This post is in memory of that beautiful Cath Kidston bag I saw at one of the outlet stores at Camp John Hay this Christmas but was Php 1,500 short to make the purchase. I think it's a bad sign that I can't even afford what might be a decent knock-off. Well, the seller said it's real but the price and the "made in china" tag made me think otherwise. Anyway, this got me thinking about fashion piracy in general:
In 1994, the Philippines, along with the other members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) signed the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, or the TRIPS Agreement, to ensure that international intellectual property rights are made uniform by setting a minimum level of protection that each country must provide. The Agreement’s provision on design rights, Article 25(2), states:
Each Member shall ensure that requirements for securing protection for textile designs, in particular in regard to any cost, examination or publication, do not unreasonably impair the opportunity to seek and obtain such protection.
The connotation of a textile is any cloth or goods produced by weaving, knitting, or felting and, so far, the Philippines has yet to meet its obligations in providing protection for its fashion industry, leaving many designers to face the murky waters of obtaining protection for their designs by themselves. The lack of legal protection is not just a problem in the Philippines, but the world over. It seems like as long as you have a designer that employs cheap labor in developing countries, there's a widespread piracy problem. And while some of may not care much for the vagaries fashion, the issue of piracy is something I'm sure we all have an opinion about.
Anyway my nose and fingers are about to fall off from the cold. Happy holidays from Baguio! :)