March 6, 2007

Knock It Off and Pay the Price

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Some women love them. Some women hate them. And most women just can not tell the difference. What are they? Fake designer bags.

One cannot walk down the streets of any major city without noticing the bags that are literally sold off the street. These bags, generally poor imitations of the designs of high-end bags, have spread around the world like any major trend. From basic purses to brief cases and wallets, any shopper can buy a fucci, frada, furberry, or fuitton.

However, just because one is buying a knocked off pleather bag directly off of a sidewalk does not mean that the price is appropriately low. In fact most knocked off bags sold on the streets sell for high prices. It seems that it would be a more intelligent purchase to spend the roughly seventy dollars on a real leather bag than on a knock off pleather bag.

However, those who are purchasing fake bags are in search of having the designer look but are not willing to pay the price. A lot of people can not even tell the difference between a real and a fake. Even some of the consumers who purchase fake bags on the street believe that they may truly be real bags that are either stolen or they are just lucking out with a great deal. What is especially confusing for these ignorant consumers is that fake bags often come with fake tags to attempt to prove their

But the critical eye can easily spot the differences. Patterns, shapes, sizes, materials, strap lengths, zippers and other particulars easily indicate the difference between the real deal and the knock off. Gucci bags should have G’s, not C’s, in their patterns. Vuitton bags are detailed with a specific shade of beige leather that changes with age. And any bag that is shaped like a Vuitton but covered in Fendi F’s is just completely unbelievable and impossible. It would be like a cow covered in zebra stripes.

These consumers often forget that knock off bags are actually illegal. A knocked off bag is like plagiarizing a paper- its stealing someone else’s work and design and then profiting off of their labor. In an age of free downloads, global trends and lawsuits, fake bags are just part of these larger tendencies.

Many women believe that purchasing fake bags is worth it since they are investing less money in a trend that is bound to rapidly change. They are able to partially pull off current looks without fully paying the price for that look. But there are ways to create looks without buying direct knock offs of the original. Trends fizzle down through the fashion food chain and eventually all looks will be accessible, regardless of it being the high end original, a knock off or a similarly inspired piece.

Yet, these women are only partially attaining such a look. Perhaps it’s better to buy a plain patent leather bag rather than a knocked off patent Prada. That way the look is still attained without the appearance of dressing like a wanna-be. Many other companies — from Kenneth Cole to Donna Karan — make well designed leather bags that sell for less than the luxury designers but still look great.

In addition, classic styles and high end bags can truly be worn forever. Sometimes it is worth splurging on a designer bag and using it for longer rather than spending less on multiple pleather bags that will not last as long. When designer bags are sold for reduced prices during sales and at outlets, it’s easier to attain legitimate designer looks without necessarily having to pay retail.

The look of a bag, whether fake or real, really depends on the rest of the outfit. A well dressed woman carrying a fake bag wears it more believably than a poorly dressed woman. More than the outfit, it depends on the viewer. The person wearing the bag knows whether it’s fake or real, but the viewer may or may not be able to detect the difference. If we dress to impress others, than fashion, like so many other aesthetic things in life, is in the eye of the beholder.