You’re Not Fooling Anyone
Joanne Molina, Senior Editor
I have yet to hear a persuasive argument. I do hear a lot of whining about price, about how nobody can tell the difference, about people’s â€œright” to have whatever they want and finally, how everyone does it. But truth be told, buying knock-offs, fakes and counterfeit goods are just a bad idea on both aesthetic and ethical grounds; i.e. they always look fake and even if you don’t care that you could be contributing to a terrorist’s stockpile of cash, you ought to have better standards for yourself. Finally, I wouldn’t take the work you do at your job and say it was my own; so give these designers the credit and dollars they are owed (whether you like it or not). And sometimes if you can’t afford it you just can’t have it – not very entitlement – oriented I know, but sometimes the answer is just no.
I mention these concerns in light of what’s been brewing in the public sphere as of late.
First, there were the various fashion weeks in Europe and what I saw should scare the pants off everyone from Forever 21 lovers to devotees of Joe Moron who decided to sell the season’s it-bag in the backseat of his car: the patterns are complicated and materials are high-end. In other words, you are going to look like crap if you think that a pleather, polyester or rayon substitute is going to resemble what you saw on the runway. It’s going to get ugly this season. So what are your choices? Save your money to buy select pieces that will make your wardrobe bones work for you OR there are companies that emulate the style of the pieces on the runway (and not duplicate an entire dress or handbag) that will have great selections.
Second, there was the publication and subsequent press surrounding Dana Thomas’ Deluxe. Sure, post-Marxist scholars have been discussing the fallout of capitalism for 30 years but I am interested in her because she takes these houses to task for maintaining the quality they purport to offer consumers. In other words, if a consumer does choose to make the correct aesthetic and ethical choice then they shouldn’t be duped into buying an object that isn’t a result of the same code of conduct. However, just because Thomas argues that Louis Vuitton is the McDonald’s of the luxe world DOESN’T mean that you have the right to buy knock-offs or counterfeit objects. Thomas investigates a world where counterfeit goods often include channeling money into operations that support drug culture, covert political operations and forced child labor.
Third, there is the environment. Yes, this might seem like a very simple assertion but why you would buy 30 shirts that will look and feel like crap 3 months or less after you buy them perplexes me. Why not invest in an item that a company will continue to repair for years (Hermes) or a classic item that you can wear over and over and always be chic (Chanel) or a coat that emerged from a garment designed for soldiers in WWI (Burberry trench). As Senior Editor I am just as tempted by eye candy as the next buyer but I also think it’s sans good taste to buy a mountain of cheap, shoddily produced goods instead of saving your money for one beautiful item. Oh and, yes, that means you may just have to wait or select something else.
And that’s the real deal.