The unfortunate zipper incidence

Last night I found pictures of Doo.Ri Fall 2009 collection from Six Six Sick. The collection is amazing with sequin decorated lace tights and draping details guaranteed to see on the pages of Elle and Vogue next fall. But... The zipper belts look quite familiar don´t they? I´m the last person to blame anyone for copying since I take loads of ideas and influences to my DIY projects from other designers (but I always credit the original source). The thing that bugs me here is that this Doo.Ri collection beat me to the punch. Even though I released design pictures of my zipper mini-colection in December and have been working on it ever since everyone in the fashion bloggin world will know about this Doo.Ri collection by fall and recognize my zipper belts as "Doo.Ri inspired". The belt just looks too alike and I feel forced now to change my belt design as I wanted this collection to be complitely my own and not be seen as "inspired". Maybe this is just me feeling bummed and I will feel different tomorrow. I mean who am I to get irritated about this sort of thing? After all, I just make only custom ordered zipper-stuff at home and don´t have an official brand or anything. In any case, I love this collection and you can be sure we will see sequin decorated tights in many fashion blogs next summer and fall!

Pictures of my zipper works.

My Zipper belt design illustration that I released in December 2008.

Doo.Ri used zippers also as corsages.

These sequin decorated tights will be one of next falls DIY trends. I´m sure of that.

I love the way Doo.Ri used zippers covering a vest and creating art deco styled pattern on the cover flap of a bag.

Later edit: A page from my inspiration books about the Comme des Garçons SS05 collection that inspired me to start working on zippers two years ago.

Pictures via, Six Six Sick and my Flickr photogallery.

Outi Les Pyy

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  1. When I saw this post on the Six Six Sick blog, I immediately thought "Outsapop is designing for Doo Ri!?!?!"...then I realized what was going on. Maybe it's because I enjoy your blog and respect your work so much, but I think it's going to go the other way. And by that I mean everyone in the fashion blogging world will know about this Doo.Ri collection by fall and recognize the zipper belts as "Outsapop inspired".

  2. Exactly. Yours was all over the place first and foremost - it's definitely your signature piece. Shame on Doo.Ri...which I wouldn't even call a major brand conglomerate just yet (CFDA nomination notwithstanding) knockoff something from a smaller designer. Remember your roots Doo.Ri- you were once making custom stuff without a brand name either, once upon a time. Shame!

  3. Don't change anything Outi! After all, you and everyone who is familiar with your work know that you were first and Doo.Ri came second. I wouldn't be surprised if Doo.Ri was inspired by you. Your zipper-work has been innovative and unique since the beginning and zippers have been sort of bubbling under for awhile now so I think this was only matter of time. Keep up the good work and don't let this little thing get you down. =)

  4. when i saw this collection i immediately thought of you - and also mentioned that in a comment in the fashionblog i spotted doo.ri

    i love your work - please don´t change it unless you really want to yourself! :-)

  5. Thank you so much for the support and kind comments! I feel much better about this now :) Maybe this actually could be an opportunity for me... These Doo.Ri belts will be sure to feature in Voque and Elle editorials and it will propably make it easier for me to get some editorial coverage on my zipper accessories in Finnish fashion magazines as they tend to follow the same trends. Gotto think positively! I´m not changing anything in my collection.

  6. I know how u feel, I just saw the same thing that Chanel put out on their runways that I had asked my mom to make a month ago. Now I don't feel unique anymore, and certainly people are going to view my stuff as inspired whereas I didn't even see Chanel's fall 09 collection before yesterday!

  7. I love that you've documented your design ideas and the world knows that it's you and yours. When I see zippers, I think of Outsapop and I know I'm one of many many many. Keep up your inspiring work. There will always be imitators.

  8. I wrote to Doo.Ri yeaterday to express my thoughts of this case and they replied me quickly:
    Dear Outi,

    We can assure you that the similarities that exists is not intentional. This is the first we have ever heard of your brand. We work very organically and can track the progression of all the ideas that are born. The zippers began with our collaboration for the handbags. We used the zippers as surface ornamentation. The way the raw zippers came in when they were ordered were in a 200yd roll. This is pretty standard and we did not have much colors to choose from.

    Our starting point for any design concept starts with the raw material- whether it is the fabric or crystals- we use what we have and work on the form. The zippers were one of the raw materials we explored. As you may know there are limitations of what the zipper can do. We wanted to avoid trying to look like the YSL zipper clutches or the Philip Lim zipper tops. To avoid this we intentionally curved the zippers so it would not have the symmetry as the other designers had. We had no idea that by doing so we were doing something similar to you.

    We understand how you could be upset and we assure you that the similarities are by coincidence and not intentional. Having been on the copied end we truly understand how it feels and we in no way would do this intentionally to anyone else- especially an independent designer.

    The (Doo.Ri) design staff

    I feel better know that I was able to speak my mind and that Doo.Ri acknowledged my designs. I´m going to hurry to get my own collection out there as quick as possible.

  9. VERY VERY similar. hmm...well, I saw it here first!

  10. Funny, when I first saw your work, I thought "Junya Watanabe spring 2005" -- no offense, but little in fashion is truly original. I like to think of it as a continual remix or meme, building on the past and projections of the future.

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  12. Comme Des Garsons SS2005 zipper pieces are my original inspiration. But like I wrote in this post I´ve always stated my inspiration sources if they come from an another designer. After working my zipper pieces for almost two years now my zipper sewing technique has evolved on the way. I think one can see the difference compared my current works to Comme Des Garsons SS05 collection.

  13. i agree, don't change anything. i think it's the right thing to do.

  14. i found this website recently and immediately thought of you!
    your belts look amazing. the copying / inspiration question is a difficult one though, i totally understand your reaction. zippers as decoration on clothing have been everywhere the last few seasons and i have a feeling that might have been inspired by your work so i think you should try and approach it as something to be proud of!

    and i always find when i have an amazing idea and i google it everyone else out there has had exactly the same or very similar ideas! i think the important thing is that you make your own mark, as you say your collars are markedly different from the Commes ones. i don't think you have anything to worry about - take it as a compliment and try to capitalise on the similarities to promote your work!

    Mathilde xxx