Dupes or Fakes?
The fashion blogger scene is awash with dupes at the moment, more than any other time I can remember. A dupe bag is one which is inspired by a luxury designer bag, and has many of the same or similar design features – so much so that it could, to the untrained eye, be confused for the genuine article. I use the word genuine loosely here because despite there being much debate about dupes, I believe that as long as there is no branding on a bag claiming that it actually is made by the designer, then it is a dupe, and not a fake.
Would I carry a fake designer bag? Absolutely not. Having worked in the luxury fashion industry for a luxury designer bag company, and also studied the subject at university, I fully understand the negative impact that fake designs have on the luxury fashion industry. In a nutshell, it’s not so much that they take away sales because people buy fakes instead (as in many instances the customer that purchases a fake would not be the type of person to spend £1000+ on a bag), but more that it dilutes the brand image. It makes a brand less desirable and less exclusive, this has negative connotations on potential customers leading to a loss in sales.
Why I Buy Dupes
Having determined what is a dupe, and what is a fake, or replica bag, now would be a good time to confess that I absolutely love a good dupe bag. Featured in this post is my latest addition, clearly a dupe for the beautiful Chloe Faye handbag. While it looks almost identical, it has no branding on it claiming that it is in fact a genuine Chloe bag, and as far as bags go, it was a little more expensive than what you’d normally pick up on the highstreet.
But why buy it? Well, first of all, I can’t afford a real Chloe Faye. And I’m not lucky enough to have been gifted one (yes, some bloggers have actually been given them, for free!). Living in London and having kind of expensive taste when it comes to clothes (I love Reiss, Whistles and Russell & Bromley) and food (Hawksmoor once a month, yes please!) means that blowing £1200 on a handbag just isn’t an option for me. But, I love the style. I think it’s a beautiful bag and with or without the Chloe branding I know that this bag will work with so many of my outfits.
I used to only carry a designer bag. Before and during my time working at Mulberry I would absolutely always carry a designer handbag. My first Mulberry was a very generous gift from an ex-boyfriend, and the second and third were purchased with my staff discount. Then, when I became more accustomed to living on the small wage that a first fashion job pays, I moved it down a notch to Kate Spade bags – beautiful and, I guess you could call them designer, but without three 0’s on the end of the price tag!
But over the last year or so, I’ve wanted to change my handbags more regularly – there are so many styles that I adore both on the highstreet and from designers that I can no longer bare to just wear one design for months on end. So the solution for me, is to purchase a dupe.
Yes, I still love designer bags. I admire the incredible designs, the intricate workmanship that goes into them, the feeling of the buttery soft leather and those small design details that you only notice once the designer bag is yours. But can I justify buying one right now? Sadly not.
And finally, where do I buy them from? Well the highstreet is the master of creating designs that are so very clearly inspired by designer bags, we are seeing giant Chloe-esque rings on Topshop bags, fluted sides a-la-Celiné everywhere from Primark to Reiss, but personally I love a dupe to look as close to the real thing as possible, and this american website is my secret source. Not so secret anymore. I always get asked about shipping, and in my experience the bag arrives in around 7 days, and shipping is actually free.
SHOP MY FAVOURITE DUPES
So now it’s your turn! I’d love to know if you would ever buy a replica bag? If it looked so real that you could get away with it and no one would notice?
If someone commented on your bag, would you tell them it was a fake?
What about dupes? Do you love them, like me? Or would you only wear the real deal? Let me know in the comments!
Photography by Joe Galvin