Some would say that one of the most sincere forms of flattery is imitation, however fashion designers may feel different. Don’t get us wrong, it’s pretty inevitable for similar designs to come from multiple brands as fashion repeats itself and it’s totally fine to be inspired by one another, but there’s a clear line between being inspired and blatantly copying.
For larger companies, seeing one of their designs being sold by another brand may not be alarming as they may have legal resources readily available. However, for emerging, independent designers, it can be very disheartening and detrimental to their business for another brand with a larger platform to copy their designs and sell it as an original.
Markisha Marie, the designer and founder of M.Marie, is quite familiar with the experience of seeing another brand with a larger platform steal her designs. The young designer, who is originally from New York, creates luxury heels that are made to stand out. Although Marie has been featured on Diet Prada a couple of times for calling out designers that have mimicked her past work, she doesn’t let that discourage or stop her from building her ever growing community of women who love luxurious, fly shit.
“What’s for me will always be for me. I stand by that. No matter how many obstacles I face on my journey to success I know that I was made to do this,” Marie tells ESSENCE. “I know many people say they have days where they just aren’t motivated or run into a creative block. I have honestly never experienced that. Everyday I’m thinking of new designs. My brain just doesn’t stop working when it comes to shoes.”
She continued, “While it does hurt to see what I’ve worked on being stolen, one thing’s for sure -– I will always speak up when needed every time and turn that hurt into my passion for M.MARIE. I’m having fun, I’m creating, I’m living my dream and I’m a Black woman. Ain’t nothing gonna stop me!”
Marie originally launched M.Marie in 2018 after finding a manufacturer in Italy, but she knew she would be a designer ever since falling in love with shoes as a toddler. She describes her target customer as, “the ones who care about the intricate details –– how they feel, how they look and the materials used.” As a self-taught designer, Marie often makes her own ways and her own rules. “I’m not a designer who makes everyday shoes because I am not an everyday girl. I like to play with my style. I love unique heels, weird heels and most things and designs people would shy away from,” she says. “I incorporate all of those things into M.Marie and that’s what makes my brand. So if someone is looking for just a standard black pump, they won’t find that at M.MARIE.”
What will you find? A collection of vibrant, spunky heels – including a pair that was inspired by a trip to Tulum. The tropical heel is constructed with green ostrich feathers, silk satin, and colorful crystals – all inspired by elements of the Mexican town. Marie explained, “I knew when I designed it, this shoe was gonna be one of my best sellers. I released it on June 19, 2021 and it sold out in seven minutes, in the midst of a pandemic. I was so inspired and it led me to immediately start working on a Resort Collection which launches in May.” She reveals, “This collection will include four new styles of all the places I vacationed last year. Jamaica, Cabo, Saint Martin and Aruba.”
Until then, shop M.Marie’s “Tulum” style, which is now back in stock, along with the other beautiful heels and boots offered on mmariebymarkishamarie.com.