With Supercopy/Lacoste, SUPERFLEX turns a copied product into a Supercopy which challenges the intellectual property rights of corporate brand owners who regulate acts of reproduction and distribution. After purchasing knock-off Lacoste shirts in a market in Thailand, SUPERFLEX screenprinted them with the word “SUPERCOPY.” In response to this work, Lacoste took legal action against SUPERFLEX for copyright and trademark infringement in Denmark; this legal action was eventually settled. Supercopy/Lacoste is comprised of two photographs of people wearing the shirts with the original logo redacted. On the backside of the images, there are nine A4 papers comprising the legal agreement between SUPERFLEX and Lacoste.
Supercopy/Lacoste suggests that mass unauthorized copying, rather than undermining the original as copyright law suggests, actually enhances it. The market of copies thrives off of the fashion brand economy, wherein a product’s value is reliant upon its supposed irreproducibility. The market for fashion forgeries is perhaps just as lucrative as the market for originals. Supplying thousands of people with jobs, the impact of the copy economy on the daily life of people, especially in the eastern part of the world, is immense. The law tends to undermine and criminalize copying, but these copy products develop a life of their own, going on to influence the desires and habits of consumers, becoming reborn as new originals.