I recently visited Camden Market in London, bursting with people and colours. It’s filled with all sorts of different goods and stalls, selling everything from clothes to food. When I went, I noticed a lot of stalls selling fake handbags and purses. Oh nooooo! It broke my heart to see these stalls selling fake bags because I know how much hard work, dedication and time goes into creating real, genuine designer bags.
Every bag I saw was made with cheap, synthetic materials and were machine-made. Can you even imagine how hard an artist works on creating and producing a single truly authentic designer bag? It’s truly heartbreaking that this hard work can be obliterated in a matter of hours by a machine producing fake copies. What about the artists’ livelihood? Being a designer myself, I can emphasise with them and hope that this unfair farce stops one day.
It all remains a blurry, confusing sea of confusion no matter whether I walked the busy lanes of Camden Market or browsed through designer outlets. It’s really hard to differentiate between the fake and the real. For instance, the fake bags had a sloppier finish, more uneven details and uneven seam lines. On top of that, the shape of the bag was often not proportional either and hues were quite off. This makes it hard to discern the reality from what’s fake.
I decided to explore the issue further and spoke to a few store owners. They put the blame on low quality replicas. Such models are produced in bulk in low budget factories, meaning it’s impossible to make them look just like the original. What’s more, it’s impossible to pass them off as real because of the texture and details.
The market also had a few stores that sold original designer bags. I delved a bit more and saw that the prices of the real items were much higher than the fake ones. The real bags had tags that said ‘Original’, whereas the fake ones had tags that read ‘Replica’. I can only assume that the people buying these bags don’t know the difference.
Even though it’s hard to spot the fakes, it makes me feel really sad that people will choose cheaper replicas than going for the real deal. It strikes me as being unfair to the designers who have worked hard to come up with the design of the bags. Fake bags look nothing like the real ones and have more chances of falling apart in no time.
I thought about a solution and concluded that maybe it’s time the government took action. They need to come up with strict guidelines to separate the real from the replica so that the artists who’ve worked hard to come up with the designs can be compensated too.
Another solution could be for brands to offer higher quality replicas at more affordable prices so people don’t have to rely on cheap imitations sold on the market. It would give people the choice of splurging on the real deal, or investing in a high quality replica that will last them longer.
Apart from protecting the original creations, this could also be a welcome relief to the environmental protection crusaders. Fake bags are made with synthetic materials which, while usually lower in quality, are still taxing on the environment. It’s time to devise strategies that will allow us to relish our favourite designer bags without burning holes through our pockets and at the same time, protect the environment.
In the future, I’d like to see people become more aware and fervent about buying real designer bags. I personally believe it not only benefits the original artists, but also supports creativity and ingenuity among artists. It’s time to give the designers their due.