Most hand bag lovers are aware of the site Purse Forum where dedicated purse fans dish out about all the intricacies linked to designer handbag shopping. Now there’s also an acknowledged sense of snobbery many sense while perusing these forums where certain forum members adopt a holier-than-thou attitude simply because they own designer items. I was surprised to find that they actually mentioned that one of their Closet Confessional confessors purchases fake handbags and, as you may have guessed, this caused quite a stir on the post’s comments.
The comments ranged from acceptance of the fact that designers cannot really differentiate between superfake bags and their authentic counterparts to accusations of replica bag manufacturing being linked to terrorism (a claim that has been debunked in the past). The following comments were ones I particularly enjoyed and agreed with:
1) A commentator who questioned buying designer bags in general:
If there’s some consensus that these “super fakes” are indeed so comparable to the real thing, I’m mystified that these discussions never confront some obvious points.
Are the authentic brands egregiously overpriced? I’m not advocating for sweatshop labour in any way shape or form but even with adjusting up from super cheap labour, is a LV Speedy 30, for example worth it’s current $1300 asking price? And so on for other bags and brands above the entry level. If you need to employ masses of authenticators to keep a business clean that’s a major red flag.
Copyright infringement So it’s clear that these bags are infringing on TM and brand, but stealing the intellectual property of a design? Witness, the migration of the iconic Chanel flap bag or LV Speedy or Birkin shape to almost every other designer brand. The brands themselves have been appropriating each others design elements with impunity. Where’s the outrage that the flap bag has been appropriated by Gucci so prolifically? YSL can make a nod to Birkin? That’s clearly OK. Or, maybe it’s because so many of these brands have a single owner and the illusion of diversity, is just that – illusion. The outrage at this practice is saved for when the Kardashians or other knockoffs do the same. This leads me to conclude it more of a class issue than an intellectual property one. It’s a bag.
The assertion that a handbag is an investment. Quite the marketing ploy. So interesting the auction houses have gotten in on this. There is no objective standard that can hold that an old bag even unused can hold or increase it’s value. The notion that they can, that a bag is an actual rarity is fake itself. And who benefits from this? The bag makers that use this idea to justify higher and higher prices and the auction houses who make commissions as they create this resale market. Of course a luxury bag has value and it’s a desirable cultural object, but not in the way real art is and not in the short time frame of it’s existence. When a Birkin achieves a super high price at auction, it’s Hermes who benefits by this new perceived value. It’s marketing. And who buys them? Who knows – perhaps Hermes themselves.
Designer bags are not just product but a conceptual construct. The whole thing is getting to be quite a turn off. –Ruby
2) A commentator who once again debunked the link between replica production and terrorism:
3) A commentator who applauded the interviewee’s honesty:
I really liked the article and the man’s honesty, at the end of the day a bag is just material.. some better than others and we can’t take it with us when we die. The import thing he mentioned is he doesn’t care/nor influenced by what other people think; rather it’s about how it makes him feel. If it makes you happy.. real or fake be damned. You only get one life to live and I hope you choose your own happiness over other people’s perceptions of you. –Ryn
What do you guys think? Any comments? Sound off below as I’d love to hear!