Imitation of Gobel: Are Big Name Fashion Designers Ripping Him Off?

Marlon Gobel

Marlon Gobel – Photo c/o

A few months back, It’s All Style To Me was singing the praises of a talented New York based menswear designer by the name of Marlon Gobel.  The young fashion designer, set to show his fourth collection at New York Fashion Week this September, is blazing a new trail in American men’s fashion.  His designs bring together the sophistication of Savile Row tailoring with a style that is all Soho.  The London Central Saint Martins graduate spent seven years learning from two of America’s most influential designers before starting his own label.  So now the former Director of Operations for Thom Browne and Assistant Creative Director for Michael Bastian, is quickly becoming one of, if not the best emerging designers in menswear today.

You may have already caught a glimpse of Gobel’s creations while walking past the 5th Avenue windows at Bergdorfs.  I would recommend heading inside or even visiting Gobel’s website for a closer look.  Lord knows a few of his European contemporaries already have – and then some.  Inspiration or imitation?  That’s the question It’s All Style To Me is asking after reviewing the Spring/Summer 2012 Men’s Collections coming out of Milan and Paris last month.  Big name European fashion houses including Jean Paul Gaultier, Dolce & Gabbana, and Versace appear to have taken a page (or two) from the designer’s earlier collections and incorporated them into their own.  Let’s take a closer look.

Imitation of Gobel:
For SS12, Jean Paul Gaultier showed both a check suit and two scenic-print suits that looked straight out of Gobel’s SS11 and FW11 collections respectively.  The crux of Dolce & Gabbana’s SS12 Men’s Collection was the duo’s fascination and obsession with the net.  Quite possibly Gobel’s netsince Gobel’s mesh designs were created two seasons earlier?  Not only does the jacket look identical, but even the runway styling is the same.  Dolce & Gabbana’s SS12 Women’s Collection, again we see similar HD fruit and vegetable prints that were used in Marlon Gobel’s SS12 Collection.  Lastly, Versace’s buckle-fastened SS12 suits, trousers, and sports jackets.  Gobel had introduced this buckles in several of the sports coats for FW11.

One might also call the glorious men’s Christian Louboutin’s into question. Gobel’s FW11 fashion show was the first all men’s collection to adorn Christian Louboutin’s on all of the models.  Created collaboratively for Gobel’s FW11 show, a recent Louboutin campaign shows an exact copy of the gold-studded men’s loafers now available in a stilettoed version for the ladies.

So are some of the biggest names in fashion turning to this newcomer for inspiration or just blatantly ripping him off?  Is it all just a coincidence?  That’s for you to decide.  As for the upcoming Spring/Summer 2012 SuperMart-themed Men’s Collection, Gobel promises a very Andy Warhol and Damian Hurst influenced Pop Art moment in men’s fashion.  Looking forward to it, as I’m sure the other fashion houses are*.

*Both Moschino Men’s SS13 and Chanel FW14 went on to have similar supermarket themed fashion shows and collections. 

JPG VS Marlon Gobel

Marlon Gobel SS11 vs. Jean Paul Gaultier SS12 – The Check Suit

JPG VS Marlon Gobel

Marlon Gobel FW11 vs. Jean Paul Gaultier SS12 – The Scenic Landscape Suit

Dolce & Gabbana VS Marlon Gobel

Marlon Gobel SS11 vs. Dolce & Gabbana SS12 – The Web/Net Jacket

Versace VS Marlon Gobel

Marlon Gobel FW11 vs. Versace SS12 – The Buckled Blazers

Marlon Gobel VS Christian Louboutin

Christian Louboutin X Marlon Gobel Men’s FW11 vs. Christian Louboutin Women’s FW11

Gobel vs. Dolce & Gabbana

Marlon Gobel Men’s SS12 vs. Dolce & Gabbana Women’s SS12 – HD Fruit/Vegetable Prints

Marlon Gobel vs. Viktor & Rolf

Marlon Gobel SS11 vs. Viktor & Rolf SS12 – Patterned Torso with White Sleeves

Marlon vs. DSquared

Marlon Gobel FW11 vs. DSquared2 FW12 – Black Dress & Gloves, White Tux Show Finale

MG Taylor Stitch

Marlon Gobel SS11 vs. Banana Republic by Taylor Stitch SS12 – Exact Copy of Plaid Dress Shirt


Marlon Gobel FW12 vs. On Aura Tout Vu Haute Couture SS14 – Exact Copy of Embellished Male Body Armour

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  1. Charles Fagan says:

    Not much to say, I think it does not take a detective to see and prove what the photos do! It is a nice change from the new guy ripping of the big guy. MARLON GOBEL clearly seams to be one step ahead of the game, with all those examples why are you the first person to call this out he scooped 3 major fashion houses and CL?

    I think you have called it that MARLON GOBEL is the one to watch, now will the CFDA and fashion press follow your lead. Looks like you may have just called out something people need to take a second look at! GOOD JOB!!

    You do have to admit he makes some nice clothes.

  2. As if it is not hard enough to come up with one good and original idea. The Power Houses of fashion seem to think that the world won’t notice if 4 of his looks are copied in a single season? Lets just be honest here those are copies not inspiration they are just blatantly ripping him off.

    Hey, it only takes one good idea to make a brand a success Ralph Lauren with a polo, DVF with a wrap dress and Christian Louboutin his over priced red soled shoes. Looks like it is time for a changing of the guard if MARLON GOBEL did that 4 times for 4 brands.

    SOMEONE CALL ANNA WINTOR ASAP!! Does she know about this? how can she let this happen?

  3. whoa! the print suit for sure! you’re going big- so much so that your a threat & an inspiration to some of the greats. congrats?

  4. Marlon can I just say I have not seen the clothing yet, but SUPER-MART is SUPER-SMART what a fun and arty concept!!!

  5. Marlon, I have not seen your new collection for spring yet but, SUPER-MART is SUPER-SMART! What a fun and artistic concept! You know what your doing clearly! ;)

  6. Great feedback guys. Keep it coming!

  7. Ronoldo says:

    This is a designer who is doing very familiar things with a classic cut, yet he is changing it up and making it his own. The main thing this is proving in your story is he is genuine to his craft. He has confidence in what looks good on a man and then sneaks in a detail that it looks as other designers base a collection around. I like that he made someone think and compare. Thom Browne did this with his first shrunken grey suit (maybe Marlon did that too) giving guys something new then he told them to wear a dress? Marlon Gobel seams to want you to have it all or just have it and buts the dress back on a woman.

    He made a knit anatomical heart sweater that I bought at Bergdorf Goodman, it was a satisfying purchase because not only was it cool, well made but it reminded me of Damian Hurst. Sometimes if you buck the tend you end up setting them.

  8. Steve Dolson says:

    Great story, looks like Gobel is ahead of his time! I wonder if more people will catch on to this.

  9. Imitation or Inspiration… good question!

    you make a really great case for Gobel. I so enjoyed reading this piece and making all the comparisons between photos. I would call it inspiration though, not imitation, by virtue of the fact that fashion styles, looks and trends get so recycled over and over again it’s really hard to point out an “originator” to any one specific piece. Unless you say something like Coco Chanel was the first designer to use jersey in womenswear.

    I don’t think this necessarily undermines Gobel’s talent though, I think it only further attests to it. If you have big names like Versace and JPG infusing their own designs with your previous creations, I think that’s pretty flattering. And we have to remember that although the main aspects of the pieces are similar, there exist noticeable variations in each – we are not talking about an inconspicuous Louis Vuitton knock-off here.

    Each season bloggers and magazines point out styles on the runway, must-have pieces and trends. For example, a few seasons ago both Balenciaga and Givenchy made knitted sweaters with dog heads on them, Balenciaga used the German Shepherd, Givenchy the Rottweiler. Or the brogue trend last Spring. There are similarities found across brands and design houses each season, and then some. To call it imitation is a moot point to some extent.

    I really think you’ve spotted a great designer here and I’m sure that it won’t take long for the rest of the world to notice and he will certainly get his comeuppance – in a good way!

  10. Great commentary Justine. Keep in mind that Marlon Gobel’s designs alway precede that of the other designers mentioned and their creations.

  11. Interesting Clearly it is, that the MAJOR Houses have been inspired by him, They are very sneaky of this and because they have the Capital to do it they do and think they can get away with it, but as the say The TRUTH Always comes to light! but this GENTLEMEN HAS A GREAT EYE AND STYLE! GOBEL will be in my NEW Favorite Designers List!!


  1. […] we love about Marlon is that he’s fresh and a true original.  A testament to that is the Gobel-inspired look that has been cropping up in the collections of some of Europe’s most prestigious fashion […]

  2. […] is a true original.  A testament to that are the Gobel-inspired designs that have been cropping up in the collections of some of Europe’s most prestigious fashion […]

  3. […] #7 – Are Big Name Fashion Designers Ripping Marlon Gobel Off? […]

  4. […] of wealth in America. Then there are the four seasons of countless Marlon Gobel designs that have suspiciously turned in up in the collections of big name fashion houses in Europe.  Perhaps this was Gobel’s subtle […]

  5. […] Gobel is one of the industry’s most creative menswear designers and we’ve been attending his shows since they began. It’s amazing how much his runway and consumer audience has grown since the first collection.  His creative genius is remarkable, but don’t take our word for it. Just look at all of the fashion designers who have been copying Gobel from the get-go. […]

  6. […] creations only to see them blatantly and quickly ripped off by larger corporate fashion houses (see Imitation of Gobel for examples). An occupational hazard yes, but this well of creative brilliance runs deep and the […]

  7. […] New York, February 1, 2013 – Marlon Gobel is one of our favourite menswear designers and we’ve been following him since day one. We were even backstage when Paris Hilton met River Viiperi five months ago and have done our best to chronicle the many designers that have ‘borrowed’ from his many creations (see Imitation of Gobel). […]

  8. […] industry, Marlon Gobel has been the starting point of many of fashion’s sensational trends (see here). And in case you missed it, watch his spring 2012 show […]

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