Even as a newbie blogger, I receive emails from brands asking to collaborate on a regular basis. While it can be tempting to say yes to everything, I try to be selective and only do collaborations with those companies I feel fit my personal brand. When Romwe reached out to me, I was hesitant. Romwe is an online retailer that offers super trendy clothing. Because my style isn't super trendy, I usually am not a fan of these types of sites, but I decided to have a look just to see if anything caught my eye. When I came across this lip button up shirt, I thought it was quirky and unique, so I decided to go for it.
When I received the shirt in the mail, I noticed a signature which was part of the graphic. The signature read "Garance Dore". I immediately recognized the name, as I read Garance's book, "Love, Style, Life", a couple years ago. I thought it was strange that she would have collaborated with Romwe to design a shirt, so I decided to search Google to see what information I could find. Sure enough, I saw almost the exact same shirt pop up on Farfetch, a website that sells high end designers. The shirt originally retailed for $385. Clearly this shirt I received was a direct knock off.
I am a fashion designer for my full time job, so I know mass retailers look towards high end designers to determine trends and gather inspiration. However, it is one thing to be inspired by a designer, it is another thing to directly copy them. I know some people don't mind wearing or carrying knock off items, but this is something that has never appealed to me. For example, as much as I would love a Chanel handbag, buying a knock off just wouldn't give me that same satisfaction.
I don't mean to speak negatively about Romwe. Technically speaking, this shirt is actually well made. The fabric is super soft and has a nice drape. I also really do like the style, and I still think the lip graphic is super cute and quirky, but knowing it's a fake just doesn't make me feel good about wearing it. I know I could have easily glossed over this while posting this look, but as a blogger, I think it's important to be transparent and speak up about the issues that are important to you.
Shirt: C/O Romwe
Skirt: Madewell; Shoes: Nine West (bought at Macy's)
Location: Pisillo Italian Cafe (Financial District, Manhattan)