Just last week I was made aware that TOPSHOP have been selling a piece in store that highly resembles the work by our brand Aimee-Cherie Intimates. Our Romy One Piece that we officially released to the public on the 28th of February 2016 (and had been designing for a period of time before that) had been imitated by the retail chain.
This is by no means is the first time I have come across copied designs not only of AC Intimates but of course many other independent artists. Though this time it caught me on a day when I decided I’d had enough and didn’t feel like sitting back and feeling flattered by the imitation.
My brand Aimee-Cherie Intimates was born and nurtured by the whirlwind that is social media, in particularly Instagram. And while I owe much of our successes to the platform I also understand it leaves us wide open for large corporations such as TOPSHOP to easily find and copy our work.
My closest friends and family have certainly heard me whinge over the years when something our team has spent months planning, designing, and executing is ripped off. I understand it’s a big circle of life within our industry. But today I decided after receiving much support from all corners of the world that I should speak up a little louder and use those platforms that have given so much to our brand.
It is an utter slap in the face to the young artists and budding entrepreneurs to have their work constantly and so blatantly copied by these major retailers. They do it knowing these young artists won’t have the means to defend their work or business. It is creating a culture that places no value on ethical or sustainable practices. Many can’t comprehend why an independent work costs sometimes three times more than a major chain stores. The growing culture is one that ignores a quality garment that has been produced in a smaller quantity and will not be replaced by a new collection within a week.
I don’t get any greater joy then when a customer or follower from our small brand receives their order with much excitement. Or when I can look back and see the small bounds we have made over the years. And in the last few days when complete and utter strangers reached out to let us know they share in our values. It has been so very rewarding to see our little community grow.
So thank-you. Thank-you a thousand times over. For continuing to support small business. For encouraging me when I get beaten down by things like this, and taking the time out of your day to email, message and write to us. Trust me when I say none of it goes unnoticed, and every little bit of it motivates myself and my teeny tiny team to work harder in what we all believe in.
Founder of Aimee-Cherie Intimates
One Piece by TOPSHOP