Alice & Olivia
Dana Lorenz for Fenton
Sam Edelman - my personal fave
The CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) is taking a stand against fakes. This is not an issue talked about often, but it is an issue nonetheless. When people or stores sell imitation handbags they typically don't think anything of it. Sure, they re-printed a monogram or a double C and stuck it on a bag or sunglasses, and give the consumer a bargain. What's the harm right?
Actually a lot. Just like you wouldn't want someone replicating your jewelry design exactly and selling it cheaper on a rival Etsy site, these designers worked hard to have their work not be plagiarized. I know they make lots of money off of a single bag, and in the long run if they lose a couple hundred here and there it's no big deal to them, but it is the principle of the thing.
And speaking as a shopper, I think there is something to be said about the consumer who is willing to buy these fakes. If you know it's a fake and don't care, then don't buy an exact replica. Buy something with a different monogram or different color scheme. You know it's fake anyway, so why try to hide it? If you want the real thing but are buying fake because you think $900 for a bag is too much, I agree with you! But there are ways to buy authentic items at a fraction of the cost. I like to think I have spoken to that again and again on this blog. There is eBay, Bonanza, Crossroads Trading, Buffalo Exchange, consignment stores, even Goodwill can carry designer deals. And these items are not always used! So if you want the real thing, you can have it -- at any price point -- no excuses!
But the worst is when you want the real thing and are duped into buying something un-authentic. It has happened to me before. And while I was young in my affair with fashion, and would certainly know better now, I still feel bad for my young self, who just wanted a Louis Vuitton bag, but was in college. I thought I scored a deal, buying one for $250 from a nail salon. Even the inside had the Made in Paris engravings. But a quick education online and in stores, and I realized I shouldn't have bought that bag. I was way too scarred to go on eBay, so I waited until I went to San Francisco and spent twice as much on a smaller bag, but one from the actual Louis Vuitton store. It was one of the most memorable moments of my life. And I'm sorry if that sounds cheesy or materialistic, but it is true. You pay for an experience. A designer piece represents hard work that pays off and speaks to your personal style. It's like the Sex and the City episode where they talk about the fake Fendi ; )
Bottom line: anytime you knowingly pass something off as something it isn't, it's just plain wrong.
If we truly believe in authenticity that means being genuine as a person, in your relationships, and in the causes you support. The CFDA has teamed up with 90 designers to embellish bags that celebrate original design. These bags are getting auctioned off via eBay, starting at $100 and ending on March 25th. All proceeds benefit the CFDA Foundation, fighting to preserve original design. My favorites are above and I am very tempted to bid -- because real fashion and real style is my real passion. I could never fake that.