By Fay Elizabeth Schneider
Sitting in a small coffee shop downtown, I glance up from my soy latte and my eye catches something exotic. She’s tall, confident and walking in clutching her Chanel bag: the ideal female picture of luxury. Her being such a beautiful women, it is interesting to me that somehow the logo makes her more appealing. Could it be the price, or the rarity of it? Perhaps it is the way designer logos seem to emulate success. However, with a closer look I realize, this designer Chanel is literally dripping with falsity. It becomes obvious that this woman is an imposter of grandeur with a bag not crafted, designed, and represented by Chanel, but a cheap, factory made, dripping double C logo bag.
The issue with these sorts of imitation logos is generally thought to be the money the real designers loose to the black market companies smuggling bags and distorting logos. These companies appeal to the individual with champagne taste on a beer budget, but really who wouldn’t want a $4,000.00 dress for $30? However, devastating or not, this loss of money is to the designers. Although, many argue they are not suffering to the extent they claim. When every purse brings the designer a small fortune, they don’t really need to sell very many in order to keep the brand going. However the real issues lie deeper under the monetary surface.
Before you opt for the cheaper version of your favorite designer, consider the origin of it. Many under the table knock-off smugglers use child labor overseas to produce their product. These children leave, sometimes taken away from, their families, and are paid wages we would throw into a coffee jar with the words “vacation fund” printed on the front without a second thought. Sure, you may be cheaply getting the opportunity to trick others into believing you can flaunt the most expensive fashions, but at the cost of a young child’s life, it seems the most overpriced of all.
Another issue few bring into this debate is the suffering art of the fashion industry. American society has become so obsessed with logos that the true importance is typically forgotten: the designer’s these logos represent. Every garment, bag, shoe and accessory endorsed with a high fashion designer logo has gone through one creative process after another until a true spectacle of beauty has emerged. These pieces although beautiful, have expiration dates. With every season comes a new line of meticulously thought out physical representations of the designer’s cognitive creativity. Buying a cheap version of their craft would be comparative to slapping Picasso’s signature on a coffee spill.
Even though some consider knock off items to be their only way to participate in the fast-paced and glamorous world of fashion, there is another option. Although season trends come and go, vintage is always in. Before opting for that dripping double C t-shirt or backwards Louis Vuitton printed handbag, search local thrift stores like My Sister’s Closet to satisfy your logo lust, and look ever so chic doing it.
Photo Courtesy of Molly Bowes