Fashion is a global industry worth billions of dollars. Some of the biggest businesses, called fashion houses are in
Cosmopolitan (simply called Cosmo)
Mass Market Fashion
There are other clothing shops that sell at a lower price. Not known so much as trend-setters, they follow what's happening in the fashion world and offer nice clothes at a decent price. You can find them in many shopping centers in the US.
Examples include: Abercrombie & Fitch, Banana Republic, Eddie Bauer, Express, Gap, H. & M., J. Crew, and Victoria's Secret.
Fashion & Copyright Protection
Fashion houses and designers are often frustrated to see that some other company has copied their designs, and is selling them cheaply. The products are called knock-offs, meaning it's a fake, a thoughtless copy of an original.
Laws are always complex. Lawyer Oliver Herzfeld wrote a good article describing the legal rights of designers. Here's a summary:
Fashion designers have limited copyright protection. They can copyright their patterns and unique color combinations, but not the designs, or cut, of their clothing. The Legal community decided it would be too hard to argue, since the differences in clothing are so small, and it's impossible to say where most design ideas came from - who thought of it first, etc. Designers can patent (patentovať) any new clothing designs that are "not obvious", such as the fanny pack:
So, how do fashion houses stay in business? In two ways, quality, and brand loyalty. Fashion houses use top quality materials and sewing techniques, so their clothes should last a long time. Then, they put their logo on the clothing which is protected by trademark. No one else can use their company logo legally. People are willing to spend lots of money on name brand clothing to impress people, helping fashion houses stay in business. But it is risky, and many famous brands have risked bankruptcy, even recently.