Name or Quality: The Pros and Cons of Buying Luxury Handbags
There is a industry-wide consensus that buying fakes is unacceptable. Back in my intern days, when I was trying to fit in with the luxury-buying crowd, I, admittedly, purchased a knockoff. Naturally, by not having a salary or my mother's cash to back it up, I went for a bright green Goyard that I was sure looked just like the real thing after meticulous comparison. I even had people in the industry compliment me on it which means two things: They had no idea that it wasn't the real thing, or it was a Mean Girls compliment where they immediately talked about me behind my back. Nevertheless, it was just a buffer until the days I could really afford it.
On the other hand, I love brands that aren't luxury like Deux Lux and handbags from ASOS. Both brands have quality pieces that are on trend and are extremely durable (without maxing out your credit card). I can pair them with a Stella McCartney blouse and Proenza Schouler sandals, garnering the same amount of compliments. Luxury isn't the be-all and end-all, especially for women who know that mixing high and low is the key to great style.
In case you have been asking yourself the age-old question about name or quality, here are some pros and cons to buying luxury handbags.
1. Owning a piece from a coveted brand with a rich history: As an avid fan of vintage Chanel, I know the value of the brand's handbags. Designer names are so much more than just the piece itself. You are literally owning a piece of fashion history, as long as you manage to steer clear of pieces that are on trend and do not have lasting value.
2. Designer handbags are equated with status: Let's face it: Rocking an expensive handbag gives people the impression that you have money. Perhaps not if you rock it with sweats and a sloppy ponytail. But when worn correctly, you are on par with celebrities and "It" girls worldwide, if only for a moment. Luxury handbags give us something to aspire to, even if we do have to save up to reach our goal.
3. Supporting the craftsmanship of your favorite designers: Fashion is a business. Although there are a number of designers who don't need our help, there are many who do. Without our support, many brands would fold and succumb to the recession. Buying luxury handbags is also a sign that you respect craftsmanship and quality.
1. Being a trendsetter doesn't mean spending loads of cash: "When it comes to handbags, there are so many amazing designers priced to fit every budget. Stella, Chanel and Gucci aren't the only designers making 'must-have' bags. I can buy a $50 handbag from a small boutique that screams 'unique' or 'trend-setter'." - Meeka Claxton
2. Durability doesn't only belong to high-end designers: Some of the most inexpensive handbags I own are still going strong, while my most expensive started to show wear after a few months. Look at Coach's signature handbags: They are some of the most durable in the industry and carry with them a lifetime guarantee.
3. Even those who can buy real, go fake: Tracee Ellis Ross is one of fashion's style mavens, but even she buys fake handbags. She customized a fake Louis Vuitton tote with graffiti spelling out "Tee Love" and turned something faux into a really cute piece. She also proudly admitted in Essence's September 2011 issue that she totes a fake Birkin. Brazen buyer!
Are you a designer brand woman or do you go for what you like, not caring about the price tag?