Fast Fashion?

moschino x mcdonalds - tobyjohns
Image found on tobyjohns.com

Jeremy Scott Serves Plate Steaming with Controversy & Consumerism
Keeps Moschino in Limelight with Questions of Copyright

By Molly Cohen

Jeremy Scott, now creative director of Moschino, is pushing boundaries and stirring up conflict with his designs. The Fall/Winter 2014 collection, which debuted in Milan February 21, made headlines in numerous big name publications.

The collection, which is based on American iconography, incorporates McDonald’s red and yellow color scheme as well its Golden Arches. Though Scott uses his own silhouettes, the copying of a world-known logo has caused some debate. Scott, however, views the collection as humorous. He told the New York Times, “Ultimately, we need no more clothes…So you have to have this reason to want things. To me, it’s to make you happy, and to me, that’s linked to humor.”

Funny or not, one of the biggest questions has been the meaning behind the collection. In an interview from the Autumn issue of Dazed, Scott explains the connection between fashion and fast food. “Fashion’s so anti-fat – to have things that literally have fat content on them, it just seems hilarious to me.”

Another take on the McDonalds reference is the allusion to fast fashion – the speeding up of consumerism as the time it takes for an item to go from runway to high street decreases. Scott further promoted the fast fashion trend the day after the show by selling ten pieces in a capsule collection Fast Fashion – Next Day After the Runway.

Reactions to the collection were varied. Celebrities Rita Ora and Vogue Japan Editor Anna Dello Russo embraced the clothing, along with its price tag. Into The Gloss contributor Elizabeth Licata writes, “The looks are so instantly recognizable from far away that they will definitely appeal to young fashion people who have a lot of money and want to use it to get attention. These accessories are virtually guaranteed style blog bait.”

Outside the fashion industry, the collection has not been so easily accepted. Minimum wage McDonalds workers claimed Scott was ‘mocking’ them with clothes they could never afford. A New York McDonald’s employee who asked for anonymity told MailOnline, “For people working in the highly paid fashion world to think it’s “trendy” to wear clothes inspired by the uniforms we put on every day to feed our kids, or to buy a designer bag that is a parody of the meals we serve to earn enough money just to pay our bills; well, it just makes me sad.”

Meanwhile, those interested in law have been fascinated by the collection for its questionable use of protected trademarks. Thefashionlaw.com justifies that a case could be made of trademark dilution. All the debate begs the question: Is Moschino’s line helping McDonalds more than hurting it? After all, wearing the clothes from the line is basically being a walking advertisement.

Seeing as it has been six months since the show in February, it is looking like Scott’s trademark centered collection is safe. This is not Scott’s first time making close calls with copyright issues. He was previously sued by skateboard graphic designer Jimbo Phillip for using Phillip’s images in a Fall 2013 collection.

Bob Denike, the CEO of Santa Cruz-based skateboard company – that uses Phillip’s designs – was not happy. “I do not believe in the idea that any publicity is good publicity. There was a lot of interest in this issue, but we do not need this type of PR to help grow our brands. It was actually quite damaging to us. We don’t want to be associated with Scott.”

Blurring the copyright lines is not new to Moschino either. The brand was sued by Chanel when fashion designer Franco Moschino ran the company.

So here are my thoughts:
•Perhaps all the attention the copyright-battles cause is helping the brand?
•Though many publications reported the show in February, the publications that wrote about the collection’s legality were published in March. It appears that the legal debate extended the collection’s limelight period.
•Is the attention for the brand worth all the trouble (literally speaking too in terms of cash)?

•How far is the fashion industry willing to go to make & feed it’s fast fashion consumers and how willing are we as consumers to eat it up?

SOURCES
1. NY Times 2. TheFashionLaw.com 3. The Gloss 4. Vogue UK 5. Style.com
6. The Business of Fashion 7. DailyMail 8. NowFashion.com