From 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com.