The Designer / Fake Handbag Dilemma
One of the many bugbears besetting the big name designer handbag makers is the proliferation of fakes. No sooner do they launch a new design of handbag, than there is someone, somewhere in the world, hard at work trying to duplicate it exactly and within a few months these counterfeit bags flood the market, openly sold on market stalls for a small fraction of the price of the designer original.
Designers who rely on trendy designs rather than quality of workmanship and materials for their appeal might find that customers are reluctant to pay high prices for a bag that is soon indistinguishable from the copies on the arms of hundreds of other women in their city, and to keep customers’ interest they have to keep releasing new designs to remain one step ahead of the counterfeiters. Such bags are rarely good investments as they rely on short-term fashion trends that date quickly, rather than true style that lasts for years.
Some fakes are so cheaply made and priced so low that it is obvious they are not the genuine article, even featuring spelling mistakes in the logo, like the famous Italian brand knockoffs that provided the movie Serendipity with a crucial twist in the plot! However with modern technology and techniques there is a new breed of super fake coming from Asia that follows the symmetry, stitching, date stamp and all the other details of the designer handbag so closely, that they enable unscrupulous dealers to sell them for higher prices, passing them off as a designer original. Some of these are so well copied that it takes a real expert to detect the deception and your only way to ensure that you are buying a genuine designer original handbag is to purchase it directly from the designer outlet or at least from a very reputable retailer.
There are other designers that are harder to copy so closely. Designers and makers who rely on the excellence of their materials and craftsmanship make life more difficult for the counterfeiters, as it is harder to pass off cheaper materials for the real thing and the only way for them to make it worth their while is to produce the copy for as little as possible. Good quality leathers are not cheap to buy and hand crafted bags take time to make and these factors show in the finished bag. Cheap, poorly-tanned leather and machine-stitching cannot ever look as good and most people can recognise that quality at a glance. Good quality leather will last for years even improving its patina and feel, whereas cheap leather will wear quickly and unevenly, losing its gloss and looks in a few months.
Another major concern with counterfeit bags in exotic leather is the origins of the skins used to make the handbags. exotic leather from endangered species is subject to many regulations and handbags made with them have to be provided with CITES certificates to show that the skins came from a reputable and sustainable source. Counterfeiters, who have no scruples about making fakes, are unlikely to follow these regulations and it is probable that a large number of animals poached from the wild for their skins provide the materials for this black-market industry.
With this in mind it becomes even more important to be sure of a handbag’s origins, when you are purchasing a designer bag or an exotic leather handbag. If you want a designer label bag, choose designers that are known for their craftsmanship and the longevity of their designs and buy from a reputable retailer. If a big name designer handbag is out of your price range, don’t be tempted to buy a cheaper copy or be fooled by online adverts offering the ‘genuine’ bag at 80% discounts. Rather look around for good quality authentic bags from reputable makers, who provide genuine CITES certificates to guarantee the origins of the skins they use.
True style comes from the quality of the bag and your taste and discernment is far better reflected by carrying beautiful and unique hand-made bag than an inferior copy of an It bag.
You really don’t need a showy designer label to demonstrate that a handbag is of good quality – a true handbag aficionado can recognise beautiful leather and good design at a glance and it is these qualities that make a handbag a good investment for you to enjoy for many years, secure in the knowledge that it has been made by hand with love and care by experienced artisans who have done their best to provide you with your own unique work of art in gorgeous leather.