Designer versus High street

Spot the Difference – Michael van der Ham and River Island

Hello world,

I noticed something strangely familiar this week while browsing through River Island. This really pretty embellished pink clutch stood out to me, but it also looked incredibly familiar.

River Island pink jewel clutch, €47

It wasn’t until a few hours later that I realised I had seen in before; in the Michael van der Ham’s spring/summer 2011 collection. For those of you not in the know, he is a Dutch designer, relatively new onto the scene who had a well received show in London last September.

Now, I’ve no problem with the high street ripping-off or interpreting a major trend in their own way and then selling it to the masses; it occurs every season and helps grow and nurture trends, but those have always been from big designer brands. It’s one thing copying established brand with loyal customers but quite another to copy an emerging designer who is just starting their company.

I’m not quite sure how I feel about River Island copying Michael van der Ham’s swarovski clutch, even though it is very pretty.

What do you think?

Until then,




Images courtesy of River Island and


Fresh out of college with an MA in Journalism, a passion for clothes, fashion and styling shoots, I was also the fashion editor of a magazine my colleagues and I set up called SCOPE magazine, which was disbanded three years ago. For now I'm just a freelance journalist and blogger.
Other than obsessing about fashion, I love theology and history, writing apocalyptic fiction (it's weird, I know!) and the occasional weeekend of horse-riding if I have the time and I don't injure myself in the process.

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  1. it’s a disgusting knock off that does no justice to the original… BAM

  2. paulo says:

    River Island should be ashamed! Ripping off luxury houses is one thing but new designers quite another! How can they justify this????

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