Why do people wear fake luxury items
Big hype about the fake
The fact that it is a criminal offense in the UK to acquire counterfeit goods has not been seen as a workable deterrent. More like the knowledge that the proceeds will be used to fund criminal activities. In Dana Thomas ‘Book Deluxe: How Luxury Loses Its Luster, the author claims that the desire to wear merchandise with famous logos is an attempt to communicate wealth, status and chic. “Awareness of the brand is too important. The more you want to expand your company, the more luxury brands are expected of you, ”says Miuccia Prada in an interview with Thomas. Luxury brands invest several hundred million dollars annually to promote their brands, this effect makes the labels objects of public desire, even more than the actual products for sale.
An average income person cannot afford to buy a Prada, Gucci or Louis Vuitton handbag for € 1,000 any time of year. And this is exactly where the counterfeiters have discovered a market with high demand for good quality imitations for a fraction of the price. Louis Vuitton Europe marketing manager told me that his company employs 300 people worldwide to fight counterfeit peddlers - and it's making an impact. There have been major raids in recent years on counterfeit goods, mainly imported from China to the USA and Europe.
In France, for example, tourists who bring counterfeit goods into the country can be fined € 300,000 and face up to three years in prison; other countries are considering a similar practice.
Naive buyers of these counterfeit products do not fully understand the effects of their actions. Dana Thomas ‘book concludes that by buying counterfeit luxury goods, consumers fuel child labor in Asia, finance organized crime and possibly even terrorist activities. "The only way to stop counterfeiting is to stop people from buying counterfeits just to have these logos and then and only then will it stop," said a respondent from Dana Thomas.
For those who crave luxury labels, there are other cheaper ways to own a branded handbag - and still stay within the law (more on the subject another time). It has nothing to do with luxury, elegance or chic wearing “fakes”. Counterfeit consumers steer clear of true luxury when they support this seedy, fake industry. Let us hope that, with the help of better information, the previous social acceptance of wearing forgeries becomes an occasion for social protest. •
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