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Land’s End rips off belt design

If you’ve been a reader of mine since the Modcloth scandal of 2010, you know me as someone who will talk about problems I see within the fashion world, even if it leads to an employee leaving me cryptic messages (thanks IP tracking!). Because of that post, Modcloth removed the listing of one of those dresses, and also recognized me and my readers (as well as readers of The Gloss and others who profiled the problem) as a force to be reckoned with.

Recently, it has come to my attention that another company is doing something more devious than just pricing their poly-blend products at astronomical prices.

Land’s End has allegedly taken Kiel James Patrick’s belt design and is selling it as its own design, for about half as much. Here are the two designs, side-by-side:
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A little too similar to be a coincidence, right? They’re even laid out the same way, photographs taken in front of grey backgrounds.

Design stealing is, sadly, nothing new in the fashion world. I found this blog post about LL Bean stealing Eliza B sandal designs (quite brazenly, I might add). Last year, a similar controversy cropped up with US state necklaces and Urban Outfitters. In that case, Urban Outfitters removed the necklace from their site, but as April from Regretsy pointed out, there were many other sellers on Etsy with similar products, so who’s really the originator of the product?

In Kiel James Patrick’s (KJP) case, according to the statement he sent to Ivy Style, he’s not claiming to be the originator of a nautical belt, but created a hand-crafted, high-quality belt that took months to perfect. KJP also says that his designs are not sold to corporations, such as Land’s End, so their seemingly identical design was not created by him, nor is he receiving any payment for it.

We can argue if this is something that we think should go on in the fashion world or if we think it’s right/wrong, but that’s not where I’m taking this discussion. I want to call out Land’s End for their blatant rip-off of a small company (20 employees!), and I want them to remove the belt from their shelves.

As it’s noted on the Ivy Style site, designs cannot be copyrighted. But, most designers (indie or well-known) aren’t going to rip someone else off, because it can be traced, and everyone wants to be original. There is a difference between seeing someone else’s design, being inspired, and creating something you deem as better. Wouldn’t you want to have something better than someone else, not a blatant copy? (Again, I don’t want to argue about fast-fashion and all that – that is not the point of this post.)

Let’s make some waves. KJP already tried to comment on the Land’s End Facebook and Twitter, and Land’s End hasn’t responded. If you take a look at Land’s End’s website, you can leave comments and reviews for products. I suggest we all jump over there and leave comments on the belt, bringing the star (boat) value down to one. Tell them the design is stolen from a small business In Rhode Island. Let’s make Land’s End give us an answer. If they didn’t “steal” the design, there would be no reason for the silence, in my opinion.

By bringing the star value of the product down, and making sure others are aware that the design isn’t original to Land’s End, hopefully Land’s End will be forced to do something about the product (e.g. pull it from the shelves!).

Please head over to the Land’s End website and help KJP get the answers they deserve.

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DIY necklace obsession

I saw a DIY over on Jen Loves Kev for a necklace I’ve been obsessed with for a while. It seemed really simple, just oven-baked clay beads, strategic stringing, and a proper mix and usage of color.

The creative part of me thought, “hey, I can do this!” So, I took a trip to Joann’s, bought some clay and got started. Check Jen’s blog for the DIY, but I’ll give you a heads up, it’s pretty simple!

I ended up using one block of white, one block of pearl, and one section of emerald (there are four sections per block). I used every single bit of my mix of clay in my necklace, so keep that in mind if you make one- it does take a bit of clay. I also grabbed some round, clear beads to use as spacers.

As you can see in the above photo, there are needles that beads can be baked on, insuring they’re not flattened when baked. I used the needles and some mini loaf pans for my beads.

Finished product:

I can’t wait to wear it! Thanks for the inspiration, Jen!

Ps- I also purchased some sealer gloss that you paint on the beads after they’re cooked and cooled, which gives them a glossy sheen. I don’t know if you need to do it, but I felt it would help protect the clay.

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Problems with Pinterest?

*Let me start this by saying I still have a Pinterest account, and still have my pins visible. My research did not cause me to remove anything I had pinned.

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Lately there has been a lot of talk on the internet about Pinterest and copyright violations. By now, most of us have read this article about a Photographer who looked at the terms of service, and promptly deleted all her boards. Today I see that Flickr has given users an opt in/out to allow their images to be pinned or not. In the article, it points to a link on Flickr’s forum where users were discussing Pinterest and the use of the opt-out button. Many of the commenters were for the opt-out button, and happy their work wouldn’t be taken and pinned to Pinterest without their consent. Although, as one commenter pointed out, if they post an image to a blog (or elsewhere online), it can still be pinned from that location, which is a risk we all take when posting things on the internet. My friend, Carrie, says, “I like that Flickr is going that route. People SHOULD be able to choose whether or not their stuff is pinable by others. That being said, I (mostly) agree with the person in the article who thinks it’s bizarre that people would view Pinterest as such a huge copyright issue.”

As a blogger, I see the need to protect your intellectual property, and wanting to make sure that you get credit for images you create and that they aren’t used for things without your consent. But as a user of Pinterest who has been inspired by images and who loves finding new things, I find myself torn. I have had my images pinned to Pinterest, and find it flattering that someone wants to pin an image of what I’m wearing, or a DIY I did last year. I don’t feel like people are saving my image to use it maliciously, but because they think “oh great idea, come back to it later.”

That’s what I feel Pinterest is, at its core; a great big inspiration board of stuff you like, with links back to the source. But, it appears that even though that might be the thought behind the uber popular website, it’s not something everyone is comfortable with. I reached out to a few bloggers, a photographer, a store owner, and a general user of Pinterest to get their opinions on pinterest and how they feel about this controversy.

Kara, from Unusual Form, says, “As a personal-style blogger, I’m always incredibly flattered when someone pins one of my outfits. It means that I’ve put together an outfit that someone has found interesting or inspiring. One of the reasons that I post my outfits each day is so that I can be an inspiration to my readers. I find a lot of my own inspiration from other blogs as well, so you’ll see that my pin boards are filled with photos of other bloggers. Isn’t that what blogging is all about? Sharing?

Kara is one of the Pinterest users I follow, and I’m always quick to repin something she posts that I find inspiring, and I’ve noticed she does the same to things I post. That, in its essence, is what Pinterest is about.

Another person I’m constantly repining is Neeka, owner of AnikaBurke.com. Since Neeka is a frequent user of Pinterest, pinning her deal of the day, lookbook images and inspiration, I thought she would have an interesting point of view on the use of Pinterest. She says she “loves seeing organic pins of [anikaburke.com merchandise and images] on Pinterest.”

When asked if she feels Pinterest is beneficial to her business, driving traffic to her shop, or helping get her store name out there, Neeka says yes. “I find it very beneficial to my business. We are getting more linkbacks to our site without having to pay for them. Pinterest is the second largest traffic generator [for us]. I love Pinterest and can’t wait to see where it goes.”

Interestingly enough, I found many other business on Pinterest, including Karen Kane, Modcloth, Kate Spade and more. Anthropologie has an account, and while they’re following over 4,000 people, they have yet to pin anything themselves. It appears that many businesses are jointing Pinterest, most likely for the same reason Neeka did- free marketing and inspiration.

While all these businesses are fashion-based, I wondered what a different business, such as a photographer would have to say. I found this image from Procopio Photography on Pinterest, and immediately pinned it on one of my own boards.
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(Source: Procopio Photography- used with permission!)

Curiously, I followed it back to the website it’s linked to, which then links to the photographer’s website. I contacted them, to ask how they feel about Pinterest. Cicely says they haven’t “quite formed an opinion about Pinterest yet. It’s funny that you are emailing me about it, because our most recent blog post was the first time we added watermarks. We did that so when pinned, more of our images would be tracked back to us.” You’ll notice that the image I fell in love with was posted prior to their inclusion of watermarks, and can only be traced back to the source by clicking through.

Cicely goes on to say she “loves that [Pinterest] is a new source that people can find us, but I don’t like when images are improperly linked, or not at all, to the source.” Well, therein lies the problem that most people seem to have with Pinterest. The problem seems to be less about Pinterest itself, but more about the link backs, or lack thereof.

Much like the writer of the first post, I found myself perusing Pinterest’s terms of service to see what I got out of it. Boy, you’re not going to like it.

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Reason 45,371 why I adore Iggy Pop


“I’m not ashamed to ‘dress like a woman’ because I don’t think it’s shameful to be a woman.” Iggy Pop

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Day two of tshirts

Today was spent at an early morning meeting, packing, and packing. Somewhere in there we went out for lunch where I had a tiramisu that smelled so strongly of brandy (or something) that my nose burned. Is it possible to get drunk off food? Because I think I might’ve.

Anyway, here’s my fabulous shirt bought in college from eBay:
#29daysoftshirts day 2.

Loafy demanded attention while I was trying to snag a photo, so here’s her fuzzy belly:

Fuzzy little monster.

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Face Off: Return to Oz

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One of my favorite TV shows is on Syfy, and is the special FX makeup version of Project Runway. Instead of making fabulous outfits, these artists create characters using molds, castings, prosthetics, make-up and body paint. The show is hosted by actress McKenzie Westmore, with judges (l to r) Glenn Hetrick, Ve Neil and Patrick Tatopoulus.
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I was obsessed with this show when it was on last year, and I am so excited it just returned for its second season. Throughout the new season I’ll be posting up photos, talking about what I liked and what I didn’t like and if I think the winner should’ve won, and if the person asked to leave deserved to leave. I’ll put those spoilers under a jump link so I (hopefully) don’t ruin it for anyone. I’m also planning to wait a few days before posting my thoughts, which should give those of you also watching it time to catch up.

The first episode was called Return to Oz. We’re introduced to the new cast, who are immediately given a Foundation Challenge. Basically this is a “simple” challenge where every person does some sort of makeup, and the winner is given immunity at the Spotlight Challenge (which is the BIG challenge of the show).

The winner was Jerry, with his pink/purple sprite makeup job.
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I felt a little “eh” with this makeup. I was also a little perturbed that not all the models were shown. They quickly flashed through them all, but really focused on the top two and bottom two. (Brea found herself in the bottom- her makeup was horrible).

The Spotlight challenge revolved around reimagining four of The Wizard of Oz’s iconic characters: the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Woodman, the Wicked Witch of the West, and the Scarecrow. The cast was divided up to boys vs. girls, which was an interesting way to go. Immediately the boys noticed how good at sculpting the girls were, and the girls outshines the boys with their ability to work together (minus the lion team).

Tara was working alone on the scarecrow, and DAMN that girl has so mad carving skills. The boys could not stop checking out her work, which bodes well for the girls!

My favorite overall was Tara’s scarecrow. She put so much thought at detail into him, I really wanted her to win.

I was amused that both teams ended up in a similar dystropian-style reimagining of Oz. Although their ideas were different and none of their characters looked the same, you could almost mix and match them. (Spoilers behind the jump)

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Summer skirt I won’t put away yet

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It was finally beginning to feel like fall around here, then blamo! the temperature goes back up to the 80s. Ugh. I’m all for warmer weather but all of this back-and-forth reeks havoc on my immune system. Speaking of which, apparently I’m allergic to hay or corn stalks because I went through a corn maze with my awesome coworkers and at the end of it I had hives. AGAIN.

I think I need to do one of those allergy tests. Have any of you guys had one done? I’ve been told they stick needles into your spine? Sounds like a fabulous time.

Top: H&M
Skirt: Anthropologie via blog sale
Necklace: Jcrew
Shoes: Forever 21

Anyway, enough about my allergies and onto the random photo of the day. I guess I was trying to walk toward the camera but instead pointed my toes like a weirdo. Awkward…
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red rover, red rover…

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Top, jacket: H&M
Shoes: Target
Scarf: Gift
Cords: Calvin Klein

This is the shirt I picked to take place of my long-lost black pants. I swear, I must have a laundry fairy that likes to eat my clothes because I can never find what I’m looking for. That, or I’m just really bad at remembering where I put my clothes. I’m leaning toward the fairy.

I haven’t looked at my blog reader in days, and I’m almost afraid to. I don’t want to read any posts if I can’t comment on them, so I’m saving them up for this weekend. It’s going to be such a fun weekend! Do you guys have plans for the weekend? What are you doing?