Is Your Closet Full Of Stolen Goods?

Fast, fake and practically free is how the current retail monsters spit out fashion. They barely wipe their mouths before gobbling up and knocking off the best of SS15, hustling them to H&M and Forever 21 months before the real things hit Barney’s. And by then, we’re all sort of over it. It’s not fair.

I truly believe in the real thing, as does Jslow who wrote about her “Hate of Fakes” here. I’d rather wait for a sale, or stalk the Real Real, Vestiaire Collective, ebay and consignment shops for those Rick Owens OTK sneakers than buy a cheap imitation at Zara. Authenticity and originality are worth something. More than something, they’re worth everything.

And so during a recent web-surfing session I was thrilled to discover that the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York just opened an exhibit, “Faking It: Originals, Copies and Counterfeits”. Apparently, there has been a long history of copying that dates back well before the internet sped up this entire cycle.

Real Chanel jacket, left. Copy, on right. Source: FIT "Faking It: Originals, Copies, and Counterfeits" exhibit. Open 12.2.14 - 4.25.15

Real Chanel jacket, left. Copy, on right. Source: FIT “Faking It: Originals, Copies, and Counterfeits” exhibit. Open 12.2.14 – 4.25.15

Whether it’s the aforementioned fast fashion factories copying designers or Canal street vendors hawking counterfeit Kellys, luxury looks can be had for a steal. Oh wait, they are “a steal.”

As this review in Racked so eloquently explained, “Why can American shoppers buy fake luxury items without facing penalty? If the counterfeit industry is an unregulated black market, why aren’t more consumers aware of where that money actually goes? Why are fast fashion brands allowed to steal concepts from big-name designers? Why is there no intellectual property protection for fashion, the way there is for art, film, and literature?”

This new exhibit at the museum at New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology aims to answer some of these questions. If you are lucky enough to live in New York, please check this out and let us know how it is. I know it’s worth it. xo

3 Responses


    I, too, believe in the real thing (and not just for clothes–Real Cheese, Not Processed Cheese Food!). I’d rather have a few wonderful pieces than a giant closetful of crap. Of course, with my tiny closets, I HAVE to be judicious in my shopping. And that’s a good thing–I only buy what I LOVE (merely liking isn’t good enough anymore) AND I have to get-rid-of regularly. The great thing about this is that I am, essentially, forced to develop my own style (as opposed to merely following fashion).

    Fast fashion encourages intellectual property theft, which is one of its many sins. It promotes waste (environmentally bad) and horrific working conditions for the workers in developing countries that produce this.

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