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Fast fashion is about quick copying

The Spanish brand Zara has a huge reputation for fast fashion but apparently it also has a reputation for stealing designs.

One of its victims is German apparel brand Acronym. Zara has begun incorporating a functional strap into the insides of its some of its coats, which is similar to Acronym’s double-strap backpack-style version. The cross body jacket styling grabbed the attention of millions when rapper Kanye West wore an Acronym jacket on stage during a concert.

In fact Acronym has been ripped off by a lot of designers and brands. But the level of quality and of technical capabilities associated with Acronym's garments - the majority of which include years of research and development - are completely unrivaled by the subsequent copies.

Acronym, which opened in 2002, has limited distribution channels. The brand does not engage in traditional advertising and its price points are high. Also the fact that it has a low key profile emboldens copying to take place.

Replicas are a major problem for the fashion industry. There is a whole spectrum for copying – ranging from cheap knock-offs to accurate reproductions. While most replicas are poor copies, replacing embroidery with print and using inferior fabric, there are some replicas that mimic the originals well.