Of Plagiarism and inspiration by Desi Brands

It’s been quite a few years now since I’ve been following Pakistani fashion in particular. Thanks to my work as being the editor (now ex-Editor) of fashion portal rewaj.pk, I use to keep an eye on local trends and fashion scene. It’s fun as long as its exciting and original fashion. Less inspired and more creative.

There are plagiarism accusations every now and then on Pakistani designers and brands by fashion followers through social media, but most of the times all these efforts of eye spying ends up in smoke as it gets labeled as INSPIRATION. Remember Sana Safinaz copying Zara? or Sapphire copying designs from Pintrest? There are countless other examples too but no brand evert turned up and owned that yeah we did it. Sapphire actually admitted of lifting designs from Internet when the owner prompted them on Instagram.

Here’s the most recent INSPIRATION BY the brand RANGJa.  They’ve stolen art work of my friend Abdullah Syed. I’ve seen his pop art designs and artistic side for years now. His love for Pakistani artists, Cities and architecture is evident from his art pieces.

Here’s what Abdullah has designed in 2012 for Nazia Hassan’s birthday. Notice the fonts.


And here’s the RangJa copy of this design as Singer Print shirt which is being sold for 2700PKR.



Such chorri  much seenazori.

The coverage of our brands and designer collections is getting bigger and better day by day. Every design on piece of clothing is being scanned by million eyes through Instagram and other social media platforms, making it impossible to hide INSPIRATIONS or COPIES. This is not helping Pakistani designer’s or brand’s credibility anyway. Either stop getting so much inspired or get inspired and have the guts to tell the world that you’re using certain theme or work of someone else as your inspiration. Is it too much to ask for? Definitely not.

I have a word with Abdullah about the fiasco as RangJa didn’t reply to him or anyone else about the infringement(as of now). He doesn’t really care much about royalties, or even credit, and he’s happy that his work, in some ways, helping the local E-commerce industry (his work is frequently featured and sold by various Facebook-page style E-commerce startups). All he cares about is that people should at least be courteous, and notify, if not ask for permission, before using his work. But of course that’s his personal belief, and not many artists feel the same way. Brands need to work with artists for this ecosystem to exist and thrive and reach its full potential.

I hope that the brand team of RangJa will act promptly and get in touch with the owner of the design and pay him not only by giving due credit, respect and sales profit.

Be creative and be brave dear brands!! Step up and own it.

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