She's So Fake

On Monday, we asked what you'd do if a friend's boyfriend gave her a fake designer bag-- and told her it was real. Most of you assumed the boyfriend
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On Monday, we asked what you'd do if a friend's boyfriend gave her a fake designer bag-- and told her it was real. Most of you assumed the boyfriend
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On Monday, we asked what you'd do if a friend's boyfriend gave her a fake designer bag-- and told her it was real. Most of you assumed the boyfriend knowingly purchased the fake, and lied about it. The statistics support you: According to a study in the Guardian, two thirds of UK consumers who'd bought fakes were aware that they were buying a knockoff. Two thirds also said they were comfortable admitting to friends and family that they'd bought counterfeits; 20% more than in 2006. Spending on designer fakes has correspondingly increased by 10%. We're curious about the increasing social acceptability of buying $50 "Goyards". Why is the taboo relaxing? Natalie knows some socialites who buy fakes, as a way of seeming more rebellious. Faran posits that people feel angry about how much designers charge for their merchandise. Buying a fake is a way of getting back at a label that they feel has excluded them. Another theory? Buying fakes allows women to buy into a brand, without feeling guilty about extravagance or the tragic "label whore" status. Even a woman who can afford to buy a real Chanel Cambon may hear the voices of her boyfriend or friends as she slides her Amex over the counter at Bergdorf's. "Don't you really have better things to do with your money?" "It's disgusting to spend the rent for a Manhattan apartment on a handbag!" "You could be feeding a homeless family! Helping end genocide in Darfur! Saving the manatees!" Our hypothetical girl might go to Chinatown and buy a fake, telling herself that what really matters is the design of the bag, not the label. And there's a lot of social pressure against caring too much about brands, especially for women. In such a climate, buying a fake seems more okay to more and more women - As the Guardian study found, sometimes a fake can even inspire pride. --ANNA FIELDING GRIGGS