Lilly vs. Old Navy: A Preppy Showdown

When Renee, Meg, and Sydney were discussing Lilly Pulitzer suing Old Navy, my gut instinct was to side with Old Navy. Without clicking on the link to the article that was sent, I figured – how similar could the designs really be? I thought Lilly was probably overreacting, and decided: if Old Navy made something that similar to Lilly designs, surely I would’ve seen it by now.

And one other thought that went through my head: Old Navy is probably just trying to make preppy style more accessible – after all, Lilly can get crazy expensive, especially for just a plain pair of shorts or a simple shirt.

I finally clicked on the article sent and saw how grossly mistaken I was – Old Navy so heavily copied Lilly Pulitzer, it’s absolutely insane. As someone interested in business law, I thought this was one of the best ways to see how fashion ties into that. Fabric patterns are heavily protected and in these sorts of instances, similar prints can warrant an attack.


screen-shot-2015-07-30-at-12-08-49-pm*photo credit

I think we should all note that there is also an overarching problem that no one at Old Navy spotted these vast similarities – aren’t the people who are approving the designs in-the-know when it comes to the whole fashion industry? And clearly, whoever came up with the textile should be ashamed, because it is obviously neither of the prints on the Old Navy side were even remotely original.

I applaud Lilly Pulitzer on their decision to sue Old Navy, despite my extremely loyal ties to Old Navy. I love that Old Navy takes trends and makes them more affordable (post on that here) – but this is way too far.

I know this article isn’t much that hasn’t already been said, but it truly interested me because it is a growing problem within the fashion industry.

What are your thoughts on this?

xoxo, Jamie

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2 Responses to Lilly vs. Old Navy: A Preppy Showdown

  1. I think that the first pair are too similar and Lilly will win over those, but the 4th of July pair have enough variation that they could only be called “inspired by Lilly.” My stepmother works in the design industry and she thinks Old Navy will win because if a variation is greater 10%, it cannot be counted as copied. (If that even makes any sense, it’s kind of hard to explain haha) So I’m interested to see how this plays out!

    • The Fashion Newcomer says:

      That’s so cool that your stepmother works in the design industry!! Thank you for sharing with me her knowledge. I’m so curious to see what happens – I definitely see what you mean by variation greater than 10% so maybe Old Navy will end up prevailing! Thank you for leaving a comment :)
      xoxo, Jamie

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