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How Super Can Superfake Birkins Be?

A Hermes Birkin Croc bag being burned in the name of art.

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:

Once again, I am sick and tired of the claim that fake handbag businesses fund terrorism. There is ZERO proof of that. With a simple research, I have discovered that the only counterfeit businesses that were actually linked to terrorism were pirated CD’s and fake Viagra. There is no known case of a fake handbag business involved in financing terrorism.

Also the claim of child labor is questionable, at least in the case of superfakes — the people who make them are highly skilled artisans with years of experience, whose work is so meticulous and sophisticated, that we now need professional authenticators to examine the goods. There is no way a child can take on such a complicated and challenging task. Before you parrot “fake bags support terrorism and use child labor” at least see if it is true.

I am not defending the fake industry, but the high fashion companies are using cheap scare tactics to discourage purchasing fakes. The claim of terrorism and child labor sounds like something a PR team came up with in a hurry, truth be damned. Being deceptive like this makes those companies look silly. They should have focused the campaign against fakes on something smarter, such as emphasizing the elegance in knowing that you own the real thing, instead of pretending with a fake bag, which would be an empty feeling because you know deep down that you are just a dishonest wannabe.

Owning and carrying a real bag feels great. I seriously doubt that this feeling can be replicated no matter how great and real the superfake looks. This is why we should only buy real bags, not for the bullcrap reasons spewed by moronic PR people. –Jerri R.

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!

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  1. Jonquillina
    March 26, 2021 / 9:31 am

    I agree with the points made in the Purse Forum thread, with the exception of the last paragraph you printed. The US had become a country where the pursuit of personal happiness overrides all societal responsibility. It’s now do what makes YOU happy, and everything else be damned. With hundreds of thousands dead from Covid in the US alone, and millions worldwide, we can now see the disastrous effects of the “me, me, ME!” attitude. Bottom line, I wouldn’t judge others for doing so, but I refuse to buy fake bags. A “super fake” is still a fake, whether the Hermes SA can tell or not.

  2. July 30, 2019 / 12:50 pm

    Now a deçent more in depth discussion of who actually benefits from the outrageously high prices of authentic designer bags and for that matter, extremely overpriced designer watches and jewellery. Unless money is coming out of your ears, there is no justification for giving away your hard earned money to these rich greedy companies. But, if the snobbery makes one happy, go for it, by all means.
    I both own authentic and superfake ones and they happily blend together, and all make me feel good.

    • Angie R.
      July 30, 2019 / 12:56 pm

      Well considering Hermes just had their most profitable year yet, and that Bernard Arnault just became the 2nd-richest person in the world I’d say the fashion houses are doing quite well for themselves.

  3. Tiffany
    July 30, 2019 / 2:12 am

    Hi Angie do you have any suggestions on where I can purchase a superfamily Chanel bag?

    • Angie R.
      July 30, 2019 / 12:58 pm

      Hi Tiffany,

      I will be ordering some new CC’s to review soon but you can check out this discussion as it may be helpful.


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