How would it feel if being at the competitions right before your routine you would see another gymnast in completely same leotard? Probably the feeling would not be the best about it and the question is whose leotard is original and who has copy.
Without going deep into legislation and handcraft workers copyrights, we can however say that leotards copying is not ethical. Being in the area we have seen quite many copies, especially copies of the popular works that can be seen at competitions of completely different level. Usually the copies are bad and there are a couple of reasons why.
By copying the model directly dressmaker does not take into account customer's body shape, style of the routine, age, etc. Little gymnasts can be wearing copies of a leotard that has been originally created for adult gymnast and has nothing to do with a child.
Unfortunately usually the quality of copies is worse than original. I haven't seen so far any copy that was better than original leotard. It leads to a disappointment when the result is not even close to expectations.
But where is the line after which the leotard can be called copy? Specialists say that there should be 7 differences between leotards for them not to be considered as copies. For example color, patterns, sleeve length, skirt design, rhinestones colors and shapes can make the leotard absolutely different.
Professional designer can pick up the style and idea of future leotard from customer's samples. Absolutely new sketch can be created where customer's individual details and body shape would be taken into account.
We always ask customers to provide us with a few ideas or favorite pics of leotards that can be used to understand the tastes and wishes for the future project. It doesn't mean that we will copy the samples or make a collection of details from different sample pictures. But it is definitely easier to understand visually what the customer likes. What kind of skirt would be in the leotard, would there be any sleeves and what would be the length, what is customer's favorite color combination. Based on this information new unique sketches are made.
Sometimes we get the pictures of our own leotards where customers ask to make the same leotard in different size or color for them. However, the plan is the same in this case. Our designer takes into account customer's wishes and designs individual sketch for the customer.
Finally we get happy customers that have different leotards with their own individuality.
In this case you don't have to be afraid to find the same leotard at competitions.
There are always exceptions like duo leotards sold for individuals ;)
P.S. At least some of leotards presented in the post's pictures are the same leotards used by different gymnasts. This is an amazing thing called recycling that will definitely discuss in a separate post.