Inspired-by bags vs pure knock-offs at malls

  1. Do you think there's a difference between the very pronounced and obvious 'inspired-by' bags vs the knock-off's that try to imitate every detail of the 'real' bags? To me they are the same. fake= not the real thing. I advocate the authentic for myself, and though I'm not enocouraging, I can understand those who opt for the fakes... you like it, but don't want to spend the $. OK. (Please bear with me here:smile:, it's long-winded thought, but I'll try to get it together.)
    I'm in NYC and there was a big crackdown, mainly in Chinatown, for anyone selling fakes, namely LV. Even the landlords who rented out to these merchants were sought after and hugely fined. BIG crackdown.. Luxury brands sighting and defending their artistic integrity and protecting infringement. OK. Fine. But have you ever noticed at the mall, at stores like BEBE, CACHE, and others, carrying bags that look exactly like the real bags? Some obvious Chanel knock off's sans the CC logo, not to mention YSL, BV, etc?? And I was looking at some women's eshop and they carried this bag brand called Melie Bianco, I think. The MB bags are the 'inspired by' bags that look practically like the real bags, from Versace to Chanel. And there is a market for such bags, as I googled and found many retailers of MB.
    Sorry for this long winded thought but the real question I do have is that... is it somehow fashionably and legally more accetable and legitimate that these nationally recognized retailers carry the very recognizable inspired-by bags vs. buying the 'replicas'? Design houses will look the other way, or perhaps flattered in one way of retail-inpired by's but not replicas? What's the difference? :shrugs: This phenom is what we call a TREND in clothing fashion, right? Trend is what is largely spawned by designers... and of course TREND is totally acceptable, and shapes the fashion industry every season. But that's apparel. The bags however... Why are clear knock off's in the malls seem within legally acceptable ramifications, if there was such a driven witch hunt for the replicas in Chinatown?? Trendy in the mall, but not in Chinatown? Does anyone understand my thought pattern here?:idea:
    p.s. I'm not trying to offend or am I trying to talk down to anyone here about replicas or knock off's. There is a market out there for them, and it is what it is.
  2. Part of it is there is no protection,really ,for bag shape/clothing shape. There is only protection for the name and logo as a trademark. (also of course the public interest in being free from fraud and thinking they are getting a brand name when they are not).

    Clothing and bags are even more limited than music in possible arrangements and different styles. The law is not prepared to protect anything other than trademark at this point in history. Yea, they can be tacky but people have a right to buy a style (not blatant rip of the name) they admire at a price than can afford.
  3. Just to add I have never seen illegal fakes in my mall. The kiosks I assume you refer to are the ones that look very similar from afar, but instead of double C for Chanel it was be double O's or the 'Coach' C's will look more like horseshoes. Just looking similar enough as they can be without committing trademark infringement. Those bags aren't going to fool most people into believing they are the real thing.
  4. I was just pondering this myself. I was reading a magazine and saw some of the "inspired" bags you are talking about. Just yesterday I was in a little "boutique" and saw some of these. I actually did a "double-take" and wondered how they can get away with this. I guess it's because they aren't labeling them with the "copyrighted stuff".

    I think the blatant knock-offs are worse though. People buy these and try to pass them off as authentic. Unsuspecting buyers pay big bucks for these on E"bay. Sad!
  5. Some retailers have "inspired" looks nowadays as well i.e. BEBE has a lot of bags that look terribly like LV designs..
  6. There was an interesting article in the New Yorker about how "inspired by" stuff actually helps designers. The article was about clothing (H&M, Zara, etc.) but I think it also applies to bags. The thesis was that a designer comes out with a "look" that everyone clamors to buy (like, let's say, a Chloe Paddington bag) and that shows your taste, status, and class. In no time, the "inspired by" bags are EVERYWHERE and anyone who wants one can have it. So what's the original Chloe Paddington buyer to do? Buy another handbag, of course! So the designers actually benefit - because there's so much "inspired by" stuff, we all have to constantly update and buy new stuff so that we can be ahead.

    If anyone is interested, here's the article. It's very short by New Yorker standards.
  7. the difference is slapping a label on something and claiming it is something it is not. it is ok to make a quilted tote, just dont put back to back Cs on it and claim it is chanel.
  8. I am TOTALLY Ok with inspired by bags. I would LOVE it if I could find an inspired bag that looks like the Prada bag I'm drooling over. One, I don't have $2000 hanging around to buy a bag, two, even if if DID, I don't want a Prada label. I have NO DESIRE to show my "wealth" by buying labels. I just happen to love the STYLE of that bag and the COLOR of that bag. I would LOVE to find it without a label or a new label like, I don't know, "Theresa".

    If I got a Prada bag, ONE, it would clue DH into the fact that I spent way too much money (even he knows Prada) and two, people would think I was crazy for spending that much or worse, three, think I'm trying to PRETEND I'm rich enough by thinking I'm passing off a fake as the real thing. (And how bad does that have to feel - you have a $2000 bag that everyone assumes is a fake!)

    One of the things DH liked about the Jimmy Choo bag he just got me was that the ONLY visible label is the engraving on the clasp. NO ONE has to know who made that bag.
  9. The difference is definitely that inspired bags are just that, bags of the same style as another designer's bag, but fakes actually pretend they are bags made by a well-known designer. It's a form of identity theft, as opposed to someone, say, just adopting a new hairstyle and saying, "Oh, my hair looks like Jennifer Anniston's." A fake is saying, "I AM Jennifer Anniston." Big difference.

    People have strong opinions on whether or not inspired bags are acceptable or worthy. I don't personally have a problem with them. I buy bags because I like them, and sometimes, to be honest, an inspired bag can be more appealing than the designer one. It's happened! And sometimes I simply don't know (or care enough to find out) who came up with that style first. There's very little new under the sun when it comes to bag designs. The rest is just brand placement and whatever value buyers attach to that.

    Fakes, though, are completely unacceptable in my eyes. It's a matter of standards. There's nothing admirable about a fraud, other than perhaps how excellent a fraud it is.
  10. I have completely the opposite reaction - the minute I see a bag being copied by fakers or as 'inspired by' I don't want the bag anymore. It's true that there's nothing worse than spending $$$ on a bag everyone thinks is fake anyway. I spent a measly $65 on my Not a Plastic Bag, I had it around 2 days before that photo of the fakes on a side street in London showed up on here and I haven't looked at since. If I'd spent $1500 on a Chloe Paddington I'd be heartbroken.

  11. Which Prada is it? Steve Madden has been doing dead ringers for Gauffres and Miu Miu lately. So has Via Spiga.

    These are Steve Madden. Look familiar? :graucho:


    Via Spiga:

  12. Here's the ultimate "inspired by" bag. No, it's not Hermes but because it doesn't say Hermes, it's perfectly legal for the company to sell this obvious Birkin look-a-like. In fact, their bags are so close to Hermes bags, if I wasn't such a brand name snob I'd get their Hermes Kelly look-a-like. Their $600 price tag is a lot easier to take than a real Kelly (over $7000). :wtf:

  13. Unfortunately, none that I can see look like this:

  14. I'd be willing to bet if you poke around in their handbag section, you'd find something close. ;)
  15. I was actually looking at the Steve Madden bag...I really love the Miu Miu Coffer but the price tag is a it's an open tote. I agree with you Berryblonde, I wouldn't want to purchase the bag for the sake of the name. If I found a good bag made of similar quality, I'd get it. I just have to see that Steve Madden up close.