Monday, July 30, 2007

Designer Replicas - Yea or Nay?

Replicated from The Fairy Bagmother

Many of us sneer at designer knockoffs and loudly proclaim that we only want the original or nothing. I myself did it just a few posts ago on Fairy Bagmother. But let's face it. If designer bags cost hundreds upwards to thousands of dollars, how many of us really can own more than a few authentics at a time?

I know I can't. I also know that my handbag-lusting, shoe-loving heart will not be content with just having one or two pairs of shoes or bags a season. So my strategy has always been: have a few exquisite and expensive originals, plus numerous "lesser-name" and even "no-name" items.

This is a smart plan especially for items that are very "In" for a season, but you know will soon be outmoded, or for items that you know you'll only wear very rarely. Let's say, for example, that you want a gold clutch to wear with a gown for formal events. Let's say you will carry this bag three times this year. Would it be smart to buy a $3,000 bag? Or would it make sense to buy a $100? Right.

Designers themselves are coming to the same conclusion and are beginning to knock themselves off, so to speak. Case in point, Devi Kroell. Her authentic python handbags, shoes, boots, gloves, etc. took the general fashion world by storm in late 2005 and have only grown in popularity since.


Exquisite workmanship and design, combined with the best materials, and that je ne sais quoi that all great designers possess, mark Devi Kroell's bags and footwear. With handbag price tags in the thousands, shoes above $500, the non-independently-wealthy yet fashion-conscious and fashion-desirous woman would have to think long and hard.

This in mind, Devi Kroell knocked herself off. The Devi Kroell for Target® line features bags designed by Devi, but at price tags like $34.99. "Target let me offer a collection anyone can afford," she said of her replicas. Obviously, they are not the same bag — the old adage, "you get what you pay for," applies.

Let's look at the differences:


$2290 Devi Kroell

Materials:
Asian Python
Silk Lining
Brass Zipper
Brass Rivets

Workmanship:
Handsewn
Round Handle

$34.99 Devi Kroell for Target®

Materials:
Metallic Vinyl
Polyester Lining
Nylon Zipper
Brass-tone Rivets

Workmanship:
Machine-stitched
Flat Handle

The quality difference is obvious, as is the fact that the original slouches and shines the way only real python can — no nylon today can fool the eye enough.

Not all knockoffs are so extreme in their visual "look-unlikeness," although the test of quality will doubtless hold. As in everything else, fashion should be judged on a case-by-case basis. So if you see a good look-alike and you want it, forget what anyone else says and go for it. Wear the item a few times or for a season, and then move on. Someday when you splurge on a "real thing," it will mean all the more.


Post was inspired by and quotes Eileen Conlan's "Why Does This Bag Cost Only $34.99?" at Marie Claire. Devi Kroell images from DeviKroell.com. Devi Kroell for Target® image from Target at Amazon.com. "Knockoff Chick" image drawn by G.G.

 

 

2 comments:

Shopaholic D said...

I say, "Nay!" I don't care if other people get knock-offs - I wouldn't look down on them or anything like that. Just, for me, I would rather have 1 authentic designer bag than 10 fauxs, which is basically where I am with my one Chanel. I think working hard for one, though, makes you really appreciate it when you finally get it.

:) D

G.G. said...

Your Chanel bag is gorgeous, so I understand. I'm a total bag addict, though, and one bag isn't going to do it for me. I'll take the ten faux first, then I can more calmly wait for the real deal :)