The Designer Inspired Debate // Shourouk Rainbow Clutch

11 September 2013

Ducklingtoswan fashion blog blogger

I spied this bag on a couple of websites including Choies, where I proceeded to order it without being aware that it was actually a copy of a designer piece. I saw the rainbow of crystals against the clear PVC (which makes it surprisingly more versatile than you'd imagine) and thought it'd be a gorgeous statement clutch to have. I've since found out that the original clutch is by Shourouk and it's quite a bit more than the forty dollars I shelled out.

The subject of replicas/knock-offs/copies (whatever you want to call them) is one that sparks quite a bit of debate with many arguments to support and oppose. Personally, I've always felt that buying a complete replica with the aim of passing it off as the real deal was, well....fraud. And even if others didn't know an item was a fake, I'd know it wasn't and it would lack that specialness. There's a great feeling to finally getting a bag or some shoes that you've saved hard for, it's addictive in itself!  However, there is the other side of the argument: that trends change quickly and people want the beautiful designs and style of high-end brands that for the vast majority of us are just not affordable; that some brands charge exorbitant prices (ahem...Chanel...we're talking about you!) and that others make their goods almost impossible to get hold of. Some argue that imitations make a lot of them accessible to more people.

And, it seems that it's the latter arguments that are paving the way for a new trend of "designer inspired" items that are now gracing shelves and internet pages in ever-increasing numbers. There's been some hugely popular T-shirts bearing Chanel C's, YSL motifs and Celine text, not knock-offs but certainly borrowing quite a bit (logos, typography, registered trademarks) from the big name brands. Along with those, there's plenty of designer inspired items (from bags, to necklaces, to clothing) up for sale on popular websites, in some cases merely missing the logo of the original brand. True fakes, once only available in black-market stores in exotic countries, are now widely advertised through social media platforms. And of course, high-street stores have been mimicking popular designer items for years, although in the last year they've been tiptoeing dangerously closer to producing outright copies.

The line between 'inspired by' and 'copied' is blurring as brands draw increasingly more 'inspiration' from luxury goods and try to cash in on the demand.  
It begs the question...if everyone is doing it, does that make it okay?!

Of course, the biggest problem comes for those who are strongly opposed to designer rip-offs; it's hard to actually keep track of who made something first and what's a copy and what's not. How do you know?! There's really no way to check every item you're buying and be one hundred percent sure. Case in point, this clutch bag; since it's not been a high profile item I was unaware of it's true origins. This also reminds me of a post I read by Sandra, over at Black Pearl Blog; she had a very similar thing happen to her, purchasing a gorgeous laser-cut tan colored bag that turned out to be a replica of a Ralph Lauren one. 

Wherever you stand on the issue of replicas, with more and more 'designer inspired' items popping up everywhere, one thing's for sure, you'll probably end up with something that's not exactly an original, if you haven't already! And, if you actually come to realise you got a knock-off, then how you choose to deal with it will only be up to you. Personally, I won't be seeking out copies, but if I happen to unwittingly get one, then I'll just explain it for what it is, and enjoy the fact I didn't see the real-deal first and cost myself a small fortune!

My "those cheeky retailers" face.  
Wearing it as a cross-body bag for a very casual outing to the jewellery wholesalers in Seoul.
Told you it was versatile!

So, how do you feel about the seemingly now-acceptable trend for "designer inspired" items; do you think it's okay for main-stream stores to be making and/or stocking what are essentially copies, or should they be making an effort to be more original? 

Does it make it more acceptable to join in with the trend if more and more people are doing?

x x x

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  1. Hi,

    Just to say that Im really enjoying the more 'meaty' posts every now and then. Dont get me wrong, I LOVE the OOTD and fashion/beauty related posts too, but it makes it all a bit more real.

    Good luck with your prepping for your move!

    S :)

    1. Thank you so much! I enjoy doing both the simple fashion/beauty ones and those with a bit more subsance, so I'm glad they're equally appreciated too :) x

  2. Everything is inspired by designers & the catwalk, but I am opposed to direct rip offs. Having said that your bag is super cute!!
    Happy Wednesday Amelia xoxo

    1. Yes, lots of people don't realise just how much the catwalks and designers inspire the clothes in regular mainstream stores!

      Hope you had a lovely weekend hun! :)

  3. I feel a bit cheap buying replicas deliberately, so I don't tend to do it, but I agree, if I happened to buy something I liked and found out later that it was a replica, I'd still use it and just be glad I didn't know the more expensive version existed!

    I bet I have completely obliviously bought plenty of replica or 'inspired' things, especially things like shoes - there is ALWAYS a cheap copy of any shoes you might want!

    1. I know, they make copies of just about everything these days it seems! :/

      Hope you enjoyed your weekend :) x

  4. It's such a tricky area! I wouldn't buy a direct replica of a handbag I'd rather save for it or buy something un logoed from the high st in a similar style. My latest boot purchase from Zara have a definite Alexander Wang influence which of course I like being a smidgen of the price!

    It gets murky when you read more into where the money goes from the sales of some designer knock offs. Arms dealing and trafficking......

    I'm like you though and love the feeling of having an original especially when I've saved my hard earned money for it! X

    Luxx Mint

    1. I know. I think it's going to become an increasing problem too with copies, it's the internet and social media that really seems to drive it. In my opinion anyway.

      Yep, there's a definite 'proud mum' type of feeling when you've saved for an item! I have a few things on my radar again at the moment! Uh oh!


  5. Such a beautiful bag!

  6. I think it's okay, personally... otherwise, the only way to avoid getting something copied unwittingly would be to *always* buy from the expensive designer brands, and that's just not something regular people can afford to do.

  7. Love it! I liked the transparent bag trend, but a splash of colour decorates it perfectly :)

    1. I know, that's what I loved about it. Its really eye catching but suprisingly versatile too :)

  8. Choies has been noticed for one hell of a lot of copies and rip offs like this... Bit cheeky! I am really against specifically searching for designer wannabees. I feel like it not only undermines the creative rights of the original designer, but it usually involves a huge lack of transparency- who made it, how and under what conditions? I just struggle with the ethics going on behind the whole market of cheap, copycat fashion. That isn't to say that I'm perfect and never buy Primark or H&M and only wear fairtrade woven hemp dresses but I'm trying to be more conscious of my choicess as a consumer and these sort of things definitely fall into the 'looking the other way' category. Its difficult when often they are beautiful things though, and we are programmed to want more and more. I struggle with all of these conflicting feelings about fashion alot... Its a bit of a complex issue!

    Chambray & Curls

  9. Oh, I know exactly how you feel. It's impossible to know about every single design out there. Unless there is a giant designer logo on it, it is hard to say if its a designer replica. Me and the 'Ralph Lauren' bag are the perfect example :) haha. Online stores like Choies or oasap are really crossing the line at the moment. I have seen actual Chanel replicas there. I know that you buy genuine designer pieces all the time, so you must feel a bit angry that you made an innocent purchase which turned out to be a replica, but just enjoy the bag :) it's lovely x

  10. yep totally agree with this on A!!!! xxxxxxx <3

  11. Thank you very much! I'm a normal fashion / beauty, and with a bit more substance to enjoy the two, so I am equally happy that you are very appreciated.Buying faux designer handbags is tricky


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