Copycat aka Investigation II

Whew...it's been a while. There's been so much crap I've been trying to sort out in my head, I haven't been thinking about this blog. And while I could say that there have been more important things going on than shopping...well, that would be a lie. In fact I've picked a couple of really fantastic things and I'm long overdue for an outfit post. Anyway, on to a subject I've been thinking about for a while. Knockoffs. I had a very interesting conversation with the stylish sales associates at Confederacy last weekend about knockoffs and what they thought of them. It was pointed out that it's very hard for designers to be completely original and that fashion borrows from many, many sources. Recently DVF has come under fire for allegedly copying a bed jacket design from a independent label called Mercy but it seems that the issue has been worked out.

I used to buy knockoffs all the time in NYC. I would go down to Chinatown and buy myself Prada (my friend would call them "Pradon't"), Louis Vuitton, and others. Remember the Christian Dior Saddle Bag that was all the rage? Yeah, I had that too. I stopped after a while because let's face it, it's super tacky. Also, the knockoff trade is rife with child labor/abuse and is a horrible business. However, I recently purchased a knockoff of these:

The Stella McCartney Mesh sandal. Retail price $995. Can't afford them. However, I can afford these:

My hands trembled, hovering over my keyboard when I discovered these on the Bebe website. Could it be? Oh my god, they look JUST LIKE THE STELLAS! I called the Bebe at the Beverly Center. I put them on hold and booked it over there after work. I slipped them on, had a weird sensation on my feet but bought them anyway. I was happy as a clam. Let me tell you something...they are the MOST. UNCOMFORTABLE. SHOES. EVER. And I can't help but wonder if I would have the same problem with the originals.

In keeping with the same theme and to call back to my obsessive vest collecting, I picked this up in a vintage shop:

Look familiar?

No, of course I'm not saying A. Wang copied the pattern from a Cache vest but there's no denying how similar the pattern is. Maybe designers can't be 100% original, 100% of the time. Does that mean we should fault the companies who try to make certain styles accessible to the public? I bring this up because it really polarizes people who feel strongly about fashion trends. Those (myself included) who shop at F21, H&M and others must realize that we are buying knockoffs and understand where it came from. But I also think the fashion snobs should stop going on and on about how it hurts the designers. They are two different markets. I respect and appreciate a designers vision and when it's blatantly ripped off as is the case of the Stella shoes, then yes- it is off putting. Especially when the quality is so shabby. At the same time, my intentions were pure when I bought the Bebe shoes. Of course I would much rather have the originals but until I win the lottery, knockoffs are as close as I can get. However...I plan on returning them. They're so poorly made that I'll never wear them. Hmmm...maybe I should have just saved up.

*pics via Stella McCartney and Bebe


Anonymous said...

I LOVE THAT VEST!!!!!!!!!!!

YEA I really don't care if designers are copied. That is the nature of the fashion biz. people need to stop complaining about it because it is two different markets as you said...
GREAT FIND..ALSO love the stella esque shoes you got


Ms. Butterfly said...

You just made me a happy woman! My hands are trembling with delight. Let's hope Bebe has them in my size*finger's crossed*

Great post!

Ms. Butterfly said...

omg I just peeped the vest. Certified Steal_and a great find

The Dark Bohemiian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rackkandruin said...

that vest is quite the find!!! and i agree with luxi. . . two totally different markets. competition will always run high in fashion