Falling in Love von Fräulein Annie oder Topshop?

Yesterday Kitty from Undercover Lingerista shared a picture on her Facebook page of a bra set by Topshop very similar to Fräulein Annies "Falling in Love Blush" (read my Review here)

Fräulein Annie vs. Topshop

Frauke from Fräulein Annie has kindly agreed to answer some questions yesterday!

Falling in Love - Blush
Falling in Love - Blush by Fräulein Annie

Denocte:
A close copy of one of your designs was spottet at Top Shop, how do you feel about it?

Frauke:
When I first saw it, I was surprised and a little shocked because it’s so similar. Personally, it makes you feel violated and robbed. But since I’m working in the industry for a long time already and familiar with its dynamics, I was aware that this might happen sooner or later. I just launched my brand Fräulein Annie a year ago and they copied one of my first collections, so this is pretty fast! I decided to take it as a compliment!

Denocte:
Why do you think this is happening?

Frauke:
The High Street is under big pressure to pump out new stock every month or so. Newness all the time is key in order to keep customers coming into the store regularly. At the same time, prices have to be kept at a low because that customer shall not only browse but also buy every time. It’s all about newness and mass consumption.

To develop a new bra from scratch can take one year ( larger sizes can take twice as long!). This is a big investment in design and product development. The High Street has no time to go that route and they wouldn’t make money because the investment would be too high. It’s easier, cheaper and faster to go out and buy some designer garments, send them to a cheap factory abroad, place an order and the factory does the rest. No in-house designer required, no fabric and garment technologist, no pattern maker, no vision of how the design idea might translate into the real product because they have the product in hand already.

Denocte:
Do you have any legal leverage you could implement on them?

Frauke:
Garment designs are difficult to protect and protection costs money and time, both of which independent designers don’t have. High Street giants can afford expensive lawyers and have plenty of resource to fight a case. For me, it’s simply not worth it, I prefer to spend my time and energy with more pleasant subjects. My consolation is that they can’t pick my brain, I’ll always be several steps ahead. And they cannot copy the quality, fit and attention to detail. It’s impossible with that price tag and with the way they work.

Denocte:
How can they make it so much cheaper than yours?

Frauke:
Apart from saving the designer and technology team to develop the garment (imagine that this can easily be a year’s salary for a team of experienced people!), they produce in large quantities to a low quality standard. Vs independent designers like myself who invest in a year’s work and get it made at a premium factory with premium materials and in small production runs. In general, production is more cost effective the more you get made. Small quantities are very expensive to make but benefit from great craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Denocte:
Why is it worth investing in the original?

Frauke:
Bras, similar to shoes fit close to your body. Wearing a cheap bra with a poor fit and quality is not only uncomfortable and unflattering, it can harm your body and health.

It’s sad if a woman doesn’t want to invest in herself and her self-esteem.

After all, you are not saving money buying cheap clothes. I tried High Street bras myself and hardly wore them because the fit and comfort was poor. Or did wear them a few times and had to throw them away shortly after because they were falling apart or started looking ugly.

If you have to buy a new cheap bra every other month, you might as well invest in the real thing that not only lifts the way you feel about yourself but also lasts longer. And for those younger women on a small budget, there are still end of season sales and promotions to look out for. The choice is yours.

Fräulein Annie Tag
Fräulein Annie Tag

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