This week just about anyone and everyone within the retail and visual merchandising industry from around the world has descended on Dusseldorf here in Germany for Euroshop. We are exhausted by the size of this venue and couldn't possibly include everything that we have seen, so here's an overview of some of the exciting bits.
What is more noticeable than ever before is how guarded everyone is about their latest collections. So much so that if you happen to be remotely Asian in appearance or perhaps working for an Asian company then the chances of getting onto some of these stands is ever thinly sliced. Sadly it seems, allegedly of course, that the experience of some of these companies is that within a matter of 'hours' their work appears on Chinese websites and up for sale at a fraction of the cost. We cant verify this as it is purely anecdotal evidence and there really isn't enough time in our lives to follow every single product shown here and neither does it interest us to do so, although simultaneously it doesn't surprise us either. OK, well design theft is nothing new and will possibly never go away particularly if one doesn't have ones own legacy of design history to protect, in which case why would anyone care anyway? Our own feeling with this is that if one is truly creative enough then another bus load of ideas will come along anyway so why worry; this is not said flippantly and we realise that it is very easy to say it. This blog site has also been directly copied in China, but then without the real critical voice how can it ever be a threat? It also rather amuses us.
It is of course frustrating when ideas and designs are stolen and of course this can generate financial ruin. In the meantime, while the theft of work is despicable sadly the 'Chinese' (as in the ones visiting here) are being very obviously excluded. With ever greater spending power, it seems China will become an even bigger force in the world and clearly determined to get there fast. The shameless theft of design and industrial sabotage is hurting us all and even we were faced with hostility by our own British counterparts Thankfully our Britishness (or probably Brutishness) got us passed the gatekeepers but it took a lot more of 'working the floor' to get there than ever before. This selective presentation of the latest offerings tarnished our visit even if we did see some amazing new 'things'. We will get over it of course, well, we already are but in the meantime it is an interesting insight to where we are headed, even if its just culturally as well as creatively.