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Balmain's Designer Explains Why He Loves When Brands Like Zara Copy Him

Balmain, Olivier Rousteing Getty Images

When Balmain's creative director, Olivier Rousteing, walks past a Zara window display and sees copies of his own designs, he doesn't get mad. He feels flattered.

"I think it was Coco Chanel who said if you're original, be ready to be copied," he told The Independent. "I'm really happy that Balmain is copied."

The designer (and Kim Kardashian's bestie) isn't just happy when major chains lift ideas from his runway shows and then mass produce them…he's actually complimenting them on a job well done!

"I love seeing a Zara window with my clothes mixed with Céline and Proenza! I think that's genius," said Rousteing. "It's even better than what I do!...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."

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Céline's designer Phoebe Philo shared a similar sentiment to Rousteing back in March when she was interviewed by British Vogue's editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman as a part of the Vogue Festival.

When asked how she feels about being copied, she said, "Most of the time I think it's really flattering and exciting. Only occasionally it's been too close to the bone."

But not every designer shares the same opinion as Phoebe and Olivier when it comes to seeing lookalikes. Roberto Cavalli slammed Michael Kors back in February, telling Miami's Haute Living magazine, "Mr. Michael Kors, he copies everything! It's really a scandal and nobody has the courage to say anything. It's really not fair."

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We think it's so refreshing when designers like Rousteing and Philo have a relaxed attitude toward big brands getting ideas from their runway shows. After all, it's a major sign that they're popular and successful. But, like Philo implied, there's a line between directly referencing a design and a straight up, stitch-for-stich rip-off.

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