The Sincerest Form of Flattery

Have you ever been intellectually robbed? Have you ever shared an idea with friends, only to see your inspiration copied with no credit given? I wanted to chastise you for feeling sorry for yourself, but a couple of my colleagues have already taken you to task. Are you awake and ready for a bit of ego building? I am happy to do it. Sip your cocktail of choice and relax. Here is my question: Why is it a good thing if people want to borrow your ideas or copy your style?

It is a hot and humid afternoon in Manhattan. Babe Paley exits La Grenouille, the luncheon appointment concluded and she exchanges parting pleasantries with a few ‘ladies who lunch’. The city air is completely still, and the heat that rises from the pavement is stifling.  She casually removes the scarf knotted loosely around her neck, and so as not to lose it, ties it around the handle of her handbag in a soft, elegant bow. That effortless gesture is copied within weeks by stylish women across the country.

It is a windy day in Germany as Jacqueline Kennedy sits on the podium listening to speech after speech, smiling her now famously enigmatic smile. A gust of wind threatens to lift her pillbox hat from her head, and in an attempt to secure it, she dents it. The style catches on like wildfire, an accident soon copied by women all over the world. Continue reading “The Sincerest Form of Flattery”