LA Times: "Fake Birkin or fake friend?"

  1. Saw this in the LA Times this morning and thought you all might get a kick out of it....basically, a reader writes in to ask how she should deal with a friend who's always calling out her Birkin as a fake....what do you think?

    Fake Birkin or fake friend?

    By Monica Corcoran, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    November 4, 2007

    Q: For my last birthday, I treated myself to a Birkin. Well, it's a really expensive fake Birkin bag.

    This is one of those $2,000 ones that I ordered from Asia, and I have heard that even Hermès can't tell them apart. Anyway, I told my friend where I got it, and she now feels compelled to tell everyone that it's not real. If we're together and someone compliments my bag, she immediately says, "She got it from China." She says I have to 'fess up to it being a fake because it's only fair. Am I a big phony if I just keep my mouth shut and pretend that it's the real deal?


    P.K., Calabasas

    Dear P.K.,

    Ah, counterfetiquette. In this synthetic age, it's sometimes difficult to discern between benign and venal falsities. Forged signatures on checks are illegal and obviously not up for discussion. Same goes for trafficking in imitation luxury merchandise under false pretense. But do you have to admit to a disingenuous smile on a bad first date? Or tell your husband that your nails are actually acrylic? If so, shouldn't dinner guests be forewarned that you used "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!" in the mashed potatoes?

    Simon Doonan, creative director at Barneys, sniffs at any masquerade of affluence. "It's always good to tell people that it's fake because otherwise, you're promoting yourself as having more money than you do, and that's pathetic," says Doonan, author of the upcoming book "Eccentric Glamour: Creating an Insanely More Fabulous You." Doonan is personally against fakes but adds: "I can't imagine that anybody really cares."

    Other than Hermès, of course, which no longer authenticates bags. "I have heard that if you walk into an Hermès store with a fake Birkin, they can confiscate it," says Tina Craig of, a website devoted to designer accessories. (According to Hermès in Beverly Hills, that urban legend is about as authentic as your purse.)

    Actually, snagging a real Birkin has become so arduous that more and more fakes abound. Nationwide waiting lists for the iconic bag are closed. Even the Hermès location in Vienna, Va. -- which was rumored to be the last store taking names -- has 500 people waiting for a Birkin.

    "We only take names of local people right now," a salesman says with a sigh. He admits that he's been offered "crazy bribes" to hopscotch to the top of the list.

    Craig, who owns eight Birkins, three Kelly bags and a mini-pochette by Hermès -- almost $80,000 worth of authentic Hermès purses -- is more pragmatic than Doonan when it comes to owning up.

    "It's a woman's prerogative if she wants to admit that it's fake or not," she says. "But either way, most people can tell."

    Clearly, the choice is yours. I wouldn't admit to a mock croc bogus Birkin unless someone outright asked me whether my purse was born in Paris or China. What concerns me more than your appetite for imitation accessories, however, is your taste in acquaintances. If that supposed pal can't keep the copycat in the bag, she's what I call a make-believe friend.
  2. Interesting. Thanks!
  3. LMAO!!!! for 2k! She deserves to be embarrased AND ashamed! Aint no way! She could have had a classy chanel flap and continued to save for a birkin! OMG! $200 fake 2k fake its still fake!

    BTW That is sooo funny. That friend is a trip!
  4. you can get a fake birkin in china town for $60 bucks...why the heck would you spend $2000 for one!! you can get a great *real* bag for that!!!
  5. great article!
  6. haha- I'd like to see her test that theory at any H boutique :lol: I bet even I could tell her $2k fake apart from the real deal.
  7. Great article. Just shows how much some people are willing to spend on a "fake." Most of us would LOVE a birkin, but we know that fakes are illegal, so we just buy what we real bags we can afford, and keep hoping that someday, our prince will ride in on a big white horse with our birkin! For 2K, she could have gotten a couple authentic bags!
  8. Hmmmm, interesting.

    While the over priced fake is indeed tacky and probably an ignorant choice, the tell all friend is still in the wrong. I'm not a therapist, but it is pretty obvious that she feels threatened by her friend or for some other reason feels the need to embarass her by announcing her bag is make believe.

    Maybe P.K. from Calabasa would be happier with more authentic friends (as well as bags).
  9. agree. the girl that wrote the letter may be going around with a fake bag but the 'friend' is a total *****.
  10. although she's carrying a fake birkin, i think her friend is a total *****!
  11. ^I agree! I honestly don't care if my friends wear fakes, which they do. I'm in no position to ask them about it nor publicize it to the world. For instance, one of my friends own a HORRIBLE fake Chanel cambon tote. I wear my real Chanel around her, and I never brag about mine being authentic or ask her about hers or where she got it.

    IMO, it's a sensitive and personal choice. Not everyone is willing to dish out a huge amount of money on the real thing.

    Although 2k for a fake bag is ridiculous. I personally would have just gotten an authentic Chanel rather than a fake Hermes, but to each his/her own!
  12. $2k for a fake?! That poor woman needs some common sense and better friends.
  13. i totally agree :angel:
  14. Poor girl, she must've felt totally desparate to put up that much $$ for a fake.
    Too bad she didn't have some better choices (Chanel) and better friends.
  15. I would be mad if a friend kept telling people that-but I wouldn't carry a fake bag-I would rather carry a cheaper authentic bag than a fake one!!