Statement Regarding RuffleCon and Simplicity

RuffleCon Alternative Fashion Conference LogoFrom the very beginning, we here at RuffleCon believed that our event is a place for artists to express their creativity with an audience that will appreciate their work. We have always been firm on issues regarding replicas, artist rights, and originality. For anyone familiar with the legal side of the fashion world, it is extremely difficult to patent/trademark specific designs and styles. Hence the plethora of replicas that do exist of our small group of alternative fashion designers.

A pattern was released by Simplicity that had clear, direct inspiration from our designers who have attended RuffleCon in the past. In the best interests of both RuffleCon and Simplicity, we have decided that Simplicity will not be returning as a sponsor for RuffleCon 2017. Our goal has always been for our artists to receive more recognition for their work, not to place them at risk. After speaking with Simplicity directly, they were very understanding and apologetic about the issue. Simplicity would like to hear directly from designers who have been affected, in a professional manner, to discuss a resolution to the matter. We do feel that, in this circumstance, this was not an instance of intentional malice but rather ignorance about the community.

Unfortunately, the incident also resulted in threats of violence and death threats made against both RuffleCon and Simplicity. This is unacceptable. Please understand that approaching the matter in this way will not garner results. We understand the issue is sensitive to our audience, but the first step should always be polite, firm and professional, not visceral. We are actively working with designers that reached out to us or Simplicity directly so far, and encourage others who have been affected to do the same as well. We would kindly ask that all threatening commentary cease towards us or Simplicity. It is not helping in resolving this matter. We understand your concerns, and we are here to support our artists directly. Please help us do that in a polite, professional way.

Because of the reaction online to the pattern, and the loss of our largest sponsor, we are now in a financial predicament that may halt further work for this conference. If you support individual artists and want to keep an event like ours going, please consider sponsoring our event in some capacity, or reaching out to companies you feel would be a better match for RuffleCon and its attendees. We are happy to work with creative outlets looking to inspire and innovate in the alternative fashion industry. If you would like to reach out for this opportunity, please contact us directly either through our forms or info@rufflecon.org.

Thank you for your understanding and patience for the last couple weeks as we have considered this. If you are an artist needing any help, or have further concerns on this, please contact us directly through our forms or info@rufflecon.org.

  • tinygoldenpins

    In 1996, I made a furry hat exactly like Miss Candyholic's for my daughter. I copied it out of a Japanese manga comic we had and then went online to see if I could find it being worn by a real girl. I found tons just like it in every color being worn by sweet Japanese girls. I have no idea where they bought it or from who and how many shops and vendors sold it. What I do know is this: it's not an original design and Miss Candyholic can NOT in good reason claim it as her own. She didn't produce it out of thin air, using only her imagination as inspiration. Yes, it's adorable and she can sell as many as she likes, but to say that Simplicity stole it and copied it is, frankly, not true. Equally ridiculous is the Spoonflower artist saying that Simplicity using her fabric design in a pattern is like seeing a piece of art being used inappropriately. It's fabric. It was for sale. What sort of person becomes upset about this? Who decides who gets to use her fabric that she sells? The buyer.

    I can go on, but I find this sort of attitude dispiriting and really hurtful to your community. It is amazing to me that you would be so aggrieved over this. Very little fashion is original. I went into some shops today and saw clothes that seem to be copied from my wardrobe from 1971. Who should I sue? That same wardrobe was mostly copied from 19th century peasants in Romania, so maybe I should go back to the past and stand trial in copyright court for stealing my great-great-great-grandmother's babushka. True grievance is to be supported and repaired. Miss Candyholic does not have a true grievance. It does not surprise me that you have lost your sponsor and perhaps, in time, you may realize that the loss was self-inflicted.

    • Thank you for letting us know your thoughts. We appreciate the feedback.

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