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Why You Should Never Buy a Designer Knock-Off

Aside from the millions of NYC food reviews and Trader Joe's hauls on my Tik Tok’s For You Page, I also have come across way too many of those videos of girls unboxing their latest designer knockoffs. Aside from being accompanied by a catchy jingle, these videos also show off the branded dust bags, prices they paid for the fakes, or some tips on how to find the same knockoffs. They have thousands of likes, tons of comments and just about every girl who dreams of owning a Gucci Marmont bag, drooling. However, I have always been a strong advocate against the knock-off bandwagon for several reasons:

You’re Discrediting The Designer

Prior to the age of 14, I would have happily paraded around a Canal Street knockoff Louis Vuitton and would thought I deserved to be called a fashion phenom. However, it wasn’t until I read Rachel Zoe’s book, “Living in Style”, that I learned the problem with these inauthentic bags. The style icon talked about why she will never purchase a knockoff: for you are taking away from the designer of the item.

Think about it: imagine creating something of your own, working hard to perfect it, then selling it to the public. Then having it replicated and reproduced at a lower quality and lower price with no reap of benefits. Doesn’t sound too pleasant, right? Designers and the works they spend so much time curating, are incredible and deserve to be given the recognition they deserve. This does not include being discredited.

It Takes Away The Excitement

Another issue with buying designer knock-offs is that it takes away from that magical feeling of purchasing an authentic piece. Whether you saved up for months, or were gifted a luxury good for a major achievement, the excitement that comes from the real deal is seriously special. When you purchase knock-off bags, this is lost.

You Can Tell, Trust Me

As much as these sites try to convince you that their knock-offs are identical to the real designer items, they aren’t. The reason why these designer items are at a higher price is because they are higher quality. They are meant to be timeless pieces, able to travel with you throughout your life, and are able to last longer than just a season. When a piece is sold at a low price, like these knock-offs, the quality of materials is reflective of that. Whether its leather cracking or a zipper breaking, knock-offs are not meant to last.

Also, most knock-offs have obvious mistakes within the construction and design. There can be uneven stitching and logo mistakes that are extremely indicative of a fake. If you’re trying to pass it off to the public as the original designer item, it definitely won’t fly. So, what’s the point? Save your money for the real deal!

It's Unethical

Aside from the unethical practice of stealing from a designer, knock-offs are made at an extremely competitive price. Meaning, the probability of them being made unethically are extremely high. Whether its sweatshops or other unfair labor conditions, these sellers are most likely producing these pieces without the same integrity of designer brands. Who wants to contribute to that?

Trust me, we all know how expensive designer items can be. And it’s pretty impossible not to drool over these pieces when we see just about every fashion influencer or stylish celebrity sporting them in every insta shot. However, I hope you now understand why purchasing a knock-off is not the way to fill this fashion void. Instead, I suggest trying the thrifting route- meaning you purchase these designer items from secondhand sources.

Whether it’s online thrifting shops such as Tradesy and TheRealReal (who both verify the authenticity of each piece), or hitting up your local consignment shops (who most likely can tell you how they landed upon the item), these are great alternatives to doing designer on a budget. And the designer is still being credited, and you’re even contributing to the continuation of their creative legacy. Sounds like a win, win!

Hi! My name is Brooke and I am a junior at Penn State! I am currently studying Advertising and Public Relations with minors in French and History. I have an incredible love for fashion and I hope to one day fulfill my dream of working in the fashion industry.
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