Late last week, images began circulating on Twitter of a white Guess leather shopper bag with a circular logo, handles, and a shoulder strap. Other than the “G” in place of the “T,” it looked almost exactly like the iconic vegan leather it-bag by New York brand Telfar, one of the few success stories of 2020’s historically bleak year for fashion.
In fact, Telfar Clemens and his creative director, Babak Radboy, had been aware of the bag, which was created by a Guess licensee, since February, according to the New York Times. But they decided not to pursue any legal action against the brand, which is not only expensive but would have, they feared, drawn undue attention to a copy they felt posed no threat to their own sales.
That may seem surprising in an era of designer copycat call-outs—but it isn’t, as Radboy told the Times,