Prompted by several friends and ICFF attendees who spotted knockoffs of the firm’s furniture at recent New York Design Week events, design firm Bend Goods is issuing a call to reject imitations, via its blog and the social media hashtag #seek2boriginal.
Bend Goods founder Gaurav Nanda, who is also a sculptor and designer, tells EAL that the knockoffs, while not new, caused alarm. “As a designer and as a business owner, it’s made things really challenging for us when we see bigger, and even smaller, companies try to imitate what we do. There are really no good laws in place that help us protect the people who are actually designing original product.” His approach? Alert the company’s fans and friends to the importance of original design. A knockoff of one of his pieces was found in a “tiny local store in Bali, [but imitations abound] from there all the way up to Target. A normal consumer who doesn’t have a design background or doesn’t do the research may not know the difference.”
Interior designers can help address that problem, explains Bend Goods marketing director Eric Stauble, by educating themselves and their clients. “Take the extra step to know where something is coming from; if it looks familiar, learn where it’s coming from.” He points out that large-scale retailers may find emerging designers’ work on social media, and reproduce it without crediting them. “Now, I’m so mindful of where I shop, especially some of these big-box stores. You have to question where their designs are coming from.” Worse comes to worst? He urges designers to simply decline. “If clients come asking for replicas, designers can just say, ‘No. I don't want to be part of that.’”
As the company explains in a June 10 blog post: “We are writing this for a couple different reasons. Firstly to voice some frustration. You can imagine that as designers, this can get pretty infuriating to deal with at times. Second, to reiterate that as far as our collections are concerned, our promise to you is that we will always be individuals and unique. On the off chance that we are paying homage to a classic silhouette, like the Peacock Chair, for example, we will always give credit where credit is certainly due. Lastly, to say thank you for your support and the support you give to original design of any kind. It’s important that we all stand together and go the extra distance to seek out originality. Whether it’s with a follow on Instagram or the purchase of a chair, we need to stand together to make the world a more beautiful and original place.”
Read the full blog post.