Every woman who buys clothes knows about the knockoffs. The life cycle of the knockoff begins the moment the high fashion models hit the runways, sporting the new season of designer clothing. Designers guard their new offerings with the zealousness of a mother with her child. Seldom does the world get a peek behind the scenes prior to the haute couture fashion shows.
However, once revealed, the fashion magazines are filled with photos of these new fashionista delights. Less talented, but ambitious designers set to work immediately, creating a knockoff of these fashion world knockouts. Quick as a wink, these imitations show up in major department and discount stores, snapped up with the alacrity of a teen with a gift certificate.
A recent news piece, of the talk show variety, settled upon the designer handbag knockoffs in a controversial expose, lambasting women who bought the designer handbag knockoffs. The premise of the discussion was that such unscrupulous women were participating in fashion piracy. The audience was chastised, in no uncertain terms, told that buying a designer handbag knockoff was tantamount to thievery. I admit to being totally confused as to this rationale.
While those who are wearing the real thing may be able to spot a knockoff, who's being hurt? Are the celebrities and women who can afford the real designer handbag, paying one ounce of attention to Miss Average, who, not being able to afford the real designer handbag, buys the designer handbag knockoff instead, in an attempt to be fashionable? While the fabric, or little tiny details and the quality of zippers and hardware may differ from the real deal, Miss Average pays a considerably lesser price, along with a compliment to the original designer in choosing the knockoff as part of her fashion statement. She's got the look and the designer gets the kudos.
Let's face it, whether you're talking garments, handbags, accessories or watches, there are only so many variations in style, detailing and cut. A good seamstress could create a knockoff of any dress, coat or whatever, simply by viewing a photo in the fashion magazines, hot off the press. Designer handbag knockoffs are no different.
As for authenticity, is it really so important? We're not talking about a Rembrandt here. Fashion designers are seasonal creatures, relying on their creativity to clothe and accessorize the women of the world, but for a season. I'd suspect that, secretly, once their designs are revealed, they take pleasure in knowing that their designs are so coveted that imitators flock to their drawing boards to make an affordable version of their genius.
Here's a litmus test, for the proof of the pudding. Try Googling images of 'genuine Gucci handbags' and 'Gucci designer handbag knockoffs'. Can you honestly say you can tell the difference at first glance? Or even a second glance? Do you think that the owner of a genuine Gucci handbag loses sleep over Miss Average's knockoff? Probably not.
Google images of both, can you tell the difference?