Fake HandbagsYou might be tempted when you are visiting the exciting streets of New York City, London, or even in LA to pick up a counterfeit handbag. Think twice before you make one of these illegal purchases from a street vendor or online, since you don’t know where that fake Gucci, Louis Vuitton, or Prada even came from. Here is the total ugly truth about faux handbags and why they aren’t as chic as you might think.

Not The Real Deal

 Actress Sarah Jessica Parker

Actress Sarah Jessica Parker

They can look like the real thing. Even “Sex and The City” did an episode where Samantha fell under the spell of getting a Fendi Baguette for a bargain basement price, only to be humiliated in the end by the seediness of her purchase. It can be a common experience to desire a handbag that costs thousands of dollars in normal retail for under one hundred bucks. You might think to yourself, what’s the harm… as you hand over your forty dollars to that nice guy on the corner of a well known street in Greenwich Village or Chinatown in NYC, but what exactly are you buying?

Everyone’s Doing It!

Two happy women looking at handbag in shopping mall Purse parties in the 90’s became all the rage among housewives who coveted the latest handbag at a fraction of what a real one from a designer cost. These parties happened all over America, so it wasn’t just in the big cities. Not to mention the internet allows everyone to buy these items online right in the comfort of their own homes.

The problem with these fake handbags number one, is where they come from. Most of the time they are made in poor working conditions with workers they hardly pay a fair wage to, or even give them money at all. Child Labor, Boy Sewing In Booth On The Market.Slave labor is responsible for many of these counterfeit creations. Even children are subjected to endless days of making these goods in inexcusable conditions. That’s just the sad fact of these products that don’t truly have a place in our fair market. Organized crime is boldly responsible for these fakes and by buying them you are supporting the continuation of those activities, even if you aren’t thinking about that when you snag the latest Chloe Saddlebag for an easy twenty dollars.

Another Big Issue

 The second issue is that the counterfeit economy undermines our real one. It takes away an estimated 250 billion dollars per year from legitimate companies worldwide. That means that legitimate designers and business owners who pay their taxes and work hard are losing money everyday due to counterfeit items. They put in years coming up with brilliant designs to only have their ideas stolen right out from under them.

Delux_dana_thomasDana Thomas in her book, “Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster” interviews such designers like Tom Ford, Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel, and Miuccia Prada on how counterfeit items have undermined their industry. It became a hot seller on the New York Times list of books back in the late 2000’s. Hopefully with more education people will understand why they should stay far away from fake items of all kinds.

The best part is designers are understanding that not everyone can afford a $3000 handbag, so many are making less expensive ones under secondary lines of theirs. For example, Marc by Marc Jacobs or See by Chloe will allow you to buy a true original of that line at a fraction of what one might cost in their high end line. So everyone can have a taste of the designer lifestyle without the ramifications of a counterfeit handbag.