Are we all just label whores?

Check out the following interesting blog we stumbled across. What’s your take on what this blogger has to say about designer denim and other designer goods?

A recent headline in our local paper announced that a retail store in a local upscale mall had been raided by police. Apparently they were selling fake designer clothing. As I read this story I wondered if other people were struck by the same thoughts as I had.

First, the idea of paying $300 for a pair of jeans just so you can have Dolce and Gabbana displayed across your butt seems ludicrous to me. The fake jeans were, according to the article, “almost indistinguishable from the real thing; you’d have to know what to look for”. Then what, exactly, are people paying the $300 for? I mean, if I can find a pair of jeans that looks the same, feels the same, wears the same and is worth less than a third of the cost – (and we know they’re all made in the same overseas sweatshops) then what is all that extra money for?

Advertising is expensive, right? And yet people willingly turn themselves into walking billboards by displaying logos on their clothing. If you knew it cost a company $5,000 to paint their logo on the side of a car, wouldn’t you feel cheated that you had to pay THEM for the privilege of wearing their logo on your personage?

Ask folks why they wear this stuff and they’ll say they want to appear fashionable, cool, as having good taste. But really, let’s be honest here. It’s a status symbol. Having a Louis Vuitton purse apparently screams “I have so much money I can blow $5000 on a purse”. More likely it says “I’m so insecure that I blew $5000 I didn’t really have in order to impress people”.

What I also find interesting is that people willingly seek out designer fakes. It’s huge business all around the developed world. The better the fake, the more people want it. What this says to me is that people aren’t buying the real stuff for any other reason than to impress others and if they can find a good fake that won’t be apparent they are more than happy to don the fake item and save their money.

The headline story read as though a grievous crime had been committed. But I think the joke is on the consumers. AFAIC, anybody who is shallow enough to spend ten times the money on an article of clothing simply because of the name deserves to be fleeced if they can’t even figure out that the fake they bought is fake (after all, if it’s truly an issue of quality then shouldn’t it be obvious? I don’t know much about designers but I can hold a cheap suit next to a Zegna suit and feel right away that there’s a big difference). I also think the people making the fakes should be quietly applauded for revealing the ridiculousness of the whole designer label industry. The fact that good fakes require trained detectives to distinguish them from the real thing and the low cost of making those fakes is a blatant revelation of the fleece job consumers are subjected to by the pricing of these designer items. Those $300 jeans likely cost no more to make than the $150 fakes did (which are already marked up by about 300%).

I just can’t believe this story made headlines. Surely there is more important stuff going on in the world than this.”

Its funny because our guess is many people feel this way and buy fakes, thinking no one can tell the difference. But we (the HonestForum & DenimBlog community) know better, that there is a BIG difference in quality, the way they feel and look – and most fakes LOOK fake. The authentic jeans do cost more to manufacture than the fakes too, although this blogger apparently thinks otherwise (if they don’t claim to know much about designer goods, how can they make a statement like that?) Many designer jeans are sanded and dyed by hand, not created through child labor. For us, its not about impressing someone because we wear nice jeans or carry a designer handbag, its about enjoying the quality of a high end product, the way it looks and feels. Its the fake-makers that employ child laborers in sweatshops and support crime and terrorism. Don’t buy fakes!

6 Comments

  1. “Then what, exactly, are people paying the $300 for? I mean, if I can find a pair of jeans that looks the same, feels the same, wears the same and is worth less than a third of the cost – (and we know they’re all made in the same overseas sweatshops) then what is all that extra money for?”

    The writer is obviously uninformed. They should not be writing this type of article without first doing the basic research.

    Ok, they are talking about high end designer jeans so yes, a pair that costs about a third like $150 compared to $300 is pretty much the same- they may get their denim from Japan or something but basically there’s no justification for the extra cost- it’s a markup. You are paying for the name, material cost, manufacturing cost, advertising, etc…If you are buying $300 high end designer jeans, you should already know that. If you don’t then yeah, plaster the brand’s logo all over yourself at any cost.

    Not all jeans are made in sweatshops- SFAM, R&R, COH, J Brand, and TR are all made in the USA- which is a very important reason I support and buy their products. If they were to change that, I would not buy their product. You are paying for the higher cost of production in the USA and that is one thing I’ll gladly pay for.

    “Ask folks why they wear this stuff and they’ll say they want to appear fashionable, cool, as having good taste. But really, let’s be honest here. It’s a status symbol. Having a Louis Vuitton purse apparently screams “I have so much money I can blow $5000 on a purse”. More likely it says “I’m so insecure that I blew $5000 I didn’t really have in order to impress people”.

    People who respond that they buy designer/luxury goods because they want to appear fashionable, cool and having good taste are missing the point of luxury goods. It is so tasteless that people buy luxury goods to impress others. And people who buy fake luxury goods are just something I don’t understand. It is appalling to me. A designer brand is much more than their logo- it is their heritage, integrity, commitment to quality. This is one reason I have lost all respect for brands that have chosen to outsource their production to countries that do employ the children in sweatshops.

    I am glad the article made headlines- more people need to be aware of the huge counterfeit market and the repercussions of buying fakes.

  2. … you know we do show off the brand but… i think because as you said i your article we take the time to appreciate the denim and figure out whether it’s real or fake makes us not label whores.

    if we were label whores we’d just buy EVERY single pair we could find or anything that said R&R or TR on it… but we dont we take the time to love the denim and understand real v. fake and we look for good washes vs. how flashy the bum looks!

    plus it’s quite difficult to avoid being a label whore these days. EVERY label has a signature design or logo that is plastered everywhere. So it’s quite unavoidable… even Forever 21 which in the past was my favorite because it’s lack of a logo has little logos on sweaters 🙁