Tom Ford’s Molly Dress Is ‘A Knockoff Of The Knockoff’

Looks from Tom Ford’s Fall 2014 collection.
Photos: Getty Images

Tom Ford debuted his Fall 2014 collection in London yesterday and we NEED to talk about it. Let’s start with the basics: Ford sent two identical dresses down the runway (in black and orange), both of which were emblazoned with the shorthand version of everyone’s favorite lyric from Jay Z’s “Tom Ford” and the year the designer was born (1961).

Ford called his design, “a knockoff of the knockoff”—a concept we last heard when M.I.A. drew inspiration for her Versus Versace collection from the knockoff Versace items sold on the street by bootleggers. The knee-jerk reaction is to assume that Ford was merely referring to a similarlyprinted BBP tee that Jay Z rocked back in December on his Magna Carta World Tour (and has been seen wearing again in Bey’s most recent vacation photos). But that only accounts for one “knockoff”: his own of the BBP shirt. Confused? Don’t be. There’s a simple explanation.

Fashion team tees by LPD x VFiles and BBP.
Photos: LPD/BBP

Ford’s new copycat dresses actually have roots in 2012. In November of that year, LPD New York and VFiles teamed up to create a line of fashion team tees with designer names scrawled across the backs of shirts in varsity block lettering with each designer’s respective birth year as the number. (Potentially also of note: Ford was noticeably absent from that original LPD roster.) It wasn’t until after that release that BBP’s Tom Ford/Molly shirt landed on Jay Z’s back for the St. Paul, Minnesota, stop of his tour.

So when Ford said he created “a knockoff of the knockoff,” it would seem that he’s actually saying BBP’s shirt is already a knockoff, specifically of the LPD x VFiles collab. Tricky, we know. But, like, what exactly are the rules about printing and reprinting (and reprinting) designs like this? Is anyone in the wrong here or is this 100% fair game? Sure, Tom Ford’s dresses almost exactly mirror the back of BBP’s shirts, but BBP was also selling (and presumably turning a profit on) a product emblazoned with Tom Ford’s name (AND birth year). IDK. Deep thoughts, unanswered questions. Discuss amongst yourselves.

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