1. to steal.
2. a critical or cutting remark.
3. a strong, sweeping blow; a swing of the arm in order to strike somebody; punch.
In fashion, swiping is another word for research. The language of fashion is spoken in images, and many look to print magazines, online style sites featuring runway shows (Women’s Wear Daily, for example), history books, and other visual sources for garment inspiration.
To swipe simply find a striking image, rip it out (photocopying and saving to desktop are acceptable alternatives), organize it, and keep it safe for future reference.
“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.”
-Jim Jarmusch, Filmmaker