Why One Designer Loves Being Copied By Zara And H&M

In the world of designer fashion, knockoffs have long been a largely loathed presence. While most designers bemoan their existence because of the financial loss they experience when shoppers buy cheaper, fake versions of their creations, there's at least one who claims to "love" when others copy his designs.

Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing recently told British Vogue that he's actually rather fond of the knockoff versions of his runway designs.

"I think it was Coco Chanel who said if you're original, be ready to be copied," he told Vogue. "I love seeing a Zara window with my clothes mixed with Céline and Proenza! I think that's genius. It's even better than what I do! I love the styling, I love the story... I watch the windows always, and it's genius what they do today.

"They go fast, they have a great sense of styling and how to pick up what they have to pick up from designers. I'm really happy that Balmain is copied. When I did my Miami collection and we did the black and white checks, I knew they would be in Zara and H&M. But they did it in a clever way; they mixed a Céline shape with my Balmain print! Well done! I love that."

It's one thing to appreciate the element of flattery in being copied, but Rousteing's downright enthusiasm over it is quite remarkable.

What do you think of his opinion on knockoffs? Sound off in the comments below.