About 12 years ago, I was heading home from work, and walking down a side street in Newark, less than two blocks from my house in Hillside. It was about 7:30 at night, and already dark and no one else was around, but I heard footsteps coming up behind me. As the steps got closer, I crossed the street and didn’t look behind me. I knew exactly what was about to happen. The person ran up from behind and poked something into my back. He then demanded my Tag Heuer watch. Without turning around, I took the watch off and dropped it on the ground. He bent down and picked it up and ran. I wasn’t mad at all. Little did he know my watch came straight from Canal Street, the bootleg capital of the world.

That was my last time buying any type of designer knock-off. But that doesn’t mean bootleggers aren’t making a fortune from selling imitation fashions. When I bought my watch, I had no problems in telling people it was from Canal Street. What would I get out of telling people it wasn’t fake? Unfortunately, in an attempt to crack down on bootleggers, NYC Councilwoman Margaret Chin is hoping to pass a law that would prohibit the buying of counterfeit goods with the threat of a $1,000 fine or possibly even a year in jail. That fine is a little bit less than the actual price of a real Marc Jacobs bag, that is often sold as a counterfeit.

Buying counterfeit is definitely a sure way to lessen the high costs of fashion. Not everyone can afford the luxury of buying a Birkin bag, or a pair of red bottoms. “I appreciate a nice designer item as much as the next person, but I would discourage anyone from purchasing a designer knockoff AKA a fake. On the one hand, they’re illegal. Though it’s unlikely you’ll be arrested for owning a fake why even take the chance? Furthermore, they’re tacky. You may think no one will know, but we know. More importantly, YOU will know. Don’t sell yourself short. There are plenty of items that are stylish, affordable and legitimate. If you can’t afford the real thing, or don’t want to pay the price for it, just say no,” stated Tamara Rasberry, an Image and Social Media Consultant, based out of Washington, D.C.

As a person that isn’t willing to spend a small fortune on things like a Birkin bag, or certain designer dresses, I find alternative ways to shop but still remain fashionable. The options are limitless for those on a budget, yet fashion conscious, and even label conscious.

What are your views counterfeit fashions? Do you fake it to make it, or wouldn’t be caught dead?

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