Thursday, February 25, 2010

Faking It

If you've been to Canal Street in New York you've been harassed by the peddlers selling that Louis Vuitton for a ridiculously cheap price. You've followed the woman a block and a half to an underground lair full of Chanel, Coach, Fendi, Prada, Gucci and Juicy Couture heaven. You've bartered for a piece of "designer" history, hoping to drop the seller down $10 or $12 before leaving with your score. You've bragged to a friend about how cheap you got your "Prada," or lied and pretended the handbag was real.

Any readers have a younger sibling, cousin, niece or nephew? If you grew up in a country that mass produced these products you could thank them for your new "Chanel" handbag. Fake designer items are produced in countries that use child labor. Many times these children are working in fabulous conditions - starved, chained, refused when needing to use the restroom, and even beaten. Nice right? One recent report of a raid in Thailand tells about children who were found with broken legs because they wanted to "go outside and play" instead of producing these counterfeit products. The boss of that sweatshop made sure that no playing would happen didn't he? These companies are STEALING childhoods.

Still loving your "Coach" handbag? Read on.

After 9/11 our country felt a nation-wide support never seen before. people wanted to help each other to defend our country's honor; to build the American people up again from one of the most vicious terrorist attacks in history. U.S. authorities have reported that the sale of counterfeit goods is a source of funding for terrorist groups throughout the world. By buying that handbag, pair of sunglasses, walled, hat etc. YOU are contributing to the growth of terrorism. Embarassing isn't it? Do you remember the raid this past December in Chinatown? New York officials stopped over $1 million dollars from reaching the hands of terrorist groups. But with the worldwide counterfeit trade valued at $500 billion, that's hardly a stab at terrorist hearts.

Many people have the "who cares" attitude because it doesn't directly affect them. If none of this is registering with you, how about the fact that these fake products just look horrific? That a fake can be spotted a mile away by most people? You don't have to be a fashionista to know when some lady at the mall's Gucci is actually a Smucci. Fake designer handbags are made with poor craftsmanship using inferior materials. If you look closely the stitching at the seams is often crooked and unevenly spaced, even double and triple stiched over in some places; the work of an unskilled child. The thread used is never of matching color, and not strong enough to hold the handbag together for very long. Classy.

On the other hand, designers who create their products spend a lot of time and brainpower designing, manufacturing, trade marking, promoting and marketing their products. They have also worked hard to build their reputations as the best in their field. They have spent decades building up their image, and their success lives on even after they have passed away. They are proud of what they have created, and the quality of their product. I picture myself an old lady in a wheel chair, still wearing a beautiful beaded couture jacket from YSL that I purchased 20 something years ago. I'd like to see if the lady at the mall is still toting around her Smucci.

No matter how fetching the cheaper version is, there is no replacing the real thing.

to anonymously report fakes visit
Its easier to just ignore. Harder to take a stand.

xo L

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