny part about people who proclaim that they buy replicas because brands don't do X, is that replicas are a relatively recent thing to pop up within the fashion, and it's absurd to claim that prior to this current replica trend Lolitas only wore brand! However, regardless of this very major loophole in the pro-replica argument, nearly every argument for replicas still start out with "Well, brands don't..."

2) But brands don't offer clothes in my size!
To reiterate the paragraph above, brand is not your only option, there are many indie brands, budget brands, and seamstresses who are more than happy to offer their clothes in custom sizes. Even in this bizarro world that people often cite when arguing for replicas where only replicas and brands exist, there are actually many plus size options within brands. In addition to many brand dresses sometimes being incredibly generous with shirring (I have an Innocent World JSK that used to belong to a friend of mine with a nearly 50" bust, it fit her just fine and it fits me just fine too! That's the power of shirring!) many brands will also offer certain dresses in larger sizes. For a more complete list of larger options within brands, check out this list on EGL_Plus.

3) But replicas are cheap! I can't afford anything else/I need a cheaper option because I'm afraid of ruining brand.
If you think that replicas are your cheapest option for Lolita, you are kind of just throwing your money out the window. Replicas, especially considering that they almost always need to be imported and shipping from foreign countries tends to have hefty fees, are absolutely not the cheapest Lolita you can buy. With shipping, replicas are going to run you between $75 and $140. For these prices, you can actually buy secondhand brand, very easily. If secondhand isn't quite your thing, almost any Taobao indie Lolita brand is going to have a multitude of pieces that are the same prices, and often cheaper, as your average replica. I have a number of gorgeous Lolita dresses and skirts that, with very minimal hunting, I picked up for between $25 and $50! So if you can afford replicas, you can pretty much afford anything else within Lolita. This tumblr is almost exclusively Taobao Lolita shops, seriously, check out this stuff, it's gorgeous!

4) Brands don't care or they would be more active trying to stop replicas!
Sometimes the size issue falls under this topic, as many people feel that brand's don't care about replicas because brands do not release more plus sized pieces. This, as mentioned above, is simply untrue and it's plain to see that over the years brands have done all they can to offer a variety of sizes. Many people also feel that brands don't care because they don't see brands calling out replicas all the time, but once again, this is also simply untrue. Generally, Japanese businesses are known for having a sort of "ignore it and it will go away" attitude about things they don't like, replicas being one of these things.

However, despite that, several brands have been outspoken about replicas in the past! Angelic Pretty and Baby both ban replicas from their tea parties and events, and Mary Magdalene and Innocent World have actually both released statements speaking out on replicas. Angelic Pretty, arguably the brand that is most often replicated, was even the brand that contacted EGL in the first place and asked that they disallow the sale and discussion of replicas. It's clear that brands know about, and care that replicas of their products exist; it's honestly hard to imagine a designer that wouldn't care! The sad fact of the matter is that, because all of the replica-producing companies are in China, there is very little they can do to stop them besides letting people know that they do not approve.

5) It doesn't hurt brands, because ______.
There are a lot of things that can go in that blank, the two largest being "brands make a lot of money and it doesn't affect them" and "people who buy replicas don't buy brand, for whatever reason, so brands aren't losing customers". Once again, both of these ideas are simply incorrect, or gross over simplifications. Lolita brands are not major corporations. They are relatively small businesses that release a relatively small number of dresses worldwide. There aren't huge offices somewhere filled with a team of people who decide what the next print will be, and then a whole different team to help design it, most brands have a small handful of designers who are often very active in several aspects of the brand.

The notion that people who buy from replica companies will never buy from brands is also simply not true, as many Lolitas who own replicas will also own brand pieces. Even if they are not necessarily buying from brands on a regular basis because of size or budget, there are still a number of different places to buy original pieces from, and ultimately, that's who replicas are going to hurt most, the smaller indie brands who are releasing some amazing and quality pieces that are going virtually unnoticed, because instead of buying from them, people are content to buy a cheap knockoff.

6) But I don't even like brands, so I just don't care.
This is by far the weirdest excuse I've heard, and I've heard it a number of times! If you legitimately do not like something... why are you wearing it? I feel like this would be the same as walking around in a band tee for a band that you actually hate, just because you like the picture on it. If you don't like it, there are tons of different options out there!

I'm even confused by the idea of a Lolita that dislikes Lolita brands. Being a Lolita does not mean you're obligated to love everything brands release, or obsess over them, or even be very enthusiastic about them, but as a Lolita, you should probably be aware that what we consider Lolita is a direct result of all that Lolita brands have done, from their clothing designs to cultivating a community around the fashion. Simply put, without the brands, we wouldn't have Lolita. I almost sort of feel that this "I hate brands! What have they ever done for me!" attitude is a feigned one, some sort of rebellion that considers "brand" a bad word (sort of that whole "I hate the mall! Except for Hot Topic..." attitude that's prevalent in a lot of young rebels) or a jumping-the-gun bristling at the fact that, for whatever reason, they think they can't have what the brand offers.

7) But replicas will help because it will means brands are seeing why they're losing business and change for the better!
Not at all! I've seen a number of reasons why replicas are supposedly "good for brands", ranging from it means they will know that prints need to be re-released, prices will drop to compete with their own replicas, and brands will realize that they need to make more of X size or style. But the simple truth is that if replicas take business away from brands the only change brands will make is they will have to raise their prices and cut back on things like overseas stores and events to make up for lost business before simply going out of business.

8) It's hypocritical for you to be against replicas, because ______!
So many things have gone in this blank! Let's take a look at some of the favorites that people love to throw around: you probably wear shoes that are designed after brand shoes, you probably downloaded music one time/watched a movie on Youtube/looked at magazine scans online, you don't consider similarly designed non-print dresses "wrong", you buy clothes that look similar to designer clothes from mainstream shops.These are all, simply put, ridiculous excuses.

It's just completely ridiculous to claim that just because someone might commit one crime, no matter how minor (I've seen people compare replicas to jaywalking before!), they should be ok with committing others, this is besides the fact that downloading movies/magazines/music isn't even remotely similar to what's going on with replicas. A more accurate comparison would be not to compare buying replicas to pirating, but to buying low quality cam-ripped bootleg copies of new movies, only instead of big Hollywood blockbusters they're bootlegs of independent movies and student films.

On the other side of the argument you have the people saying that because replicas are sort of similar to the idea of the trickle-down theory within fashion, they should be acceptable. However, it's absolutely not a crime to be inspired by something and to create your own version, it's in poor taste but still legal to be a little too inspired to the point of simply copying non-print/logo designs, and it's still completely illegal to take someone else's art and another companies logo and to slap them on your own products and sell them. It's true that many of the cheaper clothes you can pick up in mainstream clothing stores are inspired by runway high fashions, but when one brand actually go out of the way to directly steal other designer's prints and logos, you better believe that people call them out on it! There are a number of blogs out there that are dedicated on calling out mainstream shops for copying, you can check out You Thought We Wouldn't Notice for callouts that range from shady inspiration to illegally using other designers prints and logos.

9) But if I don't own a brand print, I won't be considered a real Lolita!
I rarely see this in so many words, but it's an idea that is often lurking just beneath the surface of so many arguments for replicas, especially those that are worded in a way to imply that because brands do not cater to someone's particular budget or size, people who do not approve of replicas are saying that people in that size/budget are not allowed to wear Lolita, period. This is another completely ridiculous excuse for owning replicas, and it is such a shallow idea of what Lolita is! Not only is Lolita more than just brands, it is more than just popular brand prints. If you look for options within your budget and price range (and, surprise! there's a good chance you can find them even within brand) you're still going to find countless options, that are all totally accepted as being a part of Lolita.

10) But I want it!
Finally, an excuse to buy replicas that isn't hidden under layer-upon-layer of lies and willful ignorance! I applaud you for for being honest, however, it's still not really a good reason. Just because you want something, even if you really want it, is no real reason to support replicas when there are so many other, legal, places to buy Lolita from that you will probably love just as much. There are tons of Lolita pieces I want but can't have, but honestly, I just get over it. Just because I like something doesn't mean I'm entitled to own it.

If you find yourself only loving big name brand prints, maybe you should take a moment to think about what it is you love about them over the countless original designs produced by indie brands.


So, who do replicas hurt?
When it comes right down to it, replicas do hurt a number of different people. Replicas impact the brands they are stealing from in a negative way by loss of sales and market saturation, but they also harm the Lolita community as a whole in a less obvious way. The Lolita community has always been built on resourcefulness and creativity. Ever since the early days of the fashion, everyone has at some point experienced not being able to have something they want, maybe because it was sold out, not the right size, or they simply cannot afford it. This has lead to a lot of empty spots within the community that were quickly filled up by indie brands, whole economies based on secondhand sales, DIY tutorials so you could make whatever it was you needed, and various stores opening up outside of Japan that catered to bringing Lolita closer to those who wore it.

Nowadays, we are lucky enough to have a vast amount of indie shops that carter to a huge range of sizes, prices, and styles, however, so many Lolitas aren't willing to give these options a second thought, because they're too concerned with owning replicas of brand prints.

Ultimately, this trend towards replicas can do no good within the Lolita community. Instead of a paradise where Lolitas can have whatever they want, as many of these replica shops claim to want to create, what is actually happening is that creativity is going stagnant in favor of owning a cheap knockoff of a print. Instead of supporting indie brands created by Lolitas, for Lolitas, we're concerned about getting cheap replicas of brand prints that are still in reserve. Instead of buying secondhand goods within the Lolita community we're sending money to people only interested in making a buck. Instead of putting emphasis on quality, we're saying the quality isn't as important as the print being accurate and crisp. Instead of supporting the brands that had such a huge part in inventing the fashion we love, we're just ripping them off.

You're not any less of a Lolita if you happen to wear replicas, and I am not here to tell you how to spend your money, but it's hard to deny that by supporting replicas, you're supporting a practice that is actively harmful, in both blatant and subtle ways, to the Lolita fashion and community. To consider yourself pro-replica is to support a practice that is, frankly, anti-Lolita.

78 comments:

  1. *claps* couldn't have put it better myself

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    1. ((My apologies for replying to a comment when I just want to post my own, but this blog isn't working very well on my computer.. It doesn't give me an option anywhere to post without replying!))

      That aside, I agree with you on most of this, disagree on a few little points, but what I would like to mention is that I'm not sure it's completely illegal to rip off someone elses print like you say it is.

      For those of you interested in the details of copyright in the fashion industry, here's a fantastic Ted Talk about it. I'd highly recommend you watch this if you are going to debate copyright in the fashion industry.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zL2FOrx41N0

      That being said, maybe because the prints were digitally created before being put on the dress/skirt, maybe it is possible the art was copyrighted before it made it on the clothing?

      I'm not disagreeing with you that replicas aren't good for the Lolita world, but I just thought I'd offer these points for a bit of deeper thought on the topic.

      Also, last thing, I don't think it is terrible to say you don't like brands when you're a lolita. I love the look, the lifestyle, and everything that comes with lolita, but to be honest, I could care less about brand. It doesn't mean I don't respect it, or don't realize that they more or less made lolita what it is today, I just don't like the brand worship that comes with the lolita culture. It completely goes against my philosophy. That being said, I don't HATE brands. Just.. Don't really care for them. If I like a piece, I like it. It doesn't matter what's on the tag, brand or not.

      Anyway, thanks for the fantastic post! Definitely gives food for thought, whether you agree with it or not.

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    2. I watched this video and being a seamstress myself I agree with the video... if you copyrighted clothes like a certain cut or design... then no one would be able to make new clothes.

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  2. I love MMM's "Silent Moon" print. What I like best about it is the amount of detail and, uh, the fact there aren't too many pictures of crosses and other religious paraphernalia, which MMM sometimes uses. What I really dislike are the words under the print, you know, "vampire aristocrat...". I would love it if any company, indie, small or MMM, made more such elaborate prints, with different imagery, anything, because then perhaps I could find one that was perfect for me. But instead of saying "I like that print- what could I do to make mine look inspired, but change some things so that I like them more?" people just replicate the same print. I would be okay with buying a different print which was inspired, like another elaborate print of a city landscape or something, but I don't want the replica. Obviously there will be people who will make replicas for as long as there is something to replicate, but somehow I feel that replicas having such a large place in the lolita fashion influence the fact that less indie, non-replica, but possibly inspired, prints are coming out.

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    1. Your in luck then because Innocent World just came out with a night-time cityscape print.

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    2. I can't stand the Vampire romance text either. Surface Spell Gothic on taobao has an elaborate cross embroidery series out right now, if that is of any interest to you?

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  3. THANK. YOU. I agree 1000% with everything! Also I wanted to add to the "I can't afford brand but I want it" bit. I feel like brands do try and help the budget conscious with special sets and lucky packs, these are great options to help build lolita wardrobes and lolita regardless of if they are new or veterans buy them.

    The best part of lolita used to be the hunt, spending endless amounts of time scouring vintage stores and learning to sew to put together outfits. It wasn't as easy but it was about dedication and true love for the style. Going to meetups were a lot more interesting when brand was scarce, it was so much fun to see what people found and put together and talking horror stories of missed auctions and dream prints.

    It's 100% lolita is and never was about brand, it's about love of the style.

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    1. YES!!!!!!! I am actually surprised at how many times I have gone onto Baby, the Stars Shine Bright's website and seen a jsk/headbow set for under 16,000 yen(≈$175 usd)!!!! I have also bought a lucky pack from Meta for around $170 with shipping, didn't like anything but one item, so I sold everything but that one item, and actually made back more then what I spent for the whole thing! I essentially got paid to "buy" one OP from Meta!

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  4. You said exactly what I think about it. It's unfair to hurt brands that creates designs we love. You can buy bodyline dress for 40$ (even within cheapest bl dresses are some nice pieces - I wear them myself and never heard that they're not pretty) so price isn't reason. Wearing replica is just cheating.

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  5. Well said, I agree 100%.

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  6. Couldn't agree more, well said!

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  7. I basically agree with your reasoning, though the issue doesn't actually concern me, since I detest Angelic Pretty's prints and would only ever buy my Innocent World at Innocent World.

    What I don't agree with is this sentence: "But the simple truth is that if replicas take business away from brands the only change brands will make is they will have to raise their prices and cut back on things like overseas stores and events to make up for lost business before simply going out of business."

    As a germany Lolita, with the probably BIGGER overseas market than France, I don't even really SEE any overseas activity. There's no teaparties and now stores here. Most of what's available outside paris is basically second hand only. Not much they could cut down from on this end...
    AND - It's NOT a simple truth that a company will only and always cut down everything in a possibly nt perfect economical situation. Bevore they hit bancrupcy - yes. But brand is FAR from bancrupcy.

    And as little as I think of those excuses, the HUGE demand for replicas might just one day get it into the companies thick japanese heads that the market has GROWN. That the production of 100 AP prints is just not enough to satisfy a demand of 1000 rapid AP fangirl-Lolitas worldwide. And that restrictions (like that "nobody may buy several dresses" AP put out some time back - did they ever rescind that?) are not a way to keep your customers. That's like telling the people who actually bought the DVD "copying is a crime!". It's insulting and unfair. And why should I stay with a company that doesn't like me? I go somewhere else...

    Tha company still has LOTS of other options besides cutting down "specials". In my opinion they should focus on their primary business, anways. And that's making clothes. According to demand. And if ever fucking dress I put out is sold out within 3 days, this should the hell get me thinking. And that's the process I don't yet see with every brand. They are ignoring they customer's interests. And maybe, just maybe, they need to be reminded of the fact that if you ignore your customer's wishes, it's bad for business.

    That's what this boils down to for me. In several cases (esp. sold-out prints, also super-size dresses) the brands do not meet a relevant number of customer demands. And that was always going to have consequences.

    I would personally prefer that this abnormal hype surrounding esp. APs dresses would finally die down, and for people who just can't get their hands on a fitting brand to just look over at the independent market, because that way the customers would go away form brand in a morally and legally better way. But still I can't exactly find that much fault in brand getting the bill for some of their policies. They do have a choice about how many dresses they will put out in one series. And nobody can claim that it would actually be a financial risk to them, considering the fact of just how fast many dresses are sold out. So it's their choice to frustrate customers. They will have to deal with this - one way or another.

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  8. If the item sells out then the company isn't making a profit from it anymore. If you buy a dress from AP wear it for a year and decide to sell it, the money you get back from it doesn't go back to AP, it goes to you. Same as if you buy a replica, the money doesn't go to them. If I were to support my favorite brand the only way to do that is to buy new from them, because even if I buy second hand the money doesn't go to the company.

    If the dress is no longer available and replicating is the only means of getting the dress then I have no problem with it.

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    1. The secondhand market supports the brands indirectly to some degree. There are some lolita out there who buy directly from brands, and then resell things later so they can buy newer things. If they have trouble selling their secondhand items because people aren't buying them, or if they sell them for less, then they have less money to spend on new items from the brands. This is an over simplification, mind you, but at least some of the money from secondhand sales is going back to brands.

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    2. It's not just about brands benefiting in a small degree either! But as I mentioned in the post above, it's not just about supporting brands, but about supporting the Lolita community and, probably more importantly, indie designers who are so very willing to cater to your budget, size, or style.

      Buying replicas supports no one but replica makers, who are not the ones creating new designs/trends/styles/encouraging creativity within the fashion, they're simply recycling old designs just to make a buck. Even if you only limit yourself, personally, to sold out designs, replica makers still see this as just more profit, which is going to encourage them to just make more replicas of all prints, sold out or not.

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  9. I was really hoping that you might write on this subject and this is exactly how this should be phrased!
    When EGL announced the replica ban my local comm had a chat about it. One of the younger girls was very upset as all she owned was replica dresses. She used arguments 7,9, and 10 mostly: "Brand is too expensive and no one will think i am lolita if i don't have the *prints*! And its my DREAM DRESS!1!" Sometimes a dream is just a dream, a lolita is still a lolita in a plain colored dress, and artists have a right to charge for their work!

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    1. I meant to write about this months ago! But after the EGL ban I got sort of burnt out on the topic xD

      I have a ton of dream dresses that I simply know I'm never going to have, but when it comes right down to it, it's just a dress: that someone else made, and I don't have the right to it just because I really want it. I'm certainly not going to die if I don't own everything I really want xD

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    2. I want to live in a little victorian house with tones of books and an ornate fireplace however right now thats just not possible, sometimes not getting what you want gives you ambition and dreams.

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  10. I agree, 100%. It's like you wrote my thoughts, thank you so much!

    A little mistake: you wrote "because it" twice
    in the part "So, who do replicas hurt?"
    >>want, maybe because it because it was sold out<<


    I really love reading your blog!

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    1. Thank you for the comment :D and for pointing that error out! I've fixed it!

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  11. I love the flogging the dead horse gif!

    This is a great article - I'll admit I own a couple of "plain" replicas but would never buy a print replica. It's like you say, there is so much available from indie brands or that you can make yourself that buying a not-so-good replica seems really kinda silly.

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    1. Haha thanks about the gif xD I had fun editing it!

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  12. this is a fantastic article, there's definitely a lot of thought that went into it!

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  13. This was a great article. I admit, while I'm on the fence on the debate while slightly leaning towards pro, I didn't know that people were lining up for replicas while a dress is still in reserve. That is shocking and a little sad.

    My only replica was purchased after honestly and truely trying to get the item I wanted multiple times. I had my $200 + shipping in hand, ready to buy my skirt from AP, stayed up late to catch it the MINUTE it went on the international site, and missed it. Then I tried again when it went on the US site, and missed it. THEN I checked second-hand sales, it was going for $350 + shipping (almost twice retail) and selling as fast as it went up for that price (if you couldn't tell, this was the Sugary Carnival re-release).

    I determined that, when AP only placed 1 of the item I wanted in the US store and 1 more on the international website, and not enough in their Japanese stores and webshop to meet demand so that second-hand sales doubled retail, they weren't particuarly interested in my $200 that I was completely willing to give them for this item, so I went elsewhere for that item.

    I don't consider second-hand shopping to be supporting the brand because it isn't. You can argue that the person who bought it from the brand will likely take my money and invest it back in to the company, but that's actually not my money, it's theirs. That's like saying that your employer supports whatever cause/company you spend your paychecks at, because they "supported" you by paying you for your goods/servies. Can you imagine the repercussions if big companies took the same attitude that second-hand brand sellers take? You might be asked to not spend your earnings at a competator's store.

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    1. That's a lot of bad luck with a sold out dress! What dress was it, if you don't mind me asking? Generally, AP print prices tend to drop after a few months after the hype dies down a bit, especially if it's immediate second-hand price is around $350, which seems to be the "This is how much it cost me with all the crazy fees I had to pay to hire someone to stand in front of AP all night to be the first in line!" price xD.

      I'm just going to copy/paste what I said to the last person who asked about sold out items, if that's OK! Because I'll just end up repeating myself anyways:

      It's not just about brands benefiting to a small degree! But as I mentioned in the post above, it's not just about supporting brands, but about supporting the lolita community and, probably more importantly, indie designers who are so very willing to cater to your budget, size, or style.

      Buying replicas supports no one but replica makers, who are not the ones creating new designs/trends/styles/encouraging creativity within the fashion, they're simply recycling old designs just to make a buck. Even if you only limit yourself, personally, to sold out designs, replica makers still see this as just more profit, which is going to encourage them to just make more replicas of all prints, sold out or not.

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    2. It was the Sugary Carnival re-release. I was trying to get the black skirt (or any skirt, really, but I wanted black the most). So, while I'm sure prices went down, I don't think they went down that much. I bought a JSK from that release 6 months later, second hand, with a replaced zipper (that I will have to replace again), and it was still way more than retail. Maybe SC is an exception.

      Indie designers are great and I'd love to support them more, but the fact is, the perfect combination of design I like + reasonable price + good business practices/customer service is REALLY hard to come by. Even when I've come across the perfect combination, by the time I find out the print series has been discontinued and I'm left waiting for their next print release (which may take a year, or never) and hoping that its something I'll like. Don't get me wrong, I do understand that its hard to make a living off of such a small business and your rent-paying job/school can get in the way, but it often takes so long that I forget they even exsist, or I assume they gave up the business.

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    3. About the last bit of your comment- second-hand not benefiting brand- you're so right. It benefits the economy, but not specifically the brands, and even if the person who sold second-hand clothes buys brand with the money, the buyer is not "responsible" for that.

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  14. I think the "brands are losing out on money with replicas" argument is not really valid for a very large number of replica buyers. Whoever likes brand and is able and willing to pay its price, will continue to do so, existing replica or not, because replicas are never like the original. Whoever can not buy the original, will not give any money to the brand otherwise, especially not if they buy from offbrand stores instead, like recommended here.

    The only reason I don't like replicas are that they are art theft, and I as an artist myself can feel how bad this must be for the original brands to have their designs stolen and watching others getting away and making lots of money with it, but they still don't bother to lower their prices at all. No matter how much thought and detail went into the design and the making, the prices are very high and there is undoubtedly huge profit for the brand with every sold item. They still have their fan base, and those lolitas will never leave brand for cheap replicas. After all moral correctness, don't forget to be reasonable.

    Also I personally don't appreciate being called a liar for bringing up a different reason than "I want it" for buying a replica. This is not the only valid and honest reason. I have a closet full of brand, but I also own two replicas (one of a print I also have as an original, the other of a print that just isn't worth its price for me but still wanted it), and I bought them to be able to wear them in situations where my brand dresses might get dirty or damaged, and where I still don't want to have to stay away from wearing what I like. Sure, I could wear an offbrand dress at this occasion instead, but I haven't found one that I liked enough and I don't see why I should spend my hard-earned money on things I don't really want just so I am super correct in other people's eyes, even though I would have never spent the money on the original brand anyways.

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  15. Great post, brought up many things I haven't considered. Definitely changed my mind on the replica debate, but I think now is a great time to show us some of your favorite awesome indie Lolita brands.

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  16. I am very glad to read this.
    It was a little dilemma of my own to get through but I quietly decided against replicas. I had {just} ordered my first modest pieces of brand, on sale, from Japan, from my HG brand about a week before the EGL and EGL_sales comm ban on illegal replicas. It felt really good and the right thing to me.

    In my lifestyle, Lolita is a luxury to me and needs to FEEL like one. There is nothing luxurious about a replica or copy to me--it feels 'cheap' even though some replicas I looked at were USD$150 for a 'Hime-style dress and accessories' :( I can't see spending that on something that is just a fake copy of ANYthing--for the same price, I'd rather have a more modest but genuine item, buy less frequently, buy separates, etc. I only attend 1 specifically Loli meet per month, my Loli wardrobe does not need to be large or extravagant and I really enjoy mix-and-match.

    I do not say anything to those who wear the illegal replicas, it's not my place to...but it DOES negatively affect my opinion of them.

    I've also seen some of the replicas in person and up close, there is no comparison, really, and I do consider them a waste of money for the lack of quality, both in materials and design and construction. I have nicer Lolita things from Bodyline, and nicer quality dresses in general from Target and yes, Walmart!!

    If Bodyline is the Walmart of Lolita, then some of the replicas I have seen must be the Dollar Tree, the fabrics and especially the trims are....really not good.

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    1. So, do you look down on those who carry knock-off Chanel or Coach bags too?

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  17. Good post -- it's nice to see the issue discussed in such a well thought out way. Personally, I think that the anti-replica argument has the logic on it's side. With luxury items you just don't have to have everything that you want. Buuuut in the interest of 100% honesty, I can kind of sympathize with some of the girls that do go the replica rout (provided they aren't making nutty paranoid accusations about brands and anti-replica people oppressing plus sized lolis -- seriously, what is up with that?!).

    When it comes to my own closet, replicas were something that I wrestled with and in the end decided weren't right for me. They seem kind of pointless because I can wear brand, and if I miss out on a dress, I know that there will be future ones I want just as badly. It won't kill me to let something go. Plus, once I started buying brand pieces, I realized that I would probably find myself disappointed with the replica, because deep down inside I would know that it wasn't the real deal. And considering what the nicer quality replicas cost, well, I have three brand dresses in my closet now that actually cost about the same or less. Replicas aren't really the great deal that they pretend to be.

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  18. I'm fairly new to lolita but I think that many beginners to most things/trends get overexcited and just want to get lots of things related to the trends for cheap. Also there's the initial uncertainty of wanting to fork out that $300+ for the dress (also depending where you'd wear said dress to), admittedly I am still not convinced I'd pay that much for clothes as I have not found that perfect dress yet (plus I'm more into mori than lolita) but I have been making use of brand sales like the recent IW one to kickstart my wadrobe. I also plan to get some pieces from indie brands such as Snowfield and Lady Sloth because I think their designs are quite unique and the quality is good. Honestly I think that if someone really wanted to afford a brand piece, just be patient and save up for that dress you really want instead of buying a few replicas. Or as mentioned, make use of sales and 2nd hand means. To buy brand is not so much to have a certain status image but rather to support the industry. Even though I admit I do download shows and manga and what have you, if there is something I tried and really like, I will usually buy the original. There have been times I saved a year or more to get something but in the end it was worth it. As for those who feel that others might snub them for not wearing all brand, well, if someone is going to be really elitist and snobby, do you really want to mix with such a person?

    That said, really like your blog and it has been an invaluable resource to a newbie like me =D

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  19. Although I agree with 90% of what you're saying, I think don't think that buying or supporting replicas is necessarily anti-lolita. I mean, if someone is *only* buying replicas and nothing else, then I guess that would be anti-lolita. But if a lolita were to buy only a few replicas, or even a lot, of prints that aren't being sold in retail anymore (like Sugary Carnival or whatever), then I don't think that's a very bad thing.

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  20. I'm glad you clarified for everyone that "knock-offs" are not "replicas". Making or buying something that looks similar to a brand item does not hurt business for the brand, nor is it illegal, but an item that actually tries to pass itself off as brand, going so far as to copy actual prints and logos... That's not only illegal, it's just wrong. Someone created that. They should have control over what is done with it. No matter what they decide to charge for it or what sizes they decide to make it in.

    And I love the "Kamikaze Girls" images you used. VERSACH AND UNIVERSAL STADIUM!! Lol.

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  21. I love this post, but I honestly feel like you failed to address the way brand is seen as status among lolita. Yeah, progressive lolita icons and bloggers with compassionate hearts dispel the misconceptions around what is or isn't lolita in the most inclusive way, but there still remains a significant stigma around being a lolita with no brand pieces. I found your use of the idea of entitlement a little condescending, because I'm assuming you don't fall into either the poor or plus size camp. You have no idea how strange it feels to admire a brand print and know you cannot ever hope to fit into it. It's no more petty or bratty than anyone wanting any other piece, and it feels pretty mean to discredit those sorts of desires by saying 'you don't need it.' Well no fracking shyte, I don't need it at all. You don't need your lolita kit either. But it's sort of a lolita failsafe to have at least one brand or brand knock-off piece in your wardrobe to deflect that nagging feeling that others are thinking you're a weekend warrior cosplay part time ita princess.

    Yeah, intellectual property theft is bad. Being made to feel outside the range of acceptable humanity in a subculture is bad too. I love this blog. This post bothers me.

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    1. First thing's first: actually, I am typically too large for the "average" Lolita size. There are a lot of pieces that I can fit, but most pieces are simply going to be too wide and tall for probably about 75% of all brand dresses. And, especially at the moment, yeah, I'm pretty poor xD. I know exactly what it feels like to not be able to fit into, or afford, many of the pieces I want.

      I have met a lot of Lolitas over the years in a variety of settings (Lolitas I have met from meetups, Lolitas I have just run into out of the blue, Lolitas who I first knew online, Lolitas at conventions, etc) many of them do not run blogs nor would ever consider themselves "icons", and to be very honest, none of them have ever made me or anyone around them feel worse if they were not wearing brand. It is true that online, when people are on the opposite side of a computer and have a bit of anonymity to hide behind will on occasion say something about people who do not own brand, but even then, they are such a tiny minority. It's really not just "progressive" Lolitas, it's, quite honestly, an overwhelming majority of all Lolitas.

      "Entitlement" is absolutely not simply wanting something you cannot have, it's feeling that, well, you are entitled to it. We're all allowed to want things that we feel that we may never have, there is nothing wrong with that and I never said that there was, what is wrong, however, is disregarding the original designers who made it completely and paying someone to steal it for you.

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  22. I don't entirely feel that replicas are killing indie designers. There are excellent indie designers who make pieces below what replicas cost, Lady Sloth for instance. The issue is sometimes cost. There are many excellent indie designers, but many of them have prices on par with brand, and I think that is the deal-breaker. Do I spend $320 for an indie OP or $350 for my dream AP dress? If I had the money to blow, I'd put it into the brand dress. I understand pricing for both indie and brand. But given the chance, I think most people would rather go for brand because it is a status symbol.

    Some people who buy replicas I feel just want the aesthetic look of a specific print but for whatever reason cannot obtain said print. Be it size, cost, or 2nd hand availability. If someone really want something, they are not going to say "Oh well, I'll just buy this instead" Someone provides what they want, and they will take it. I don't mean all people, but many do take that option.

    Other people however, and a vast majority of the Lolitas I know have no problem buying brand, but also own indie and replicas. I'm one of those people. Though I've restricted replicas to items that are my dream items but simply will not fit me even after losing the weight I want to lose.

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  23. I recently bought a replica of Ap's Milky Planet in yellow. I've seen this dress (the original) sell on EGL for as high as $525... and that's USED. I AM NOT PAYING THAT MUCH MONEY FOR A USED PIECE OF CLOTHING when I can get a replica for under $150. Not to mention that it is hard to find! The quality isn't great but I don't care. I wanted the print and I wanted it cheap because I love it. If Angelic Pretty re-released it, of course I would buy it.... it would be a couple hundred dollars cheaper to buy it new that to buy it off EGL.

    Also, in your final paragraph you said:
    "You're not any less of a Lolita if you happen to wear replicas..."
    and then you went on to say "To consider yourself pro-replica is to support a practice that is, frankly, anti-Lolita." Aren't you sort of contradicting yourself with these two statements?

    I honestly don't think that I am anti-lolita and it's a bit unfair that you would say something like that and be so judgemental. A lot of people like me want to have nice things but cannot spend a lot of money due to over $10,000 in school loans and other monthly expenses. That doesn't make replicas right, but what you said is a bit harsh in my opinion.

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    1. You can unwittingly support a practice that is harmful to the community (like I believe replicas are) without either believing in, or knowing, what you're doing. You can be a Lolita and buy and wear replicas, you can even be a Lolita and break into other Lolitas houses and beat them up at night (although I wouldn't suggest it!). Which is why I find it ironic that many people who do love the Lolita fashion and community are so willing to support the replica brands that I feel are harming the Lolita community by stealing original designs from brands and taking business away from the affordable Lolita market. I do not believe anyone is maniacally cackling in a thunderstorm somewhere and yelling "Yes! Yes! Soon this fashion will fall!" while ordering replica skirts xD, I'm not really passing any judgement on the person because I know that 99% of the time, people who buy replicas are just unaware of exactly what it means.

      Honestly, I feel what a lot of replica makers do is something on par with M*lanoo, who most Lolitas are completely aware is doing something wrong and absolutely hate them. They take things that other brands have made, and even creative things that other Loltias have made (many Lolita bloggers, myself include, have had posts they made reposted on M*lanoo spam blogs!), make copies of them, and then send you a quick and often very cheap knock off of it.

      In regards to your last paragraph, a lot of us can't afford the secondhand price of ultra rare prints, and a lot of us have debt and monthly expenses, but as I have mentioned in this post, that's not really a reason to buy replicas. When it comes right down to it, replicas are simply not that cheap to begin with.

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    2. Debt is part of life, as are things that are used for amusement. Debt is somethings that must be taken care of, therefor it's more practical to cut cost of entertainment, clothing, etc. It seems logical to me... and to most people that I've talked to.

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  24. "I want it" is a good enough excuse for me.

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  25. cant be more perfect......i just think the same <3!!!

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  26. I dont know if this has been mentioned already...I am a newbie lolita, and I've been going through all the second hand sales to get my fill of brands (got a nice IW skirt for $60NZD, and an IW lucky pack dress for $110USD + shipping!) and now I am looking for chinese brand stuff to pad my wardrobe. I was looking on taobao, picking out some nice dresses, when I came across a close up of a print and it had angelic pretty written all over it, from a chinese brand. I've read your blog, and I really dont want to buy knockoffs, but how do I tell which are brand replicas? Do I have to search through the entire existence of lolita prints, or is there an easier way to tell?

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    1. Hi! Another NZ lolita here.
      Infanta is a chinese brand that doesn't do replicas and yet does do some stellar prints of their very own. The difficulty of replicas is also the fact that they can be hard to spot without knowing a number of prints as you say. However the good news is that replicas are almost always of very popular prints: for example APs Sugary Carnival and these sorts of prints tend to be quite obvious. Also if the print has the brand logo on it (in the case of print dresses) and yet isn't being sold for a realistic price (have a look on EGL comm sales for aprox value) then it is most likely a replica.

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  27. Personally, I would only get a replica if I was absolutely in love or obsessed with a print and couldn't find it ANYWHERE. If it doesn't fit or is too expensive then I won't get it.

    Despite all this I do own one replica but when I bought it I didn't know it was a replica. It's an Angelic Pretty replica from 2005 and, odds are it would be impossible to find an original.

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  28. There are so many things being said here that doesn't make sense to me as a person who has studied and is currently working in the fashion industry (and who also happens to like Lolita fashion.)

    For those of you who are plus-sized, it's silly of you to complain that (insert brand name here) does not make items in your size. For one, they are not obligated to make garments in any size other than their target market. That would be like arguing why AP doesn't make dresses for the Kid's or the Junior's market. Simple - because that isn’t their market. Similarly, it would be like walking into a Lane Bryant store and berating the company for not making regular sized garments available. (For those of you who don't know what Lane Bryant is, it is a store that caters specifically to plus-sizes.)

    Plus-sized is considered a separate market and is treated as such just like Petites and Maternity. When you walk into a Target, there is a special section just for it. You will almost never see plus-sized garments mixed in with regular sizes. Finding a garment labeled "X-Large" or "XX-Large" is NOT plus-sized.

    Moreover, the Asian fashion industry has completely different size ranges built for their target markets. As Asians are often smaller both in width and height, it stands to reason that their garments are built that way. The majority of Asian fashion (in China, Korea and Japan), most garments are only ever made as "One Size". Big, baggy or loose fitting clothing is not only trendy but prevalent. So when you see that big brand Lolita fashion houses only ever make one size, that is the reason why. It's kind of ingrained into their society to make clothing that way. Likewise, I know of no Asian country that makes wide-width shoes because the prevailing thought is that most (if not all) Asian women have small bodies and small feet.

    With that being said, the author of this post has suggested that brands such as AP and Baby are not as "big brand" as everyone may think they are considering that Lolita fashion is still considered a minority in the fashion industry. Well, if that is really true, how can you fault them for not being able to expand their market like you all want them to? There is a lot of time and money that goes into market research. For them to have to hire non-Asian consultants to help make new size ranges is overwhelmingly expensive. Currently I work for a pattern maker and I know how much patterns for new styles can cost. I also know how much it costs to grade (or size) each new style. And where do you even start? European sizes differ from American sizes. If you translate sizes for one country, you'd have to do it for all the countries crying out for these brands. That also means making larger production runs so you have enough to fill each country's market. That's asking for a lot from a small company. And who knows, maybe these brands like to keep their productions small... for whatever reason (cost or exclusivity.)

    It really gets under my skin whenever I hear the size argument for Lolita fashion. I understand you want what you want, but don't fault the companies for not catering to your every need. I happen to be Asian and very flat-chested and can't wear any OPs because I look stupid in them. Not everyone is "average" nor "plus-sized" and the flat-chested market gets ignored more than any other market I know. (So much so that it doesn't even exist!) Does that give me the right to complain and say that brands should start considering the flat-chested market too? I also have a very American-sized waistline and have to buy a M or L just to fit into their Asian sizes! That makes for a very awkward fit and I have the hardest time finding ANYTHING to fit. My point is that everyone is going to have gripes about their favorite brands not fitting them right, be they Lolita or non-Lolita. SO STOP IT!

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  29. (continued) To get back onto the topic at hand... As far as "replicas" go, if they are made intentionally to mislead the consumer, then I don't think it is right. For example, if a non-AP company made and started selling an AP print with the AP logo and name attached and claimed that it was indeed a 100% authentic AP piece, then THAT IS WRONG. If they are stating that it is a replica (meaning it is not original and therefore will not be the same quality) then there's a morally gray area there. Why? Because it's a reproduction and doesn't pretend to be anything other than that.

    Just like when you go to NYC and try to buy a Prada purse out of the back of some guy's van. You know it's not the real-deal (or could be stolen) and you can't afford the real one, so you buy something close to comparison. Am I saying it's right to do? No, but it happens and is going to continue to happen no matter what the brands say. That holds true for any brand; it's not exclusive to Lolita brands. How many decades have the high end luxury handbag brands been fighting this losing war? If the brands that are selling $300+ Lolita dresses, they are considered a luxury brand and luxury brands have the unfortunate luxury of being copied. Get used to it. Buy it if you want it; don't buy it if you don't. And for heaven's sake, stop making it an issue. Being copied is not new nor is it Lolita specific.

    As an interesting aside... I don't know where or when the Lolita community decided to adopt it's own language for things related to Lolita but the definition of a replica happens to be "a copy or reproduction of a work of art, especially one made by the original artist" as in the case of famous artworks like Van Gogh's Starry Night sold in museums as posters (though we can hardly say Van Gogh gave consent for that.) A knock-off means "an unauthorized copy or imitation, as of designer clothing." Simply put, to go around saying things like "Lolita dress replica" implies that the original owner had OK-ed it's production in one form or another. While calling it a knock-off would imply the opposite. Please educate yourselves!

    As far as "it encroaches on another's intellectual property", well I don't see Mr Pibb's getting sued for knocking off Dr Pepper's signature taste. There is a very gray area when it comes to copyright laws, and even muddier when it crosses international boundaries. I used to work for Sanrio and in my time, I had seen A LOT of knock-off Hello Kitty goods. You could so obviously tell it was meant to be Hello Kitty, but it was nothing the company could do about it since one or two key elements might be off. Little things like which side the bow was worn or if her nose wasn't colored in was enough to say that it was a similar likeness but it was not Hello Kitty and therefore the company could not file a lawsuit against the other maker since the characters were "similar" but not the "same". Since the other maker never claimed to be Sanrio nor used the Hello Kitty name in reference, it was NOT deemed misleading. Similarly, I've heard of "replica" prints being printed backwards or were missing key elements that would otherwise make it a complete copy. In that sense, you know what you're buying. The fact that brands made a public announcement to their fans not to buy replicas of their prints rather than filing a lawsuit against the very obvious brands that mimic their prints (like DoL) means that perhaps those companies aren't doing anything illegal in the eyes of the law. The morally gray area lies within each of us whether we want to purchase a replica or not.

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  30. I love how the admin will delete comments that go against her own standing. You bypassed all the points you couldn't rebuttal and for that, you lose.

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    1. Nope, sorry but you are incorrect, I deleted a comment that was incredibly hostile towards another commenter. As you can plainly see throughout my blog, there are many, many comments disagreeing with me, even rather rudely, and I let them stay, I only delete comments that are hostile towards other commenters (and spam), and even then I've only had to do that about 3 times.

      I am pretty sure there's literally no argument you can make with me about the subject that can't be answered by me just copy/pasting something I have said in the actual post. I would be more than welcome to have anyone pinpoint exactly where they feel I am wrong about this topic, it's already been done multiple times in this post and I have answered a majority of them.

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  31. Well you should watch that video... clothes liek designs can't really be copyrighted... nor can a print even but they cannot knock off a Logo though... WATCH that video! It is so very true. As for me... buying brand is not an option... I am a big girl... and they do NOT come in my size. I want a dress so bad... but brand in my size is not an option.

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    1. I'm not sure what video you're talking about. But while generic designs can't be copyrighted (Such as the placement of ruffles or bows, the silhouette of a skirt, etc) prints and logos absolutely can and are copyrighted. As soon as someone creates something in any sort of tangible form, it is copyrighted to that person. This is true from the artists that brands hire to create the prints on their dresses, to something you personally might draw on a piece of paper because you're bored.

      I'm not sure what video you're watching, but I am pretty sure it's lying to you or you misunderstood it.

      Brand doesn't have to be an option, even if you fall outside of the different sizes brands offer, there are dozens if not hundreds of indie brands and seamstresses who create their own original not-stolen-from-other-artists designs. The world of Lolita is not divided into Brand and Replicas.

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    2. I'm watching the video you're talking about, and they literally say before the 2 minute mark, that designer logos (which includes prints, which they show the designer equivalent of) are the only thing they can copyright that is illegal to reproduce.

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  32. I think something should be said about just how expensive things are getting in the secondhand Lolita market - I've seen secondhand Bodyline skirts (still in production and available on the Bodyline website) sell for more secondhand than they do new! While that is definitely insanity, it does not excuse the production of replicas.

    I'm amazed that what is essentially a niche fashion even has replicas. You don't see replica Lip Service or replica Kambriel in the Goth community (or, if you do, I've never come across it in the 10 years I've been Goth.) and the closest thing I have seen are replica Macbeth leggings - which are somewhere between the Goth market and the Lolita market as they are originally by Punk Rave (are they Visual Kei? J-Goth? Punk Lolita?) anyway. I now see knock-off corsetry as well, but that is a broader market. It doesn't surprise me when mass-market mainstream companies with a huge demographic to sell to this, but it strikes me as odd that out of what is essentially a niche market, there is enough of a demand for these things for replicas to even exist. Lolita fashion, while having a strong love of brands that is not as strong as in Goth, is not averse to thrift shop goodies and offbrand shopping; you'd think that there were enough places for Lolitas to shop, even cheaply, without resorting to replicas. Heck, even I managed an entire offbrand Lolita outfit (and I'm by no means a proper Lolita; more a Goth that dabbles in Gothic Lolita at times).

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    1. I think the secondhand market is really heavily divided between incredibly cheap, and very expensive. On one hand, some very rare prints can reach several hundred dollars (which is not uncommon in any collectors market, when there's only 3 of one particular dress everyone wants being sold, the world over, in a span of a decade, of course people will be willing to spend more to get it!), on the other, most everything else takes a considerable hit to the worth, even if it's brand new with tags still attached.

      If BL skirts are selling secondhand for more than they are, in stock, on BL's site, I think that's maybe more of a problem of the buyer and seller both not bothering to do any research. I help mod the egl_comm_sales second hand site, and I probably have seen about 75% of all sales posts made there in the last 2 years, and I've honestly only seen that happen once, and it was quickly complained about xD

      The thing is that there are enough places for Lolitas to shop, even cheaply, without resorting to replicas. Especially with the massive influx of Chinese indie brands with easy-to-order-from webshops that have popped up in recent years. It's just something that unfortunately happened, and Lolita's nicheness didn't exactly help! There are a lot of misinformed people in the scene who simply think that their only options, either for clothes, period, or in order to be perceived by other Lolitas as "Lolita enough" are brand (that they believe they cannot own for one reason or another) or replicas of brand. I wish I could say I was amazed too, but I'm not xD Ever since Lolita hit it big in the west there has been an undercurrent of "Well, brand is the only thing that will make me Lolita, so if I can't get brand, I had better make sure my dress looks like it's brand", which is really a fundamental misunderstanding of exactly why the brands are important parts of the scene.

      I find it funny that there are Macbeth legging knockoffs, as Punk Rave often sells knockoffs of Japanese brands xD I always just assumed those leggings were knocking something or another off, simply because Punk Rave sold them.

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  33. I disagree. Some people just want brand prints desperately and either a) cant afford them b) cant fit in them. I'm not supporting or condemning, it's just sort of going to happen no matter what because of those two facts.

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    1. Honestly, in all the pro-replica arguments I've seen, "I just have to have this print!" makes up a small percentage of people's reason and is usually followed by a list of the misconceptions I've talked about in my post, if it's not directly related to either point 5 or 9.

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  34. I'd like to point out 1 thing I think was missed.
    Personally I do not get the opportunity to interact with other Lolita. Because of this I am not impacted with the desire to impress others with my outfits' brand (in fact I sew all my outfits) I'm not affected by the ideal of "needing" Brand. With Brand being outside of my financial resources I don't follow it. this kinda of falls under your #6 but not. I don't hate brand. I look at it, but I don't live on their site. However illegal is still bad
    Meaning there is a whole group of people like myself who might have a replica or, looking at buying one, and have no idea. To the point it wouldn't even cross my mind to ask.
    I came across another blog explaining the EGL ban who drew a line between replica and look-alike. Is a site telling you it's a replica before you buy it? Is what I guess I need to ask. Over all this makes me feel like I am expected to know everything a brand comes out with (that would be a silly expectation ) or assume everything with a print is a replica... which I know is not true.

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    1. If you buy replicas completely oblivious to the fact that they are replicas, this is something else completely. There are many sites that sell replicas that have them interspersed with non-replica items and have no indication that they're selling you replicas. This list is only for the arguments people make for replicas, simply not knowing about them is not really arguing for replicas, just being oblivious to their existence.

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  35. I know this was written a while ago, but someone suggested it on /cgl/ to someone and I reread it since it had been a while since the last time I did. I absolutely love this article and I appreciate how while keeping your points strong, you still word it in a way that isn't alienating to those who have owned replicas. That being said, I think it's a little sad that this much thought and counter argument has to go into this debate when it shouldn't even be something that warrants discussion. What it really boils down to in the end is that these prints belong to the companies who design them and none of us are entitled to them. It's supporting art theft, plain and simple. There is absolutely no justification and I can't understand for the life of me how people can even try to make excuses for it. In Italy and France it's illegal to buy counterfeits as well as sell them and I wish that more countries would establish a law like this.

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  36. While I agree that replicas are bad if you can afford and buy the piece you want I can understand that sometimes it isn't possible. If the item is not being sold and you have asked around on EGL and stuff there isn't much you can do. Also not everyone have the money for brand but love the print, by the time they have enough the brand will probably have sold out and will be going for at least twice the price on ebay.

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    1. The point you're trying to make is basically point #10 "But I want it". Just because you want a print doesn't mean you have to have it xD There are plenty of things I don't have the money for, but that doesn't mean I look to stolen knockoffs instead. Like most people I just find something else to love that I can afford.

      You're also seriously overestimating the secondhand cost of prints. Most prints only linger around a "higher than retail" value for a few months after they've been released, if at all. After that the majority of prints tend to drop down to just slightly more than the value of non-print items. If we're talking about twice retail price, that's $500-$600, there are probably about half a dozen prints that sell for that much second hand, in the history of Lolita, and there are dozens and dozens, if not a couple hundred, brand prints out there.

      Delete
    2. Isn't buying replicas "find(ing) something else to love that (someone) can afford"? Most of the secondhand items I've found are £100 or more which is way too much for me, especially as a commuting student.

      Delete
  37. There are innumerable ways in which expert designers can give an exclusive touch to your Sweaters blending some new patterns for providing the spotless accomplished product.
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  38. I don't own any replicas and I'm not really arguing for or against them, but I think it's ironic that you are so against them in this post considering that in this one: http://fyeahlolita.blogspot.com/2009/01/bodyline-lolitas-walmart-part-4-brand.html you're extolling their virtues. Here's the paragraph where you use many of these very arguments in favor of replicas, non ironically. "There is pretty much no way I can word this to make everyone happy. I can say "Why spend hundreds of dollars on a brand piece when you can get an acceptable knock-off from Bodyline?" and people will shout "But you don't understand how ~special~ brand makes me feel! Besides a clothing company making the same thing as another is theft!", but I don't care. Everyone is aware that these skirts are rip offs, no one is trying to pass them off as originals, Bodyline isn't claiming Mr. Yan lovingly hand painted them, and as far as I am aware the original brands who made these prints stopped selling them years ago, thus aren't loosing any money because no one is even able to buy them directly from the brand any more. Besides, have the Lolita's who are crying "Theft!" ever looked in a mainstream non-high end fashion magazine? Pick up something like Teen People, there are whole sections devoted to how awesome it is when places like H&M are selling things directly "inspired" from high end runways. Many mainstream fashion trends developed by trying to find knock-offs of what rich and famous people are buying, Lolita is really not that much different in that respect. Knock-offs are certainly not unique to Lolita, so please, stop acting like you never even heard of fake Gucci bags and those "Smells Like..." perfumes you can buy at Walmart until Bodyline released a Fruits Parlor print with "Angelic Pretty" edited off and it opened up your eyes to the world of evil design thefts. Just because other fashions do this, doesn't make it perfectly OK, but it doesn't make it an abhorrent evil that knows no rival just because it's done to something you really like."

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    1. I wouldn't so much as call that "extolling their virtues" or even that ironic. That post was made over 2 years before this one, and in the mean time replicas within the Lolita community changed dramatically and I had since changed my mind on the subject. Back when that post was written, replicas within the Lolita comm were pretty much exclusively limited to that handful of Bodyline dresses featured in that post and a different handful of very poorly made ebay dresses. By the time I had written this post replicas had exploded and were not limited to a handful of long-out-of-print pieces that many Lolitas owned because they were $10-$30 but people were petitioning replica makers to prints that were still in reserve, and replica makers were meeting that demand by asking people to send their dresses to them so they could scan in the prints, all while selling them for $100-$150, which ironically enough was often times the secondhand price of some of the actual prints that were being replicated.

      I was also talking about a wider range of knockoffs that largely included "inspired by" pieces (as the rest of the article made clear, I even included print replicas under the "bad" section because it was even then still hotly debated). As mentioned in that post: "Bodyline has never made a knock-off with the original brand's logo on the print, they are still not fooling anyone", since that post replica shops had come out with with replicas that ripped off the original print exactly and people (including one particular replica shop) have tried to sell replicas as the real thing.

      I've been sharing my opinions on this blog for about 4 days short of 5 years, I am sure you can find many times throughout the blog where I've said one thing and then a few years later said something different xD I am not a robot, and the Lolita fashion isn't frozen in time. I'm not going to apologize for either of those things xD

      Delete
  39. While I really don't support replicas being made, I would buy or make replicas for these reasons.

    -The price of the original dress is extremely high. (As in it would be unhealthy for me to starve myself for 15 days after my purchase!)
    -College expenses. (Applies to first reason!)
    -I could easily make something similar for cheaper.
    -The dress will never re-release in my size. (My waist is fine, but I'm very busty! It's not worth $375 to get my dream dress, and the zipper backs out on me!)
    -I love the print to death, but not the price tag!

    (Unfortunately, in my state, I can not even afford indie brands!!! My wardrobe is handmade or off-brand!)

    Although, if you do have the money, but sizing is the problem, you could either go to the nearest tailor, or tailor it yourself!

    These are just mt personal opinions. If you think otherwise, that's okay too.

    ReplyDelete
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  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would wear replicas besides Bodyline or indie designers, because i like the print, but it costs too much, it's sold out or maybe I'm too tall for a brand's sizing. I will not give up on a print because brands have stupid marketing. I'm thankfull for their designers, and I admire their talent, but I won't pay for stupid marketing. If they did it well before, then replicas wouldn't have shown up. If they are doing counterintuitive marketing, then bad for them. Some people will always buy their clothes, at least for making replicas. I may sound ignorant but would you shame someone for wearing H&M? News flash: high street brands are just selling replicas of designer pieces. Noone will shame you for not wearing head-to-toe Versace on a daily basis. I am also not paying 1,5 of the original price for second-hand. It's not my fault if someone is arrogant, and I don't want to support arrogancy in the lolita community. If it's within a reasonable price range I will buy it for sure, even if the replica costs less. Besides that, Bodyline will not give you too many diffrent, good quality, original clothes to chose from. Especially not "key pieces". And indie brands are not likely to be widely available in smaller coutries.

      Delete
  42. Conheças lojas no Brasil em SP segmento de
    Replicas de Roupas
    ..qualidades idênticas as grifes famosas..
    Réplicas de Roupas de Marca
    ..compare preços no atacado de unidade..

    ReplyDelete
  43. slm merhabalar sayfanızı çok güzel saat - replika saat konusunda bizimde sitemizde ürünlerinizi satabilirsiniz

    ReplyDelete
  44. I'm a plus sized lolita, I'm not even that big and I have absolutely no intention of losing weight. I've looked at many of those offbrand, indie brand lolita companies that offer plus size but to be frank I find most of them really boring or too simple for me to want to invest money into them. I've never purchased a replica, only bodyline's own designs so far, but I'm thinking about it. I really adore Angelic pretty, if there were a substitute closer to it I would buy it but I can't find any ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ let's be honest, it IS kind of ridiculous that big brands offer one-size at all, with their pricing it would be appropriate that they offer custom sizing...

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    Replies
    1. Furthermore might I add, that sometimes I research OPs and JSKs and I find some that I think are originals (which are actually replicas) and purchase them because quite a few sellers lie about their product being a replica. Had that problem with an AP coat rip off, they used the original photo and I hadn't seen the original because it was from years ago :/

      Delete
    2. Anyways I just wanted to also say, I do love your blog :) This post is actually quite interesting, brought up some ideas I never really thought about.

      Delete
    3. Offering only one size is actually super common in Japan, and their prices aren't all that high if you think about how they need to pay for high quality materials, custom lace, designers, print artists, custom fabric, and then get it sewn up, socks printed etc.

      Delete
  45. Hi! Great article. One thing, and it may have been pointed out before somewhere else in the comments, but just so you know the F Yeah Offbrand link now leads you to a rather...unsavory tumblr.

    ReplyDelete

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