What do you do when the man you idolize seems to have copied your work? That’s the question Proudrace had to deal with yesterday as they spotted a similar print from their previous June 2016 collection in Raf Simons’ fall/ winter 2017 line.
Proudrace posted about it on their Instagram Stories with a lighthearted tone. Preen.ph spoke to the brand’s creative director Rik Rasos who tells us the incident is leaving him a little confused. “He’s Raf Simons who probably has a creative team helping him conceptualize so something like this would be avoided, right? While in Proudrace, that design was even made in MS Paint by me. I wanna say it’s a coincidence but having the same layout is really odd. That print is very common but the similarities are just too close.”
Still, Rik takes the higher ground on the issue. “I don’t want to assume that it was copied. Nevertheless, Raf Simons is still my idol.” He is also making something positive out of it. “Maybe we are slowly making noise that huge international brands are referencing us.” Other than that, he let me in on the brand’s plan to put out a few pieces with a print that says “Not Raf Simons.” Clever, right? Rik also says this is better than his previous practice wherein he would send letters to brands that would rip Proudrace off. “Now I brush it off because it’s easy to copy a design but they can never copy the soul of your label.”
In connection to the gray areas that divide copying from inspiration, Rik also mentions how the print he made was inspired by something he saw. It references a Cosco bag which has the message “Thank You” thrice along with “Have a Nice Day!”
This is why Rik firmly believes in another idol of his, Rick Owens. “He said, ‘Once you put out something in public, you lose ownership of it.'” In this, the design from a simple shopping bag has taken a life of its own from a sweater to an international tioanl label, which reveals the twisted and fun alleys of fashion and design.
Photo courtesy of Rik Rasos’ Instagram account