Prada Or Nada?

Our friend Hilary was telling us the other day that she has become very budget conscious over the last couple of years.  Her prime example was that instead of indulging in her love of expensive handbags, she now just walks down Canal Street in NYC and buys knock offs…  She purchases her handbag of choice and applies a fake ‘Prada’ label to it – for less than a fraction of cost for a real Prada bag!

Hillary swears you can’t even really tell the difference, and many of our friends admit they do the same thing! Everyone seems to have a fake Louis Vuitton or Kate Spade sitting around…  However, our friend Pam has a different take.  She thinks it is really cheap to buy a knock off and pretend it is the real thing.  She feels Hilary is supporting illegal counterfeiting – which is bad for the economy.

Is Pam right for bringing up the bigger picture, or should she just be congratulating her friend on spending a lot less money than she used to?  Tell us what you think!

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6 Responses to “Prada Or Nada?”

  1. Mallory says:

    It’s not just that its bad for the economy, counterfeit handbags and other fake luxury good have been linked to organized crime, terrorism, child labor and a myriad of other terrible things. One of the major women’s magazines, Elle or Harper’s Bazaar I think, has on ongoing campaign to educate folks about all the reasons why buying counterfeit is decidedly NOT cool.

  2. Mandy says:

    I don’t see any problem with buying a knock off! The prices of the designer bags are insane. If the look is what you want and what makes you happy and you cannot afford the real thing, or choose not to spend so much money…why not? That is competion. What I question is the motive. Putting on a fake Prada label…who are you trying to impress? If you are doing it to make yourself happy…go for it. If you are merely buying the knock off to impresse people, you have a problem.
    I don’t think it is cheap and I definitely do not think it is supporting illegal counterfeiting. It’s a free market place and that SUPPORTS business and the econony.

  3. Ann says:

    What a lot of people don’t realize is that fakes are cheap for a reason. They are often made by child slave laborers in countries where there are no laws to protect them. Many counterfeit rings are also involved in human trafficking, drugs and other terrible things, so buying a fake helps fuel all of this.

    If you can’t afford to buy the real thing, then buy a bag you can afford, without a label.

  4. Aimee says:

    I agree with Pam, the times I’ve visited Chinatown on my vacations to NYC there is always something fishy about the experience. Considering I’ve never paid sales tax on a single item and you are hard-pressed to find a store that takes debit cards (not that I would hand any of these places my credit/debit card number) I don’t really feel like my purchases are sparking any economic development.

    Also, while it might be cheaper to buy a knock-off in Chinatown, it is a terrible investment. Many of those products fade, get dirty, or break within weeks- if not days. Not to mention, anyone who thinks their knock-off from Chinatown looks like a Fendi or a Prada has never seen the real thing. With the same money you spend on these pieces of junk with a designer label, you can get a good-quality leather purse from TJ Maxx or Marshalls that will last much longer and make you look way more elegant.

  5. Germaine says:

    I am always in Chinatown either buying the inexpensive produce and food stuffs imported from China, or eating in Chinatown. I know all the places to buy fakes on Canal Street. I am in total agreement. Buying counterfeit encourages organized crime, supports child slavery, and/or paying overseas below minimum wage salaries, etc. I have many nice designer clothes and handbags as well as nice inexpensive stuff that I gladly pay for. It has never appealed to me to buy knock-off stuff that every high school girl on the subway carries. I’m not sure I understand why buying this stuff is so important to people. And I don’t feel that I have to buy scads of cheap clothing(T-shirts, jeans, shoes) from WalMart and the like when one quality item fom Italy or made in the US will do. This is what has destroyed our economy and put Americans out of work. This overdependence on junk. Sorry I am on the soap box.

Any Thoughts?