Awhile back, I discovered Shabby Apple’s super cute dresses and was so excited to eventually own one.

However, in recent months, many unfortunate events have turned me off to them…

First, I found a local boutique that carried them, and the two dresses I had been eying looked to be poor quality and really cheap (quality, not price), so I didn’t even try them on and quit coveting them.

Then, I began reading reviews from friends about how awful their quality is.

When their “Dare to Design” contest came around, I was hesitant to enter a design for two reasons: I have done that in the past and been ripped off and uncredited, and I didn’t know if I wanted my breakthrough to be with a company that garnered little respect from people I know (I know that recognition is recognition and that people who have designs being sold still have a one up on my regardless of quality, but seriously? did I want to be associated with them?).

[I didn’t end up entering]

Now, I’m a little bit miffed because they’ve been knocking off designs of other designers…

For example, Anthropologie’s Bold Boutonniere Dress (no longer available)

made a eerily similar reappearance at Shabby Apple, but with a noticeably lower quality (yet the beneficial addition of sleeves)…

Now, I have found that this “new” line of dresses at Shabby Apple has a dress…

that’s looking pretty similar to the designs of Kate Towers…

Now, I’m going to be totally honest here: I have definitely considered making myself a dress inspired by the aesthetic of Kate Towers, and you might see one on me one day.  But I’m not selling it (I don’t know if that makes a difference or not… probably not, but work with me here).  And I realize Shabby Apple didn’t EXACTLY copy it, but when I pull up their site and can tell exactly where their “inspiration” came from…. it kind of rubs me the wrong way.  Like their designers were too lazy to interpret things their own way and instead just leech off of someone else’s creativity.

BUT, I still frequent stores like Forever 21 who have been known to knock off other stores directly, but I don’t really have enough of an issue with it to stop shopping there (you know the quality is lacking when you enter and they price it in that range).  So am I being hypocritical by letting Shabby Apple’s similarities bother me?

So, my friends, I pose this question:

How do you feel about companies “being inspired by” [read: copying] other companies?

{sorry about the crappy screen shots; I’m feeling too lazy to crop them, etc.}

{also, I’m not trying to bag on Shabby Apple (or am i?), but it was the fuel for the question posed at the end}

{PS Shabby Apple has really cool “Stories” about their collections that are fun to read.  I LOVE this idea.}