22 April 2012

Primark (is that really you?!) vs Mary Katrantzou

So when I logged into my Marie Claire app on my iPhone this morning, I couldn't believe my eyes! Primark have really upped their game for their Summer 2012 Collection. I picked out my favourite outfits I saw from the photos and I got to say, I am in love with some of their new designs and with the price tag it is irresistible. This lovely dress is perfect for summer which features a chain detail as a belt. 

Who would have thought these were Primark designs?! I LOVE this mustard yellow dress. They've got some lovely shades and floral patterns in at the moment perfect for your summer wardrobe!

                       Mary Katrantzou                                                               Primark

              Mary Katrantzou                                  Primark: Jacket (£25) Trousers (£16)

The copy cat outfit came into the lime light of the media when designer Michael Van Der Ham posted a photo of the Primark trouser set on twitter to which he added, "Thank you Primark for ripping off Mary Katrantzou. Very supportive."

"It is completely shameful. Primark should take it off sale immediately. They wouldn't dare do this to a big label like Jimmy Choo or Prada, but they know young designers are in a weak position." Melanie Rickey, fashion editor of Grazia.  

I do agree with this statement that new and young designers are of course in a weak position starting out in the fashion industry however, who can blame Primark for wanting up their game in such a competitive industry? 

At a fraction of the price, this Primark blazer and trouser set is much more friendlier to the bank accounts of students such as myself. The trouser set that arrived in Primark recently has obviously been inspired by the designer Mary Katrantzou's Spring collection shown last September in London. So if you wanted an alternative look to the Mary Katrantzou floral prints then you can head on down to Primark. Unfortunately for many of us, something like this is just not affordable so high-street chains allow us fashion followers to be fashionable at a much more affordable price range. I know it isn't the real deal but for now I can only dream.

The designer, Mr Van De Ham also added, "It is dispiriting that big high-street chains copy from young designers. It's hard enough setting up a new business without this."

 If I were the Greek designer Mary Katrantzou, I wouldn't know if this was a threat or a compliment? In some ways, it could be viewed as both. Although Primark have blatantly done a copy cat version of this outfit, they have been inspired by one of the best new and upcoming designers out there. If I were the designer, I would definitely take this as a compliment and look at the positive aspects. For one, she is getting a lot of media attention alone from the Primark trouser set and this is all publicity for her. Also with being a new designer, her designs are inspirational enough for high-street chains to want to supply their customers with a similar version. It will definitely keep fashion trend spotters on their toes for the future which means this designer is one to look out for!

Although in some ways I am supporting high-street chains, I do believe that Mary Katrantzou is a fantastic designer, her prints and patterns are very inspiration to the fashion industry and she is definitely on her way to make it big.

So I will be going to London in less than 2 weeks (eek!) and will be visiting lots of exhibitions. One of them I will add to the list is 'Designs of the Year' 2012 Exhibiton at the Design Museum where Mary Katrantzou is also featured and I will be able to see her designs in the flesh! So for the meantime, if I can't support new designers by purchasing their designs right off the catwalk, I can at least support them by visiting exhibition such as this!

Would love to hear some thoughts on this, great for high-street fashion lovers or just bad for the fashion industry?

Thank you for reading

Kaela x


  1. loved reading this post.

    i think if i were the designer, though, i'd be kinda ripped. primark should've done a collab instead~

  2. your blog is amazing!keep posting!can we follow each other?

  3. Primark's collection is amazing!!! That dress you compared to the Mary Katrantzou one is so cute, I think I like it more!!


  4. Primark have actually done a proper lookbook!! Mmm, it's always difficult, I would love to be able to afford real Katrantzou, but it is WELL out of my price range, even the t shirt she did in collab with topshop was a bit of a push. At least it's not an exact copy...

  5. wow. all the collections! great colours, and love all the prints!! very inspiring!

  6. Replies
    1. primark only sells in stores in the uk and dont even have an online store yet!x

  7. this industry is all about recycling ideas. theres nothing wrong with being INSPIRED. although i think at some point ethically as a designer, we should be responsible to make sure we are getting inspired and not completely COPYING another designer's work.

    1. Yes I completely agree with that also, high street stores are very good at making affordable and alternative looks but their would be no originality if they were to copy all the time!

  8. I so couldnt tell that was primark.but I think it's shameful when they do stuff like that, your meant to take inspiration from the designers not copy! I hope you'll follow my blog xx

  9. Primark?!?! whoa i agree they have upped their game XD

  10. Lovely Post........I like all your posts.......Specially the floral Print clothes..

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  11. Beautiful designs...especially the middle six. But yes, I KNOW I'd be disheartened if somebody copied my designs also. I completely agree with Yuka on this. Inspiration is key, but total copy isn't. However, I don't see any definite copies by Pinmark here, even though it's pretty close with the patterns. On another note, I'm having so much fun looking around your blog!


Thanks so much for commenting!