I’ve always thought that high end designers must be really irritated about street side vendor hawking bags with their logos plagarized. It’s seems common sense to think that this kind of fakery would be a problem. But recent research shows that counterfeit bags actually boost high end sales.
For one thing, counterfeit bags function as free advertising for designer goods. I never really thought about fashion houses like Chanel and Gucci as needing free advertising, but now that I think about it the fact that every other person in a major city is carrying a bag with a recognizable logo (real or fake) must be a booster. Counterfeiting is one of the reasons, actually, that these logos are so recognizable.
Other research suggests that counterfeit bags act as sort of a gateway to designer purchases. So, then, fake Louis Vuitton is to real Louis Vuitton what marijuana is to cocaine? Interesting. Still, if you’re in the market for a fake, there’s more to consider than the impact on the label.
Most high end lines manufacture their bags responsibly, using ethically-source materials and humane labor practices. This is, of course, not true across the board, but for the most part, the more status a line has, the more accountable it is to its fans. Street vendors, since they operate illegally, are beholden to no one, and I have read exposes of the terrible conditions in which this products are produced.