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  • Aesthetics + Economics is my attempt to find an outlet for an intense interest in fashion and design in general. My aims are twofold: to find interlocutors so that I might refine my knowledge of the inner workings of fashion and the design-oriented business world, and to share that interest and information with fellow fashion devotees! Comments are VERY welcome. Please tell me what you think, whether it be to agree, disagree, argue, or enlighten me. The banner image features a picture from "Bad is the New Good" photographed by Eugenio Recuenco.

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The Bargain Queen

Excellent points -- you make me wish there was an ethical way to buy the things I love for prices I can afford.

In Australia we don't get the Target designer lines, so all I can do is buy things on clearance when I can find them and go with the knockoffs the rest of the time.

Oh, for a massive pay rise! ;)


Hey Bargain Queen! might be happy to know that a lot of economists (even yours truly at times) consider it ethical for consumers to behave in such a way as to maximize their well some economists might say, go for the knockoffs! I remain ambivalent on the subject, but I am totally with you on wishing for a massive pay raise!

My favorite type of purchase is when you find something exquisite and original that is made by a lesser known designer at a decent price. You derive more utility/value from it because no one else has it and it doesn't look like anything else on the its novelty doesn't fade quite as quickly. Anyway, happy shopping!

Joi (stereoette)

Wow, I just recently discovered your blog, and I love that it appeals to my inner design addict (I'm a crafter) and inner nerd (and a lawyer).

I think the issue of knock offs is an interesting one both from a legal and ethical perspective. I agree with your point on knock offs reducing demand. While I was in law school I didn't agree with the concept of dilution, but as I get more into fashion, the effect of "lesser" or "different" brands preying on iconic design becomes more vivid for me.

Keep up the econ analysis! I'm loving it!


OMG. Elsa, you are such a goddess. This is a great post!

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Economics is the social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek οἰκονομία (oikonomia, "management of a household, administration") from οἶκος (oikos, "house") + νόμος (nomos, "custom" or "law"), hence "rules of the house(hold)".[1] Current economic models developed out of the broader field of political economy in the late 19th century, owing to a desire to use an empirical approach more akin to the physical sciences.

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The fashion designers draw out the body form and then make copys for an easy trace, do they use basic templates, or do they know how to draw body forms quickly from memory?


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You've done an excellent job explaining your thoughts about the knockoff industry. I just wanted to add, that people won't stop buying genuine shoes because they want the brand name, the quality, and the feel that there's to it.

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