This is the worst category. A counterfeit good is an exact imitation of a designer good, where the manufacturer intends to deceive or defraud the consumer usually by using the designer brand's registered trademark or logo. The most commonly counterfeited items are handbags.
Counterfeit goods are not difficult to find, especially online. Simply google 'louis vuitton' or 'louboutin' and hundreds of websites will be listed that sell counterfeit goods. The web addresses are often misleading also, such as 'christianlouboutinoutletuk' and 'louisvuittonoutlettoday'.
A knockoff good is an exact or very similar imitation of a designer good. Such goods do not intend to deceive the consumer, however, they may confuse them in to thinking an item is designer.
So why are knockoffs bad?
Knockoffs are unoriginal and dull! Knockoff retailers argue that they make affordable items for consumers who can not afford designer goods. Consumers that purchase such items usually fall in to one of two groups - those who don't realise that the item is a knockoff of a designer brand; and those who do realise that the item is a knockoff and purchase the item for that specific reason.
As an example, Mary Katranzou's S/S '12 collection was universally applauded by the fashion world for its innovation and creativity. As a result, many strikingly similar designs appeared on the high-street.
Clockwise from top left: Mary Katrantzou S/S '12, Katrantzou S/S '12, Lipsy, Denise Van Outen in Love
What I find most frustrating about these knockoffs is that Mary Katrantzou is a British designer, and both Lipsy and Love are British brands. Love and Lipsy should be celebrating and supporting up-and-coming British designers, not ripping off their designs!
Inspired items are by far the best!
My definition of inspired items is that high street designers see what the designer brands have shown for the coming season, and think to themselves 'That's an interesting idea, how can we interpret that to give our customers an affordable alternative that is also creatively exciting?'
Sticking with the Mary Katrantzou theme, a good example of this was H&M's take on Mary's magical S/S '12 collection.
Left: Mary Katrantzou S/S '12. Right: H&M Trend S/S '12
H&M Trend S/S '12
How do you feel about counterfeit, knockoff and inspired designs? Can you spot a knockoff straight away?
Much love, Bemsy x