Maria Cornejo went to Washington, D.C., last week along with Michelle Obama's other favorite designers, Thakoon Panichgul, Narciso Rodriguez, and Jason Wu, to lobby for a bill that would copyright protect clothing designs. Maria, who is a goddess, wrote a blog post about her trip, to enlighten fashion people as to how lobbying works. She says the designers, along with the CFDA's Stephen Kolb, went from office to office talking to representatives on Capitol Hill. So it was kind of like Fashion Week, except instead of seeing fashion shows one after the other, they saw politicians. After their appointments, they were even treated to a cocktail party. Maria sums up her case for an anti-piracy bill:
When people start copying your designs, you are handing them the keys to your brain. It's bad for business, and for the industry as a whole. The only place where copying isn't illegal is in China and the United States. If someone copies my garment in France, I can sue them, but it's not discouraged here. If you are making a blatant copy, why not just give us the job? Give us the budget and we'll design something for you. I'm all for affordable fashion. My daughter shops at Target — she bought a Thakoon skirt there and I'm into H&M. Both stores do great collaborations.
Since we can't afford designer clothes, we've feared the effect an anti-piracy bill would have on the fast-fashion chains we frequent. But it would be amazing if the legislation encouraged fast-fashion chains to hire designers they rip off to work for them. We hope many more designers are as open to it as Maria, who sounds like she's itching for a diffusion line of her own.
Lobbying aside, Michelle Obama was nowhere to be seen on the Hill, though Maria heard she was wandering around wearing one of her jackets. Maria was impressed to see ostrich boots on some of the ladies. She also notes, "The women wear brightly colored suits so they'll get noticed in the Senate." It sure worked for Hillary.
Maria Cornejo Goes to Washington [Stylelist]
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