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Douglas Hand on the Use of Antique Quilt Patterns: Bode vs. Stan

Douglas Hand on the Use of Antique Quilt Patterns: Bode vs. Stan

In fashion, there’s always been a fine line between inspiration and copycat. The men’s wear industry has been buzzing about newcomer Tristan Detwiler presenting a collection eerily similar to Bode’s. Partner Douglas Hand gives some thoughts on then the similarities between the use of antique quilt patterns for both Bode and Stan in the below excerpt.


Douglas Hand, a partner in the law firm of Hand Baldachin & Associates, and a specialist in the legalities of the fashion industry, said although there may be similarities between the two lines, there is no legal protection under existing intellectual property laws for either brand’s collections.

For a brand to be protected, it must fall into one of three categories, he explained. The first is a trademark, which is the brand name or a design feature such as the Christian Louboutin red soles, that are used over and over again by the same brand and come to represent its identity.

Then there is copyright protection, often used for music or art pieces, but not applicable to fashion, especially in this case, since both Bode and Stan are using upcycled fabrics created by others — and each is different.

The final option is to obtain a patent, which is generally used for the creation of technologies such as waterproofing, and neither of these brands would qualify under this category either.

“There’s no protection for these types of designs,” Hand said, “because they’re both inspired by others. I love what Bode does, her use of upcycled fabrics creates a great bohemian vibe. And I don’t think Stan nefariously said, ‘Look at how well Bode does, I’ll just do the same thing.’” Like Detwiler, Hand said he grew up in Southern California, and wrapping yourself in a quilt on the beach before surfing on a cold morning was just part of the culture.

Add to that the fact that the two brands’ designs — the work or chore coat or the wide-leg trousers — are men’s wear staples, “and none are protected.”

Hand summed it up this way: “What would be a shame is if someone would feel prohibited from creating upcycled fashion because others were doing it longer.”


You can read the rest of this WWD article here: The Bode vs. Stan Brouhaha Over Antique Quilts