Chanel Copies Fair Isle Knit Designs of Mati Ventrillon

Well, this is ridiculous. According to an article by Maria Bobila of Fashionista, Chanel has been accused of copying Fair Isle knitwear designs from Scottish designer Mati Ventrillon. The sweaters in question debuted on the runway in the Chanel Pre-Fall Métiers d’Art 15/16 collection on December 1st in Rome, Italy after Chanel apparently purchased sweaters from Ventrillon in the Summer.

Chanel’s Métiers d’Art 15/16 collection gave some attention to the traditional Fair Isle design, especially after Chanel put an emphasis on the design in the finale. Mati Ventrillon noticed and took to Instagram to express how she felt about the matter in which she says,

Endorsement or plagiarism?#chanelofficial@mativentrillon Earlier this summer two Chanel staff visited Fair Isle and bought some of my stock garments with the understanding that the garments were for research, I specifically said that I was going to sell it to them for the reputation of Chanel house and because I would not expect them to copy my design….little I know

which was accompanied by the photo below.

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Marc Bain of Quartz also reported the issue in which he states that a commenter on Mati Ventrillon’s Facebook page asked it the designs were traditional Fair Isle designs or the original designs of Ventrillon to which Ventrillon responds, “The patterns are traditional Fair Isle patterns but the black and white design and the pattern arrangement is my design.” Ventrillon further explains that she designed that particular sweater for the Queen’s Jubilee in 2012 “as part of Oxford Street Fashion Flags Campaign.”

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Chanel has responded to the news and issued the following statement:

Further to discussions that have allowed the parties to clarify this issue, Chanel will credit Mati Ventrillon by including the words ‘Mati Ventrillon design’ in its communication tools to recognise her as the source of inspiration for the knitwear models in question. Chanel recognises that this situation resulted from a dysfunctionality within its teams and has presented its apologies. Chanel also recognises the heritage and know-how of Fair Isle. Chanel wishes to emphasise that the House is extremely vigilant in terms of its respect for creativity, whether its own or that of others.

Don’t expect there to be any legal issues over this. According to Maria Bobila, Mati Ventrillon has explained that she is “more concerned about the value of traditional craftsmanship than collecting money from the luxury French fashion house.”

Regardless of Chanel’s statement and what Mati Ventrillon plans to do about it, the copying of designs from other brands is getting ridiculous. Especially now that major brands like Chanel are doing it. Designs have been copied in handbags and accessories for a while, even among luxury brands, but it seems as if clothing will start to be copied too. If anything, brands need to take more time to come up with more original designs.

So, what do you think? Should Chanel be allowed to use those designs? Let me know in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to get new post sent directly to your inbox and follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.


Image Sources: (Featured Image, Image 2)

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