Let me start with a story and I will make it very short. Promise!
Walking down China town in the famed fashion city of New York. The person I was with got approached by this non-english speaking person most likely from China. With hand signals he asked us to follow him and all he figured out to say was "We got bags" the other person I was with got excited! I think that was the password. I don't know how they select their people. May we were being followed. But, let me tell you this is the biggest black market EVER! anything you want from the other side of town on 5th avenue. It is here! Another interesting thing I saw was lines of men with luggages standing around the streets but quick to move in case the cops came. Why? well, maybe because they don't have a license to sell and also maybe cause what they have are replicas.
Picture via YWMM
Back to our story. We follow the guy to a store nearby and then down the hall of the store. All of the sudden a wall turns into an open door. Now! talk about being creative. At that moment, I began to get nervous but, felt a relief upon seen others enter. We went down the stairs into another room. And boy! we entered a place full of everything from Chanel to Fendy bags and more bags. People grabbing them like hot bread and negotiating like a good day in the stock market. I personally didn't grab anything, but my friend did. A white Chanel bag. As we left and we were going up the stairs, the lights were turned off and we were told to be quiet and stand still. As I looked up the stairs, I seen how they locked us in. At that moment I was really ready to go! A few minutes later we were released. Want to see the big fat FAKE Channel bag?
This is it! The thing a girl does for a bag!
picture via Saledesignerbag
So, how can you tell a replica?
1. Well, for starters look where you are shopping at. If it is not the store that produces the product. Hint! Hint!
2. For Abayas look for their original label. Some abaya makers engrave their initial on the clothing. Look at online pictures and if you recognize it from a different location, then that is a hint. I know that with abayas, it can get a bit tricky, but there is a difference between creating something exactly to the point and claiming it is original and an inspiration. Inspirations only take something from the original as a starting point and make it their own with their own creative designs. From example. We all love the drapes from Rabia Z designs, so we take that element and use it to create our own designs, but if you go on making something exactly alike, sweety that is called an "IMITATION" and like someone said, "good work will always have imitators and and imitators are not original thinkers and end up doing a bad job which end up making the original pieces look even better" ....and by the way good imitators take their own pics or at least give credit.
3. For a Coach bag. Look at the zipper and if it doesn't have these 'YKK' engraved on it on the metal part, you have been fooled darlin!
4. Be realistic, there is no way a Coach, Fendi or LV bag is going to cost $35 dollars. Are you seriously believing this?
5. Real items are found in high-end stores not the alley down your house.
6. Ebay buyers. Now this is a place you really need to educate yourself before buying anything from scarves, bags, shoes! Go to their review section and type "How to spot a fake....." whatever the item you are looking to buy. They have some very juicy info on practically every big brand out there. Not only bags can be claimed fake, but also fabric!
7. Purse parties. We have all been there and hypnotized to buy! and the nerve of these ladies. $60 for a fake Loui Vitton bag???? Educate yourself and don't believe the stories the selling lady is telling you about her special hook up with I don't know who. In reality, chances are high she is getting them from either L.A. Fashion Distric or Chinatown in New York.
L.A. Fashion Distric Photo Credit: Brett Bixler
Now, what is legal is inspiration bags. This is where the vendor says, "Hey listen! I love Coach bags and I want to make some money by creating something using them as an inspiration" Now, that sounds more righteous. Wouldn't you agree?
Listen, I don't know whether it is the fact that high-end abaya makers and labels such as Coach that only make their items for the rich and leave us like a kid infront of a window wanting a candy we can't have, but one thing am sure, it is clearly wrong and you don't need a religion to tell you that. As a muslimah we have to make righteous choices up to the last drop of blood. So, don't loose your blessings over a fake coach bag that will be out of style over the next season. Sorry sis, but this is called stealing. So, if you can't do nothing about it, at least stop supporting the thieves with your purchases. And if you feel like a crackhead and need a dose, but an inspirational one.
Good things do come to those who wait. Allah SWT sent me my REAL Coach bag as a gift from someone. Completely unexpected! Want to see it?
Picture property of Sweet Modesty
.....and remember that you have two angels. One on your right writing quickly the good deeds you do and the one on your left is writing the bad deeds very slowly.
and really, would you like for someone to claim your kids when you made them or take your credit at work?