Calvin Klein has come under fire for apparent plagiarism in its spring 2018 collection by Raf Simons. The offending item, an orange poncho with four zippers, attracted the attention of the estate of Bonnie Cashin. Cashin, considered one of the pioneers in American sportswear, died in 2000 and passed on her personal design archive Dr Stephanie Lake, design scholar and Cashin protégé.
While imitation is supposedly the greatest form of flattery, the 2018 poncho in question is almost directly identical to the 1976 design by Cashin. Lake, who has in the past decided not to strictly police cases such as this, turned to instagram and started @cashincopy, calling out those who draw from Cashin designs without acknowledgement. Although Cashin’s items were being heavily imitated even while she was alive, there were never any investors or licensing deals for her name.
“She wished that people who were copying her would do a better job. And in the Sixties she went to D.C. to campaign for designers’ rights, acknowledging that people were going to copy but the originator of the idea should by law receive credit and compensation,” Lake said.
Check out https://www.instagram.com/cashincopy/ for more examples.