Posted: Dec 08 2014
Now before you start calling me a “hater,” I just wanted to clarify that the following paragraphs are my personal opinion on the topic. I don’t mean to offend anyone (or any company) in any way; I just want to state my thoughts.. and really, that’s what #sassysaturday is all about. (#unfiltered thoughts. amirite?) This week’s topic was bound to happen: Mariia Leotards need to stOP. Are you as offended by this as I am?
For those of you who don’t know what the fuss is about, Discount Dance launched a new leotard line, dubbed “Mariia,” a few weeks (months?) ago. Almost right after the announcement, people were furious – including me. Why? They were flippantly copying other leotard brands, specifically Yumiko, Eleve, and Jule Dancewear. That is NOT OKAY.
Raise your hand if you've ever been personally victimized by Mariia.
I knew there were other dance apparel companies trying to make a few designs similar to Yumiko, but they’d always changed some part to make it unique (Example: Natalie’s Racerback Tank Leotard was very similar to Yumiko’s Cora, but they’d changed it to a racerback instead of a simple tank.) I understand using other designs for inspiration, but, this?! I wouldn't be that annoyed if they'd only "stolen" a few designs, but every single one of their designs is from somewhere else. You can argue and say, "But no, the cutting is an inch off," or, "There are different/less colors," or, "The fabrics are different," but no. It's obviously unoriginal.
The biggest reason for all the so-called hate is this simple fact: these are stolen designs. Everything from their styles to the placement of their logo* – it's all stolen. Here's the list you've been waiting for, all the Mariia styles – and where they were originally from:
- "Vera" Racerback Mesh Leotard is actually Jule's Racerback Cutout
- "Karolina" Mock Neck Tank is actually Yumiko's Noe
- "Tatiana" Cap Sleeve Leotard is actually Yumiko's Wendy
- "Irina" Tank Racerback Leotard is actually Yumiko's Alex
- "Natalya" 1/2 Sleeve Leotard is actually Jule's Tank Cutout with added sleeves
- "Basia" High Neck Tank Leotard is actually Yumiko's Larissa
- "Svetlana" 3/4 Sleeve Leotard is actually Yumiko's Marieke with 3/4 sleeves
- "Ekaterina" High Neck Leotard is actually Yumiko's Charlotte with 3/4 sleeves
- "Anastasia" Camisole Leotard is actually Yumiko's Kiki
- "Valeria" Mesh Camisole Leotard is actually Eleve's Aisling
- "Alina" Camisole Leotard is actually Yumiko's Nadja
- "Oksana" Pinch Front Tank is actually Yumiko's Tiffany
- "Misha" High Neck Leotard is actually Yumiko's Jessica
- "Darya" Pinch Front Camisole is actually Yumiko's Tamara with a pinch in the front
If you ask me, that list is way too long. I wasn't exaggerating when I said every single leotard is from another company. There's no denying it.
(Right to Left: Mariia's Irina, Yumiko's Alex)
First of all, it's extremely disrespectful. Yumiko (mainly), Eleve, and Jule have worked especially hard to create unique designs, and to have another company just take it? RUDE. Imagine working hours on an essay, then have someone else just sweep in and take all the credit, screaming, "Look at this beautiful essay! I worked so hard on stealing your words!" .. NO.
Also, what kind of company does that make Mariia and Discount Dance? I wouldn't want to wear clothes that represent the idea they're trying to convey. I wouldn't want others to think I think stealing is acceptable. (Alright, "stealing" is kind of a harsh word but..) Whenever I wear clothes, I want it to translate a message. (Example: Our 'Odile' Pullover practically screams, "Odile with it!") Maybe you're not spiritual with your leotards (even though I am). Maybe you'd just want to buy a pretty leotard, but can't afford expensive Yumikos. That's fine with me; feel free to wear whatever you'd like. But if you ask me, wearing Mariia leotards would go against my values.
*Jule Dancewear has their logo in the same place. Coincidence? I think not.