"Be the first and be the loudest".
This is the advice I give all budding fashion designers as they often seek my advice. Rightly so designers want to protect their work, but how can they? Patent attorneys will take your money to do the paperwork and filing, but it's worthless, it is simply to easy to alter the design minimally enough to render the patent null and void.
In my career as a fashion designer and manufacturer I have had several designs copied by the best in the business, and I along with all others who design have been influenced by someone or something…it's an inevitability.
I have also played the game, over one too many bottles of fine wine, of trying to come up with a word, a term, that would become everyday jargon. Am I and my friends the only ones that have done this? I don't know, but in the past I have made up words to describe one of my designs, to create another category of garment or as we say, to create a new classification.
Somewhere between 1999 and 2001 I created some items that I wanted to be able to have identified by name and worn in a certain way. Although the design itself was not particularly unique, the fabrics used were and more importantly the name for them was. At the time I was living in the Hollywood Hills and the weather particularly lent itself to this garment. It was a cross between a jacket and a shirt, you could wear it alone or over a shirt or knit, easy, what else could it be but a SHACKET?
Five days ago I read on GQ MAgazine about a shacket, as they stated, "Shirt + Jacket = Shacket, but together they're worth more to your fall wardrobe than the sum of their parts." This created mixed emotions, the adage about imitation being the greatest form of flattery only goes so far, after that you want to see your name attached to it, hey, I never claimed modesty. So, I thought I would go searching through some external drives long ago put away. I quickly found two documents, the first is in Italian in a letter to the factory discussing deliveries where it is mentioned to be delivered by February 28, 2001. While in the second document it is mentioned in descriptive terms for what was going to be part of a line book. I've blurred some parts to not mention companies or individuals that may want to remain unnamed at this moment. At the bottom of each document you can see the dates of April 5, 2007 and December 27, 2000 respectively, representing the dates when these documents were last created or modified prior to me using them in this blog, proving two things: one, they were created before GQ used the term, and two, that someone with as many assigned tasks as I had, simply didn't take time off because it was the Holiday week between Christmas and New Year.
besides digging these documents up, I also was curious to do the proverbial Google search to see what I'd find. A listing for shacket, appeared in the Urban Dictionary as you see here, showing the term, the description and the date it was first entered.
The last shacket I designed and manufactured was for Vluxe in a cotton/linen blend as you see it here in a washed & crunched charcoal gray and bright royal blue inside.
There, I got it off my chest, or perhaps I should say, off my shoulders for it to be worn by new designers and customers.