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Welcome to the Great Ression

Where a flawed business model will cost your organization dearly.

And yes, unless there is a new development or something I find completely distasteful, this will probably be my final commentary on the "Replica Wars".  And I do apologize for going on and on about it, but for some reason this debate has really sparked something in me.  I don't know why, but it just makes me angry.  Possibly because of the way this entire situation has been handled, but then again I don't think that's it either.

So the debate has pretty much fizzed out here on LJ and has now poured into Facebook, where I am on Oo Jia's friends list, page and it has gotten quite ugly there.  Pretty much this woman has had to spend the last two or three days defending her actions against the mega trolls of Facebook.  She has been told that she's an awful person, people threatening her, and sending her mean and nasty comments and she is really tired of trying to defend herself at this point.  Her fans have commented to her that she should continue to make dresses and ignore the comments, but I can tell she feels really defeated and I can't say that I blame her, because I would probably be feeling the same way if I were in her place.  It's hard to keep fighting when the odds are really stacked against you.

I don't know who the brand company is who is complaining but I have my suspicions on who the offended party is, but since I don't know for sure I'll keep it to myself.  Pretty much I feel like this, first of all it was really shitty of whomever it is, to run whining and threatening to the egl community.  What they should have done was contacted Oo Jia directly instead of egl and taken up their dispute with her personally.  That happened previously when Oo Jia was going to make another replica from a different company and they asked her not to and she agreed not to make the replica.  Problem...  Solution...  But no, let's play this out in a public forum and create a scene. 

That, my friends, is what is known as a dick move.  That's pretty much the equivalent of someone breaking up with you but in your bitterness, you get their friends to turn against that person.  If you have a grievance with someone, take it up with them, don't drag others into the fight, because really egl has nothing to do with any of it and to blame or threaten them is craziness.  So that is the starter reason why I don't like this situation.

I know a lot of the complaints about replicas stem from intellectual properties wank and I guess as a business person I can understand.  Your creations are what separate you from your competitors and makes your company stand out.  But how many different variations of teddy bears, various ice creams, parfaits, hearts, unicorns, lollapalooza lollypops, deers, and bunnies can you make before the stuff starts looking all the same?  But whatever.

I may be a business person, but I am never on the side of an organization that runs in efficiently or is willing to put profits over people.  Or a business who adopt the model that our products are only for X set of people.  Why do you think FUBU was started?  It was the backlash against Tommy Hilfiger, who had said, he didn't want African-American people to buy his clothes.  So someone started FUBU.  So the idea that we want only those who can afford or fit our clothes is completely asinine to me and not just with Lolita either, but with any brand of clothing.  Be it Baby, AP, Victoria Secret, or Abercrombie and Fitch.  If you were about something other than some whack-ass antiquated and grossly flawed idealized standard of beauty, then you would embrace lower costs and larger sizes.  And you don't have to sacrifice quality either, you can provide a service without marginalizing a whole segment of the population.  Prime example, Maxcimmam has had their "Lovely" size up for about two or three years now and I'm sure having larger sizes hasn't hurt their sales, so let's get with the program people!

I don't know...  And I really don't know why I'm all opinionated about anything, because one I don't own any of Oo Jia's replicas and two, I only own one print dress which is my Innocent World strawberry dress.  I'm 34 years old and while I do love Lolita and will continue to wear it until either I dislike it or can't afford it (hence why I haven't had a new dress in awhile); but there comes a point in every woman's life where you just can't in good conscience wear stuff with bunnies and parfaits all over it.  The most I can even squeak out is a solid outfit, nothing super fruity.

But the long and the short of this is this...  It's not about replicas, it's not about "respect for designers" (as I've heard several times this week), and it's not about supporting brands or even disloyalty or loyalty.  I've said it once and I'll say it again, it's purely about MONEY.  Whatever design house is pissed because a dressmaker has the gall to carve out a niche for themselves in the international marketplace and they are super pissed about it.  If this had been ANY lesser company doing the same thing, who hardly anyone knew about or wasn't making a name or money for themselves this would not be an issue.  As I said yesterday on Facebook, "If they had a better international business model they would have made their sizing and pricing more reasonable, especially in-light of the global economic recession we are still experiencing.  In the "New Economy" companies will have to find ways to be competitive and they're still clinging to old business models and ideologies and expect everyone to do the same."  That's why they ran like a pack of cry babies to the community and threatened them, knowing they didn't have the expertise or resources to defend themselves. 

I called bull shit the other
day and I'm calling it again now.

This situation was handled very poorly and really I have lost a lot of respect for the "brand" side of Lolita.  And the amount of brown nosing and kowtowing to these companies is just crazy and makes me sick to my ass.  There are other ways of getting people to champion your cause without strong-arming or making threats to outside parties.  If they had settled their arguments amicably between themselves and the other party, then afterwards bring the community into it, I would have given them a lot more respect than I do right now.

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