Topshop Rips Off Independent Jewelry Designer

In yet another example of a big fashion chain “borrowing” ideas from an independent designer, Topshop recently rolled out a set of “punctuation rings” that look a hell of a lot like the awesome swear ring set by jewelry designer and fashion blogger Wendy Brandes. Wendy posted a response on her blog yesterday that addressed the cyclical nature of fashion and Topshop’s choice to manufacture a product so similar to her own. Check out her thoughtful reaction after the jump …

I’ve said myself that there’s nothing new under the sun … As gorgeous clothing designer/blogger Stacy Lomman recently wrote, “Trends and styles constantly recycle. In fashion, designers reinterpret these ideas and trends by putting their ‘spin’ on them and making them look fresh and current.” I’ve always been proud of my swear-ring “spin”: the quality, the size, the weight, the font, the four separate rings, the characters chosen. I can’t tell what size the rings in Topshop’s £14.00 “Punctuation Ring Pack” are, but from the picture on the website, I admit that I find the execution of this idea a bit more similar to mine than I would like.

The upside to Topshop’s shady move? Free publicity for Wendy’s swear rings and hopefully a boost in sales for a hardworking, independent designer. Because as Wendy reminds us, you get what you pay for:

I understand that my jewelry isn’t in everyone’s budget. That’s fine. Chain stores exist to give people less-expensive options. However, if you can afford my designs, you should know how much I adore all my customers. Does Topshop give a F@#! about you? Whenever you can, spend your money with someone who appreciates you.

Hear, hear, Wendy! And Topshop: you’re officially on notice. [Wendy Brandes]