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Fashion designers unite against intellectual property theft

Myanmar’s fashion designers have scaled up their fight against intellectual property theft with the launch of the Fashion Designers Entrepreneur Association on February 2.

The Myanmar Fashion Designers Group, an informal group of designers formed in 2009, first applied for registration as an official association with the Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) in 2016. Now that registration has been approved, the group will be renamed the Fashion Designers Entrepreneur Association.

“Most Myanmar products are not officially registered overseas,” said Ma Myint Zu, founder of Zu Zu’s collection fashion house.

“Look at. Thanakha and Chate – we plan to make international fashion shows with these Myanmar products so we can announce to everyone that these are Myanmar products and extend into international markets.”

With the Trademark law having yet to emerge from union parliament, there is little legal framework in place to protect local designers from intellectual property theft. This worries local designers like Yangon-based Mogok Pauk Pauk, vice-chair of the association.

“Now, we are worried that people are copying our designs and that business people are destroying our trade because they have money and be we don’t have copyright,” she said.

“We will connect with garment industries to produce local fashion wears with trademarks and we will try for design copyrights, too.”

The now defunct MFDG, which is comprised of 30 local designers, has curated fashion festivals in Myanmar and participated in international fashion festivals in Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong and India. The new association plans to raise the profile of young fashion designers by inviting them to international fashion shows and help them improve the quality of their products through training courses.

Membership with the association costs K200, 000.

For more information, applicants can contact Yangon-based designers Thwin Su Htwe on 09 5070845, Yone Yone on 09 73016428, Pyae Soe Aung on 09 73000027 and Ma Pont on 09 798154733.

Source : Myanmar Times

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