Elizabeth Holmes writes for the Wall Street Journal that increasingly “fake” handbags,
are made of high-quality materials, with zippers and grommets boasting the brand name, and are stamped with what appears to be the proper manufacturing location and date. They’re fooling even savvy shoppers, especially online.
As the quality has increased, so have the prices. Karineh Gurjian-Angelo snagged an Yves Saint Laurent bag on eBay for $300 and when it arrived the quality made her think, “Wow, it is real.”
Of course it’s a real bag. She just bought it for a fraction of what YSL sells theirs for–more than $1,500. Who made the bag doesn’t make it less real.
Spying a Channel bag in a consignment store that she thought had been manufactured by Channel, student and fashion blogger Vickie Laliotis, put the bag to the smell test. “I figured, well, why would they make a fake out of such nice leather?”
To sell more bags perhaps?
However, the War on Bags continues. Holmes writes,
Last year, U.S. agents conducted nearly 20,000 seizures of goods that infringed on intellectual property rights, an increase of 34% from 2010, according to a report from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In 2001, there were about 3,600 seizures.
Footwear was the top commodity seized, the government agencies said. Clothes and handbags ranked third and fourth, respectively.
Success with this war will match that of the wars on drugs, poverty, and terrorism.
“Fake” bag producers continue to improve their products. Elizabeth Bernstein, whose job it is to spot knock offs for Portero, an online second-hand luxury-goods retailer says, “They’re making better and better fakes every day.”