Did Chico’s rip me off?

So knitloon on ravelry sent me a note about this:

Look familiar?

Dude.

She said she bought it as new stock a month ago. My pattern was published on Craft in March.

KAL Sally Cardigan

Sally Cardigan on Craftzine.com

Of course the Chico’s one is pieced colorwork instead of top-down slip-stitch, but that would be necessary for mass production. The only design difference is the neckline, which I actually give instructions for on the ravelry page (the color notes are the original for the pattern, not for me to show emphasis now):

Neckline mod closeup.

Now, maybe the Chico’s was inspired by the same random 40s children’s sweater I was. And maybe they decided it would make a good women’s sweater, and maybe they decided to change the pattern motif, ease, sleeve length and cuff length just like mine, and maybe this all happened after my pattern was published and without them seeing it. But really? Really, Chicos?

  • CTJen says:

    That’s how fashion works, everybody rips off everybody else. It’s why what’s in fashion is always changing and designers are always innovating. I urge you to watch the TED talk by Johanna Blakly in which she talks about about how the culture of copying in fashion others establishes trends.

    http://blog.ted.com/2010/05/25/lessons_from_fa/

    So yeah, really.

  • Lauren says:

    Well, if that isn’t just the greatest coincidence ever! The hand knitted ones are so much more charming though!

  • Christy says:

    Seriously? That’s not cool that they did that! :(

  • Patty says:

    I have seen this pattern in knitters a year or so back. Your does look nicer.This pattern comes up for air every so often.

    Patty

  • Nikol says:

    I couldn’t find the knitter’s pattern you’re talking about on ravelry, but I only went back as far as 2006 before deciding to give it a rest. I did find a loose-fitting long-sleeved mosaic jacket from ’09 (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/floating-checks), but aside from 2-tone mosaic, it looks nothing like this, so that’s probably not what you meant.

    I’m not talking about the stitch pattern–honeycomb’s pretty standard fare–it’s the overall design–the combination of pattern, fit, cut & style.

    I realize there’s nothing new under the sun and that everyone draws from everyone else–I never would have written my pattern if I didn’t love vintage kiddie sweaters and want a clingy update of one for myself–but this does strike me too close for coincidence not to note.

  • Carolyn says:

    I suppose that if you don’t have an attorney to send a letter and launch proceedings if necessary the question is kind of beside the point. But it does suck that they are doing that. Your pattern is great and I do plan to make it sometime soon, as opposed to visiting my neighborhood Chico’s to buy a crappy knock-off.

  • Lindsay says:

    Oh, it is most certainly NOT a Chico’s kind of day!

  • Nikol says:

    Yeah, that’s why I gave myself about a day to be huffy & then I dropped it. Whining a bit on my blog is about as far as I’m willing to go. And really, I’m perfectly fine with ripoffs in the other direction (individuals copying big chain stores’ stuff).

    I wonder if I would have reacted differently if it was a store I actually liked instead of my best friend’s retiree mom’s favorite store…. :)

  • Karyn says:

    Your sweater and the Chico’s sweater are very similar, but anyone in retail design will tell you that the Chico’s sweater was designed and sent to the factories for production at least a year before it was available in stores. Even the quickest factories can’t turn around a design and have it in stores within a 6 month period.

    Your sweater is much nicer than the Chico’s version, though.

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