18 December, 2006

Ripped Off

It's been all work and no play at Pine Cone Lodge recently. So not much to show in the Poetry in Stitches department. I finally was able to knit all weekend, but I have not even gotten the first flower border finished.

I am THINKING about knitting a lot though. For example, let me show you a sweater named Marius, named for this guy, Marius Eriksen, a popular skier in the fifties:
The picture and caption above is from "Strikking i Norge"
(Knitting in Norway, Kjellberg, et al., 1987).


This is one of the most popular sweaters in Norway ever, and was designed in the 50's. It was loosely based on the borders of Setesdal sweaters, but I have never seen it exported much, since it was not a real "traditional" sweater. It was more one that just "everybody" wore.
Here is another updated version which is pretty cute.

But since it's not a traditional sweater, but actually a recent and copyrighted design, imagine my surprise as I am walking down the street and I see this window:

See the sweater on the left? Okay, maybe the nighttime, through the plate glass window, is not the best shot...



But still! Ralph Lauren has blatantly copied the Marius sweater. This is just so wrong!

Wonder if I should alert the knitting authorities. I will have to go and cheer myself up by reading some Threadbared...

13 comments:

  1. Hm... seems Ralph Lauren is a thief ;) I'd take a handknitted sweater with this design any day before I'd buy one of RL though!

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  2. Marius by Ralph Lauren - for my Norwegian eyes that's just WEIRD!! I agree, the updated Sandnes version is very nice. I've been wanting to make some sort of updated Setesdal sweater, maybe this is the way to go.

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  3. Hm, dette er ikkje bra av Ralph Laurent!! Tusen takk for kjekk kommentar i bloggen min. Lenge sidan eg har vore innom din, så nå har eg kosa meg veldig! Ha ei fin jul :)

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  4. It always makes me happy to see the "bigger/mainstream" designers feature Fair Isle or some other stranded work as others would follow.

    And hopefully, it might inspire some knitters to try stranding. Actually, since Rowan, Interweave & other popular magazines came out with some easier patterns, I've seen an increase in knitters doing stranded work.

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  5. the thing about the design world - any part of the design world - is that everyone is "inspired" by others' work... but that seems to be a little more than inspiration... I like what Marina says tho, about making the style more popuar... Mabe Ralph asked to use the pattern?

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  6. Hi hege, great to read from your blog again. So the design was recently copyrighted? Is it possible that RL paid for the right to reproduce it under their line? Maybe they think it more economical to pay for the right than paying designers to come up with something new!

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  7. Hmmm, suspicious. Beautiful pattern though. I can see why RL pinched it.

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  8. Marius is a beautiful classic. I hope RL paid very well for it!

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  9. This happened a few years ago, I think it was Interweave that had a pattern for a sweater with 3-D leaves coming down the front. A few months later, Anthropologie came out with a sweater that was identical. Ralph Lauren actually has a sheep farm around me, maybe I should hike over and inquire. :)

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  10. I'm with anni, hopefully he paid very very well for the design...I like the old style.

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  11. Usually these designers hire someone to plan their sweaters. So where is the source of the rip off? I hope they at least named their sweater "Marius". Good sleuthing! I love knitting scandal.

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  12. I've had lots of Marius sweaters in my childhood years. They're great and used to come in and out of fashion. My mum used to knit mine and my sisters. How surreal tosee them in the Ralph Laurent display.

    I'm a fellow Norwegian but have lived in the UK for 17 years now.

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