Knock-off identity

Husband and I have just returned from a week-long visit at my parents. Other than receiving the usual subtle but persistent promptings to have a baby, from the family, I inherited a designer purse from an aunt who lives in the UK.

Now, I’ve never really owned a high-end designer purse. Okay, I have had handbags by Tommy Hilfiger or even Donna Karan but I would hardly consider them “designer” purses as none of them cost any more than $100. I also have had a friend who bought me a knock-off Mulberry and an Hermes wallet but then, these don’t count.

So, safe to say, this handbag I’ve inherited is really the first real designer bag I own. And, therein lies my skepticism. First, it’s a Louis Vuitton. Do you know how many LV replicas there are out in the market??? Zillions! In fact, it’s so common that whenever we see someone carrying an LV, we would immediately discount it as a fake – so, it’s fake unless proven genuine. Second, it’s an LV Noe – another common model that is replicated. I can tell you already that whoever sees me with my Noe would almost immediately assume that it’s a knock-off! Third, and most suspiciously, when I first got the bag, I look at its inside and discovered that it has no tag whatsoever to identify its authenticity. And, being a real skeptical rookie, I was convinced that it’s a copy. However, my aunt left message that the bag is indeed the real thing – and I do have reasons to believe her as she’s one of those who would spend thousands on such things.

Therefore, the minute I got home, I did what most people would do to clarify or authenticate anything under the sun – I Googled! After spending almost two hours in cyberspace and in total oblivion of my husband, I looked up from my computer and announced that my newly acquired purse is in fact genuine!This of course led me to further question myself why it was so important that the purse is a genuine designer item. And a larger question is why do some people yearn for designer goods so much that they would go to the extent of buying knock-offs when they can’t afford the real thing. Do we think that somehow having a G or CC insignia on our purses or wallets would somehow elevate us as a person? And how far would we go in impressing those around us with our designer labels? Or do we somehow believe that a Fendi label would somehow raise our socioeconomic identity in some way? Hmmm… As far as I know now, my genuine LV Noe is great for lugging my new MacBook around as it was initially designed to bag bottles of champagne back in 1932 (holds 5 each). (I do love the historical part of the story behind most labels!)

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~ by iccthomas on February 11, 2008.

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