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Knock Off the Knockoffs!

Knock Off the Knockoffs!

While at work, a woman carrying an animal print handbag approached me with a question. I answered her promptly and then commented in friendly chitchat, “I like your bag.”

“It’s Dolce and Gabbana,” she snipped back.

“No, it’s not but I like it, anyway.” I smiled politely and left her standing. I always like to get in the last word.

D&G, as we “label whores” like to refer to it, would never line one of their bags with a synthetic, cheap material, use fake leather, or indulge in crooked stitching along the handles.

This all leads me to my latest rant: knock off the knockoff bags! You’re not fooling anyone. I, as much as the next financially-challenged individual, desire the finer things in life. Sometimes, I save my money; most times, I charge it—only to wallow in shopper’s remorse until it’s paid off. It’s the American way, which may explain why we’re in such financial straits.

Everyone wants something they can’t afford. The big house, the lavish vacations, the fast car, and the beautiful, black-quilted vintage Chanel bag. I know your pain. I just don’t understand why anyone would get the same rush from a knockoff bag with a pink logo and sloppy workmanship.

I want a Chanel bag because of the exquisite craftsmanship of a brilliant and talented purse-maker or seamstress. I want the history of the fabulous Coco Chanel hidden along the hand-stitched logo, enhanced by the resurgence that Karl Lagerfeld brought to the house.

I don’t mind scouring the vintage shops or going into combat on eBay with other willful bidders. A few bruises and cuts mean nothing, if I can carry an authentic designer bag over my dislocated shoulder.

I can almost appreciate how someone admires a particular bag that they can’t afford so they do the next best thing and buy a knockoff. It’s like buying a poster of a Picasso painting. I get it. However, when someone walks into your home and admires said poster hanging over your bed, you don’t puff up your chest and boast, “It’s Picasso.”

The other thing about knockoffs is that it is borderline piracy. It is no different than downloading movies illegally, copying music, or stealing cable. Maybe I see things differently because I am a struggling artist waiting for the day I get a paycheck for my work. I don’t think so. I think you get what you pay for. Uh-oh, does that mean this article is poor quality, due to lack of fees? No, this is an exception. I am simply sharing, hopefully with a willing audience.

Coco Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and such do not want to share. They want you to pay out the nose for their fashion houses’ creations. It’s just the way it is. So if you must insist on carrying a knockoff, then by all means, go ahead. However, when someone compliments the bag, you have to (by the “playing fair law”) comment, “Oh, it’s just a fabulous knockoff.” Your honesty will be appreciated and you will give hope that you, too, can own one—without selling your firstborn.

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