What do you do if someone copies you?

What do you do if someone takes your idea or concept and uses it without your credit?

What do you do if someone imitates you and uses your words and your copy, concepts and ideas and it’s not really their own…?

Here’s the thing: I come from a fashion background. My first business was as a fashion designer. I took that business which was a high-end ready to wear and after a couple of years, I transformed it into high-end yoga wear. I opened up two stores in Montreal and a yoga studio and I was manufacturing my own clothes.

I’ve always been very creative and innovative but when I started my yoga wear collection, I knew that I was “on” to a concept that was brand new at the time which was elegant yoga wear. What was on the market was very athletic and I was looking to create something environmentally friendly, feminine, and luxurious.

So I came up with the word “yoga-à-porter”; a word play on “prêt-à-porter”. I trademarked it and through the process, I learned a lot about trademarks. I’m lucky enough to be working with amazing trademark agent so if you’re in Canada and you need some guidance, shoot me an email and I’ll give you her name. You’re gonna be in fantastic hands. (If you’re not in Canada, you can still work with her. She can give you good references.) Bottom line: you wanna have someone you trust because trademarking can be very expensive.

So coming from a fashion background, I’ve always been very inspired by one of my favorite designers Tom Ford. I remember a particular interview with Jeanne Becker of Fashion Television where after the runway show of how amazing collection for Gucci. Jeanne Becker asked. “What about the copycats that are going to copy this collection?”, he said, “I’m already two seasons ahead”.  His confident energy struck me and that statement stayed with me to this day. 

And I’ve adopted that attitude: always be 2 seasons ahead…

Now this works for me because at my core I’m an innovator and I would like you to also consider becoming an innovator.

Can you evolve an idea?

Can you integrate the learning + your life experience, and bring all of who you are and evolve a concept? Take it to the next level?

We don’t need more people creating the same content over and over again. We don’t need copycats because it’s boring!

So, if you’re an innovator, if you know that you’re sitting on an idea that’s a million-dollar idea, go ahead and protect it!

If you’re playing with concepts, creativity, and ideas that cannot be protected, let it go. They’re probably not yours in the first place anyway.

I don’t think that it’s a battle worth fighting for. You’re gonna drain your energy and creative genius meanwhile you could be creating something fresh, new, and innovative.

Again, I’m not saying that you don’t have legal resources to help you whenever someone is overstepping their boundaries but before you even reach out to a lawyer to work on your behalf, you can certainly reach to the person and say, “Hey! Not yours!” It can be done with heart and with love and respect. There’s no need to fight or be offended.

Bottom line, if someone is copying me or my work, I’m flattered.

However, I would also like to invite the person to tap into her own genius, her own ideas, and her own greatness.

We all have greatness and genius. It’s just a question of unleashing it and having the confidence in ourselves. We have everything we need -within us- to be successful and innovative.

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