Real or Ripoff?

Real or ripoff? Replica or fake? Original or copy? 

Where do you sit in the debate? Have you even thought about it? Do you even care?

As a photographer I can tell you EXACTLY where I sit in the debate. Copy my work or take it without credit or prior arrangement and there’s gonna be a problem. 

But as an Interior Decorator & Stylist (I’m working on my qualification as a Designer and should finish my studies by mid-2017!) I let my love and passion, plus a huge dose of naïveté, for MidCentury Modern furniture get in the way of common sense and reality last week. 

I’d made my usual weekly collection of ‘Great Buys’ for my Instagram followers which this time included a large number of ‘replica’ chairs. These were all MidCentury style – and now I know RIPOFFS – and I was approached by two different people who pointed out that I was promoting fakes…

Devastated? Nup. Self-righteous? Was I ever! You see, I pride myself on only a few things: 

  1. My MidCentury interiors, furniture & architectural knowledge
  2. My Billy Bragg-esque ‘equality for all fist high in the air’ vibe
  3. Oh, and in all honesty, I get riled easily too 😬

So, instead of doing the smart thing and doing a little research I, hopefully kindly and reasonably, agreed to disagree with my new friends and explained that none of these designs were Australian and the designers were long gone and they were APPROVED REPLICAS! 

My righteous replies were met with some disapproval (rightfully, I know) and we left things at agreeing to disagree and went on our way. You see as someone who is naturally honest, and rather naive, I actually thought that the companies supplying these Replicas (read counterfeit) had legal agreements in place with the estates of the origional designers to replicate their designs and that Australia ensured that we didn’t import counterfeit products. 

I was wrong. 

I’m not going to get into the details of what is currently being decided legally about these counterfeit products because it has been covered clearly and incisly by Leanne Amodeo here and it is something you really should read because you’ll then understand that this isn’t an argument about equality for all and bringing design to ‘the people’ like I did. 

I’ve always wholeheartedly supported and promoted Australian design and designers, and my view has, I believe, matured after reading Leanne’s article and having the bigger issue brought to my attention by Authentic Design Alliance and The Snap Assembly, whom I thank for setting me on a different, and even more passionately supportive of true Australian design, path!

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