Charlotte: "That's like 3,000 dollars!"
Samantha: "Or $150. Fake."
Charlotte: "Oh my God, it looks so real."
- Sex and the City, Season 3 Episode 14, Sex and Another City
Samantha Jones is not the only woman who has committed the cardinal sin of fashion—carrying a fake designer handbag. Fake bags are everywhere, from kiosks at the mall or hidden in creepy mens trunks like in this episode. Women everywhere believe that since a bag looks similar to the real thing that it is acceptable to purchase the counterfeit version.
Well it is not and it can actually get you thrown in jail. In New York, council member Margaret Chin is hoping to have a law passed to make it illegal to buy fake designer handbags. She relates it to the drug trade, which could not be more true. In a Harper's Bazaar article published January of 2009, writer Dana Thomas said that people are shocked when she tells them that these counterfeit bags cause serious damage to the United States economy. Women think they are getting a good deal, when in fact, they are supporting the loss of American jobs to jobs overseas where many people are paid very low wages to plagiarize the innovation of the top designers and creative minds of our time.
Many women stare longingly at a $2,000 Louis Vuitton in the window of a high-end department store, and decide to resort to paying a fraction of the price for a bag that looks similar. I must ask, would it be right to read a book and publish the same chapters in a different cover and binding? Just because the outside of an item looks different than the real thing does not mean the original idea is not stolen.
Because theses bags are not created by the original designers, they are not going to be well crafted. The fashion industry is a multi-million dollar business, and while some prices for these designer bags can be outrageous, they are, in turn, of the highest quality. These fake handbags, however, are usually made overseas where workers are in terrible conditions and are paid very low wages.
So not only does that mean that these bags are not carefully crafted like the real things, but this also hurts our economy. It is much more beneficial for people who can afford to purchase the real thing to do so, rather than supporting the cruelty that occurs in these sweatshops just to pay less for a bag of terrible quality. Any bag will have wear and tear after time, but these fake handbags will not hold up after little use, and are not even worth a penny.
Fashion is created by designers, but revolves around women wearing clothing and accessories to express themselves in a creative way. With the abuse and forfeiting that takes place in the sweatshops that produce fake bags, the appreciation for high-quality design rises. Even if the $25 version of the Chanel bag is tempting, women shouldn't have to resort to them to feel like they're on trend. Like most things in life, magazines and television programs have convinced women that not only do they need to look a certain way, but also they need to spend a certain amount of money to have style. But in the end, style is about creating looks that make a woman feel beautiful and portray who she is without ever saying a word.