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As design evangelists and designers ourselves, we fully understand the amount of effort and work that goes into producing the final product. The process should not be discredited and it really bothers us when people steal the credit for works that aren’t theirs. Processes should be conveyed to consumers to better understand the value of the product. It’s probably why many Singaporeans are buying ‘replicas’. Although FUSSY generally regards them as fakes, let’s place them nicely at ‘replicas’ whereby businesses would say they carry, just to appear legitimate. Especially if it’s copies of designs which can no longer be protected by law since the designs by Arne Jacobsen are more than 50 years old. We spoke about the “Top 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Buy Fakes“. We’ll now tell you shocking news of where ‘replicas’ are located right here in Singapore, even though we’re considered a very law abiding society.
  • // No excuses
  • Manufacturing, selling and buying of ‘replicas’ is unethical in its own sense, let alone using it as a way of doing a business – blatantly stealing all the credit on the pretense that design should be for everybody. Yes, design is for everyone. But if you feel the pinch in paying for high quality originals, don’t pay for low quality ‘replicas’. Simply put, if you can’t afford a Ferrari, don’t buy one. You’re discrediting the effort and craft of originals, alongside years of research and development. With regards to alternative industrial and furniture design, IKEA has very well designed furniture at very affordable price points. So does MUJI. (Two of the very few commercial businesses that we support.)
  • // Business point of view
  • We looked closely at the business aspect of the situation with regards to companies purchasing ‘replicas’. Businesses get to save money and get to own a ‘designer chair’. Good for them. But what if your customers know that what you have is a ‘replica’? Does that mean you’re blatantly saying you’re beefing up your image just to get us to see you as an established brand, when on the flip side you’re buying ‘replicas’ to get that desired image? Does that not reflect also on the integrity of your company and the sort of service we can expect from you?

    You’ll be shocked at where these are in Singapore. Let us give you a list of them. Brave yourself for badly taken shots of distasteful setting and use of ‘replicas’. FUSSY will not be liable for any claims made here with regards to changes by the respective managements after. Companies who have made changes after may contact us and we would be glad to update our criticisms.

  • // Changi Airport Terminal 3, Carlsberg Sports Bar
  • First, we have the most important place in which tourists are first exposed to, Changi Airport. Even publicly shown in ‘The Travel Magazine of Singapore Airlines’,, ‘replica’ Swan chairs at the Carlsberg Sports Bar, Terminal 3. To think Carlsberg is a Danish brewing company yet having a ‘replica’ of a Danish counterpart’s design. I guess the management team here in Singapore wasn’t communicating very well with their headquarters. Let’s hope things change once they realize this isn’t right. True as of April 13 2015.
  • DBS Asia Treasure Lounge Changi Airport The Fussy Curator Singapore #fussysg
  • DBS Asia Treasure Lounge Changi Airport The Fussy Curator Singapore #fussysg
  • // Changi Airport Terminal 3, DBS Asia Treasures
  • You would also think banks that uphold a certain reputation wouldn’t overlook such an aspect. Clearly not. DBS Asia Treasures T3 at Changi Airport has ‘replica’ Egg chairs. Again, we hope they will change once they realize that buying of ‘replicas’ isn’t ethical. Especially if you’re handling our money. (Images above are actual images of patrons in DBS Asia Treasures at Changi Airport on July 27 2014.)
  • // Unaware it’s a ‘replica’? Right.
  • Businesses might not be aware that they are engaging dealers who are supplying ‘replicas’. Although the costs are considerably low which is evident enough that it’s a ‘replica’, let’s just say no they still aren’t aware. Comfort Design, has been supplying ‘replicas’ to reputable establishments like, Genting HotelSingapore National Employers Federation, Chinese Swimming Club and oh, Changi Airport yet again. This time at T1’s Staff Lounge. To save themselves from legal issues, businesses who thrive on ‘replicas’, have a very small imprint located right at the bottom of their site. For Comfort Design, Comfort Design’s replica products are not manufactured or approved by, or affiliated with, the original designers, manufacturers or distributors including Herman Miller, Charles or Ray Eames, Knoll, Fritz Hansen, Verner Panton, B&B Italia, Tolix or Xavier Pauchard.“. Guess when you’re so stuck on making money, your mind can’t differentiate right from wrong and you’d have to resort to such measures.
  • // Too many businesses thrive on ‘replicas’ while originals aren’t given credit
  • There are just too many dealers who supply ‘replicas’ in Singapore. We have the popular HipVan, which supplies ‘replicas’ of the Swan chair and Series 7, alongside many other Fritz Hansen ‘replicas’. You may even want to check out their popular “Replica Chair” shopping category. (Sarcasm in play.) Others include Lush Furniture, Studio 1961, Prestige Affairs and Muse at Home. It’s sad how showrooms in actual buildings and ‘legit’ shops are also selling ‘replicas’. Really, the list goes on but you get the drift.
We need to breathe. Literally. After all the badly taken shots of ‘replicas’ and for whatever values the companies stand for. So, breathe and let’s go back to well taken shots.
  • // Value of design
  • It’s shocking to hear companies who are offering consultancy services, and even in the design industry, to be promoting the use of ‘replicas’. Just look at the shots taken by people who understand their design and the ones who don’t. Proper setting, symmetrical perspectives and deliberate detailing.
  • // Start from design, with design, for design.
  • If designers are not taking a strong stand about ‘replicas’, don’t expect consumers to. Worst still, if even reputable establishments are buying ‘replicas’ and nothing is being done, designers should just start finding new career paths. We should all go back to understanding the value of design, its process and craft, to stop unethical manufacturing, selling and buying of ‘replicas’.

    There’s too much passion, craft and expertise to lose, for worthless monetary gains. Pay for the craft of passionate designers, not money making businesses.



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