Hello! I love getting back from vacation and getting a ton of fun mail – my Charley Harper book and my Feed Bag finally arrived from Amazon, and I had a stack of fun catalogs to look through. As I perused West Elm, which I do like, one item jumped out at me – a Foo Dog Pillow. Really? I know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but sometimes the imitation is shameless – clearly someone over there is reading Jonathan Adler’s Guide to Anti-Depressive Living, and Foo Dogs have gone from drinking game fodder to over the tipping point. In fact, it looks like they have officially jumped the shark. In addition, there was a chunky foo dog figurine and a tripod lamp that looked a lot like Adler’s:
Jonathan Adler Ventana Lamp:
West Elm Adjustable Metal Floor Lamp:
An Adler-designed Room (note the Foo Dogs):
Check out the new West Elm “Groovy Foo Dog” – the Foo Dog is an Adler favorite, and the shape attempts to emulate his menagerie pottery. They even swiped Adler’s vocabulary with the “groovy”:
The Adler Bull Bank:
The West Elm Groovy Foo Dog (he has the same puffed up chest and an Adler-esque shape):
Finally, an Adler re-released C. Jere sculpture (Adler was advocating these in design long before he scored the rights to re-release them):
West Elm’s C. Jere-ish wall sculptures:
I know there is a big difference between and out and out copy and an inspired knockoff of a style, but wow! What do you think about it? As I said, I like West Elm, I buy from them a lot, and I feel like I find a lot of great products there at a reasonable price, but this kind of leaves a bad taste in my mouth. For you, where is the line between imitation and totally swiping? Obviously there is a legal line, but where is the line between being psyched about finding a great inspired piece and finding yourself completely turned off by imitation?
By the way, this isn’t meant to attack a fellow furniture retailer with malice, in fact, if there are any issues that bug you about Design Public, we would sincerely like to hear them – customers are a very important source of opinion and inspiration and the reason we started this blog in the first place was as a forum to share opinions.
all images linked to original sources at west elm and jonathan adler.
Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the Editorial Director here on Hatch, you can find me talking design over at Houzz. Make me happy — leave a comment!