Over £1billion is lost to the UK each year, through counterfeiting, plagiarism and IP theft. On Monday 28th March, Dids Macdonald appeared on BBC1 Crimewatch to comment on the devastating effects of design theft recently experienced by RCA designer James Long. Warning all designers pan industry to get their IP tool kits in order, Dids focused on preventative measures to help creatives from fashion to product designers to protect original work.
FROM RICHES TO RAGS
On February 15th 2008 James a graduate of the Royal College of Art, showcased his collection at the MAN show. This was Long’s first professional catwalk show, he had been selected by the MAN panel (made up of industry figures including Fashion East, journalists and Topman) as a promising new designer and was one of only three to feature in this menswear show. The show was a success it was deemed to fit into the trends of the season well and highlight Long’s talents. Long returned his clothes to his Hackney studio. He returned early the next morning to collect some belongings all twelve outfits had been stolen. Sadly there was no CCTV, forensic evidence or witnesses to suggest what had happened. The morning of the theft James had a call from a Paris showroom asking him to display his collection. This event would have reached a new audience but of course he had to turn it down. Boutiques wanted to stock the collection. He wanted to get the clothes into production but factories work from samples which of course he could not supply. James’s first runway collection represented months of sweat equity and creativity culminating in a major commercial opportunity, destroyed in just one night by design thieves.