Image from counterfeitchic.
You heard me, I’m talking knock off Vuitton handbags and tacky diamanté smothered interlocking ‘C’ earrings impersonating the likes of Chanel (you know the ones), and how all these ‘designer’ goods oh so conveniently hang from market stalls and fester on a little site called Ebay..
Now I’m about to get all statistical on you, because according to online luxury brand Vestiaire Collective, 22% of shoppers have reportedly knowingly brought counterfeit fashion products, with 20% of those who brought said pieces claiming it was because they just couldn’t afford the designer price tag. Although 17% of shoppers honestly thought the item to be genuine only for it to turn out otherwise, and as expected, those aged between 25-34 were much more likely to purchase fraudulent goods. I’ll stop with the statistics now, but once you start it’s hard to stop – much like purchasing these ‘luxury’ items I suppose.
On one hand, even if they aren’t genuine, if it looks otherwise and costs a quarter of the price I can imagine the difficulty of justifying the purchase of an original (in some cases of course). But there are tons of ‘dupes’ and ‘copies’ flooding Ebay daily as well as down right obvious fakes, leaving designers to lose out completely and have their hard work stolen. Is that really acceptable?
I can’t however, sit here and play the poor designer part completely. They do earn a lot of money, and yes a lot of work goes into each and every one of their pieces I am sure, but with fashion now being fed to us at such a speed and with so much pressure from the media not to mention the pressure we put on ourselves to own these items, there’s no wonder why consumers feel the need to, well, consume these imitation luxury brands. The blame really should be on the production of these counterfeit goods, not those who are willing to buy them, as availability – I think – is the real problem here. Although Pheobe Philo, the cult designer behind French fashion house Céline, has been reported to be flattered by copies of her creations, “I’ve got friends with copied pieces,” says Pheobe, “My mum’s even got a knockoff bag!” Yeah, I can’t quite believe it either.
I have always lusted after nearly every Chloé piece (currently anything from the Resort 2013 Collection), and can only ever dream of owning a classic Burberry trench, but the only imitation I even think about pursuing from this is a quick trip down to Zara to part with a fraction of my hard earned cash (Student loan) for a coat remotely similar (more on this here). I think it’s okay for there to be close similarities of designer products to a certain extent (the high-street is living proof of this), though it is nothing but piracy to steal original, innovative designer’s work. I feel piracy is the right term to use here because if it exists so strongly in films and music, why not in fashion, an industry just as large?
So the next time you’re bidding madly on a designer steal and it’s too good to be true, it probably is..
Do you think the sales of counterfeit fashion goods are becoming a real problem? Is this really down to the increase in fast fashion and mass manufacturing or do you think the current economic state is more to blame?
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