As was the case of most parody works, this trend has its roots in the cyber world as well. In accordance with a growing number of unprofessional online graphic artists, the first creative parody T-shirts designs spread rapidly through popular websites frequented by the young generations, mostly teens to those in their 20s. These sites stimulated the potential buyers to add and upload new ideas to these sites. Though it is seemingly impossible to find out who brought the online graphics to life in the form of purchasable T-shirts, various sites which collect ideas also take votes to measure a design? popularity and manufacture these products for the purpose of selling them.
The first online parody T-shirt shop ?09 (www.t09.co.kr) is one of the largest in line with ?uction (www.auction.co.kr), which has an average sale rate of 300 T-shirts a day. ?ur goal was to contain today? online culture in T-shirts and parody happened to be a part of it, says Seo Dong-wook (30) of T09. The site is new to the Internet, yet it records over 1,000 hits a day. Promising only cheap manufacturing prices and high quality printing, it is run solely on the creativity of unprofessional designers and visitors who look for something unique and interesting to add to their purchases.
While this trend is believed to have a deep relationship with the declining economic situation, (parody T-shirts: 8,000~11,000 won/ brand T-shirts: 60,000~80,000 won), Seo states, ?hese T-shirts serve as a device which acutely expresses nihility and criticism towards the luxury-conscious Koreans.
To concerns regarding the copyrights of the original brand logos, T09 answered clearly that parody is not piracy. ?n the U.S. where freedom of expression is held in high repute, parody is recognized as having a secondhand copyright. As a matter of fact, a company once put restraints on our sales before. However, we too proved that our parody products had nothing against the law and was conclusively accepted as a cultural code. That is all. T09 is a company, which inputs cultural trends in T-shirts. Pay a visit and enjoy the humor.
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