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May 1, 2012

Letter: Your country needs you

Let’s get something straight, I do not like phonies, fakes, facsimiles, replicas or anything that pretends to be other than it is. Be whatever you want to be, but do it full fat, not semi-scheming and hypocritical. And this goes for people as well as products. It’s about truth and integrity.

But when it comes specifically to products, it’s also about not being misleading. It’s dishonest to imply quality, heritage, longevity and value when your offer is merely superficial. So I’m thrilled that as part of our Equal Rights for Design campaign, we’re putting our might behind Get Real: Fight the Fakes, a parallel initiative supported by some of our favourite retailers and manufacturers with a series of window displays and reader events beginning this April. All details were being finalised as this page was going to press so follow us on Twitter and Facebook to find out exactly who, when and where! But I can tell you we’ll launch at The Conran Shop, which is committed to never stocking fakes, as it believes, like us, that its customers deserve the best and understand that there are many superior alternatives to a knock off. Cassina, Vitra and Fritz Hansen are also on board, with more to come.

As such, in a new ELLE Decoration series, see page 111 for our first Fight the Fakes feature, devised to demonstrate just how much great and affordable design there is out there, if you can’t or don’t want to spend a lot of money. So you have no more excuses! And, neither do we, as it’s arguably also ELLE Decoration’s responsibility to continually champion accessibility as well as aspiration.

We’re also proud to announce our official support for ACID (Anti Copying in Design) in its ‘Commission it, don’t copy it!’ Campaign, which entreats UK retailers and manufacturers to proactively support original design and pay a royalty for each product sold. Britain has such a magnificent reputation for creativity, and I’d like to be proud of what this country stands for, not ashamed. Wouldn’t you? Join the debate, follow our Equal Rights for Design Facebook page and add your name to our petition at elledecoration.co.uk so that design, and designers, whether emerging or established, iconic or dabbling, are given the opportunities and respect they deserve. After all, in the inimitable words of author Herman Melville, ‘It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.’


First published as my Editor’s Letter in the May 2012 edition of ELLE Decoration.

ELLE Decoration cover May 2012

ELLE Decoration cover May 2012


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Writer, Author, Brand Consultant & TV Presenter

Michelle Ogundehin is internationally renowned as an authority on interiors, trends and style. She is an influencer with expertise and the multi award-winning former Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Decoration UK.