Is Your Authentic Designer Handbag a Fake?

Women love trappings and vanities. This includes fashion accessories and everything in between. Bags are no exception. There are about hundreds of designs and countless brands to choose from. All these are a result of their unquenchable thirst for the perfect bag.

And really, nothing is as wonderful as owning lots of authentic designer bags. If you’re a man, the thrill is like owning the sports car you’ve been dreaming of since you were a little boy. Having at least one genuine luxury piece will make anyone feel like they’re on top of the world.

But the ever-present dilemma among the bag-buying population is this-knowing if the piece they just bought is real or really fake. So how exactly do you know if your Gucci, Dior or Tory Burch handbags are real or fake?

For one, check the details. Genuine designer handbags are intricately designed and have well-embossed logos. The materials used are also durable, and are not just any ordinary kind of leather or fabric. Another thing to evaluate is the craftsmanship and the manner of which each piece has been made.

It also pays to check out the official website of these authentic pieces. If you are keenly interested in owning a certain style or design, check out its details on their website and really pay attention to the intricacies. For one thing, designer handbags do not have crooked stitching. This will greatly help you in spotting a genuine one from a fake piece when you see it on display in your favorite outlet.

Another way to find out if the bag is real is by the price. Depending on a brand’s popularity, a piece could go to as high as a few thousand dollars! Any regular working woman and teenager will need to work round the clock to buy at least one piece, unless she is an heiress or a celebrity. If someone is selling the handbag to you from the back of a trunk for fifty bucks or less, then you should know that you are getting what you are paying for.

Of course, all is not lost. You can still own selected genuine handbags when stores go on clearance sales. Discount and inventory sales happen only once in a blue moon and when it does, ladies celebrate to the hilt. Just make sure that you’re not buying a replica or an imitation–unless you know that’s exactly what you are looking for.

Orlando Shopping Tips

You could ask for no better place to shop than Orlando. It has everything you could want to buy and by knowing where to get those extra discounts, it makes it even better value. First if you go to the Florida Mall and you are visiting Orlando from a country other than the US, go into Macy’s and head up to Gift wrapping on the top floor and pick up your tourists discount card. You will need to show you’re passport and this will give you a further 11% discount on the items you buy even if the items are already reduced or carry a further discount taken at the till. The only restriction is Jewelery and Perfume. This card is also valid at the Mall of Millenia Macy’s too.

Premium Outlets. This is a very good place to shop it has stores from a wide variety of designers including Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hillfiger, Timberland, Osh Kosh, Versace, Georgio Armani, Nike and Reebok to name just a few. Most give good value for money but things get better around sale times like Thanksgiving etc. One thing to remember is that if you are over 50 they have a Seniors day discount on a Tuesday where you can receive another 10% off your purchases.

The Mall of Mellenia. This is one of the Newest additions for shoppers in Orlando. It is a very modern Mall with 2 floors, a food court and some beautiful architecture. As I have already said you can use your tourists discount card here in Macy’s. Most of the other shops are aimed at the high income families. There is a Bloomingdales, Gucci, Cartier, Tiffany & Co, Burberry and Jimmy Choo to name just a few. If you are looking for that something special and cost isn’t really a problem then this is the place for you. Also in the same area are lots of other stores including, Linen ‘n’ things, (Great for villa owners)Home Depot, Marshalls, Golfsmiths (Great Golf shop) and a Super Target.

Marshalls & Ross stores. You will see a lot of these stores dotted around the area and they are always worth a visit. You can pick up named, designer clothing at a fraction of the price. Be prepared to wade through rails and rails of stuff. Generally it is last season’s clothing but the price is always very good.

Happy Shopping!

Authentic Designer Handbags Verses Counterfeit Fakes

Designer handbags have been all the rage for at least five decades. Women want one in every color, material and style. Most of the top brands can be quite expensive, so many turn to the counterfeit market to save money..

In this article I am going to explain, why no one should ever buy a fake copy of any designer! There is too little information about this, and I often wonder why the designers themselves, don’t campaign against it more.

First of all, it is illegal to buy or sell counterfeit handbags. It is against International Trademark Laws, because these counterfeiters making these bags, are using the trademarked names, logos and designs that belong to each company.

“But they charge so much money, so why should we pay that much just for a name, when we can get the same thing for less than half the price?” is the question I hear most often. Let’s use an example to start with and put you in their shoes. What if you wrote a book and published it, but then someone came along and put their name on it and collected all the profits from a book that you wrote? Would that be right? Of course not!

Not only are these counterfeiters illegally stealing brand names and designs, they are working in illegal sweatshops, that are not inspected by any government agencies. Therefore, they do not have to meet any safety standards or guidelines!

Here I will break it down for you in five sections.

#1. PRACTICES ~ The counterfeiters that make fake handbags, operate in illegal sweatshops, not approved by any government agencies. They use child slave labor! These children are often 7 to 13 years old! Many are kidnapped from their families, tied to sewing machines, beaten and starved. There is record when some try to escape? Their little legs are broken! These children are horribly abused, so why would anyone want to support such a thing?

#2. MATERIALS ~ Most of the materials they use on these fake handbags, are cheap unapproved materials that no safety standard department, would ever allow! They use poisonous lead based dyes, metal alloys and plastics. Does anyone want to expose their families to hazardous materials? Lord forbid your child puts the handle of your fake bag in their mouth! Even throwing them ion the trash, can pollute the environment!

#3. MONEY GOES TO? ~ The money spent on these fake handbags, goes to serious criminals such as drug lords, mafias and even terrorist organizations. Much of the money made, goes to support underground guerrilla warfare, heroin trafficking, slavery and the list of horrible crimes goes on. It was said that some of the funding to bomb the World Trade Center in New York, was partially funded from counterfeiters!

#4. QUALITY DIFFERENCES ~ Many believe there is no difference between a genuine Gucci, LV, Coach, etc, from a fake replica of the same bag. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The difference in quality is huge! Every material is inspected by safety standard agencies. No illegal poisonous materials are used, and most are of the finest quality. No child slave labor is used and employees are paid a generous wage.

All of your famous designers meet the highest standards and then some. I personally have a collection of designer handbags, and when compared to cheap brands I’ve used in the past? ( never wore a fake! ) There is no comparison! How many times have you had your zipper get stuck standing in line at the store, or had your strap fall off of your shoulder? Or the snap doesn’t work and the bag is completely useless after just one year. How much money are you really saving having to buy a new bag every 6 months?

Make no mistake, there is a huge difference between quality designers and cheap fake imitations.

Does the world really have to have a designer name on their arm so bad, they would support this criminal counterfeiting market?? Whenever there is a demand, there will always be a supply. So it’s really not the counterfeiters that are the problem, it’s the people buying them, the consumer, that keep them in business! The consumer, is the root of the problem! Is that something we really want to support? All so one can save money?

5. HOW TO SAVE MONEY ~ So how can we save money without buying the fakes and supporting these criminals?? There are several ways, the biggest and most popular is recycling, ie; buying used designer handbags. Many women sell them online, simply because they need or want a different color or just need the money and many of these bags are still like new. They are in perfectly good shape and often sell for under half of original retail. You wouldn’t believe some of the bargains! I once bought a $1300.00 used Michael Kors for just $70.00! The deals you can get on genuine designer handbags in the resale market, are unbelievable!

There are also plenty of sales at places like Macy’s, Nordstrom, designer outlets, etc. One of our clients just showed us a new MK she bought at the outlet that originally retailed for $358.00 for just $93.00 on sale! So if used isn’t ‘your bag’, lol! There are plenty of awesome sales out there on new bags everywhere. You really don’t need to support criminals! No need for it at all.

I hope this article has enlightened you about how none of us should ever support the criminal counterfeiting handbag business. It is up to the CONSUMER to put an end to these criminals and STOP supporting this illegal market! Please share this information with your friends and family. An educated consumer is a must in today’s market. Too many still don’t know where these fakes come from and it’s time to spread the word!
Thank you for your time and interest.

Fashion Career Specializations – A Breakdown

Coming straight from fashion school, you might be thinking that as a fashion designer; you’ll have the opportunity to work with all types of clothing. What you may not know is that generally, the fashion industry is split into categories, and then categories within categories. Basically, the fashion industry is very specialized. The breakdown begins with price (which usually corresponds with quality). The lowest classification is Discount, and at the height of fashion is Haute Couture:

  • Discount: These stores sell merchandise that retails at a discounted price from what other stores charge. Outlet malls or stores like Ross, Wal-Mart, Target, or Conway are example of discount retailers that sell discount labels.
  • Budget / Mass Market: Knock-offs of higher priced designer items that are sold at low competitive prices to the masses. Old Navy, Forever 21, and Charlotte Russe are a few popular budget labels. Department stores in this category include JC Penney, and Kohls. This market usually retails for less than $100.
  • Moderate: These include nationally advertised apparel brands such as Nine West, Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, Express, and Zara are all in the moderate range. Examples of moderate department stores are Macy’s and Dillards. These brands typically retail for less than $300.
  • Contemporary: More than just a specific price point, this classification is a fashion-forward image often aimed at women in their ’20s and early ’30s looking for trendy fashions priced more affordably than Designer pieces. BCBG, Betsey Johnson, Bebe, and Rebecca Taylor fall into the Contemporary category, which usually retails for under $500.
  • Better: Also selling for less than $500, these collections use better quality fabric and styling than lower-priced brands. Armani Exchange, Jones New York and Anne Klein are two examples of a better-priced line.
  • Bridge: Priced under $1000, these lines serve as a “bridge” between better and designer categories. And includes names like Ellen Tracy, Dana Buchman, DKNY, Emporio Armani, and Lauren by Ralph Lauren.
  • Designer: True designer collections typically sell for more than $1000 per item. The fabrics, fit, details, and trims are superior to other ready-to-wear items. Some examples of designer labels are Gucci, Prada, Versace, Armani, and Chanel.
  • Haute Couture/ Avant-garde: Also know as couture, these terms have been commonly misused by ready-to-wear brands. Haute Couture, or simply “couture” designers sell custom, made-to-measure pieces cost tens of thousands of dollars and are affordable only to a select few. Technically speaking, there are only ten official Haute Couture Houses including: Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Chanel, and Givenchy. Avant-garde designers produce high quality, one-of-a-kind garments that experiment with new design concepts and push the envelope of popular fashion.

Even within the categories listed above, each market is broken down into more specific specializations. First, design companies are broken down by customer: men’s, women’s, children’s etc. Then are further divided by type of clothing: sportswear, evening wear (special occasion), sleepwear etc. And then design teams are designated to specific areas like Wovens, Knits, Sweaters, Tops, Bottoms, Dresses, Outerwear and so on.

On an unfortunate note, it is very difficult to move from one category to another. If you start building your career with mass-market companies, you’ll face some barriers when you apply for that dream job at Ralph Lauren. The same goes for designer specialties. If you’re experienced working with children’s woven tops, chances are you won’t land a position designing women’s dresses. If you’re absolutely determined on making a switch, you’re best bet is to start from the bottom in your desired field and work your way up again.

Something else to consider is the different types of manufacturers and retailers out there. Some manufacturers design and produce their own designs, which are then sold to retailers. These manufacturers don’t have their own retail stores. Examples include Shoshanna, Jones New York and Carmen Marc Valvo. There are also manufacturers that own licenses for a variety of brands. For example, Warnaco holds licenses for Calvin Klein, Speedo, and Chaps; while Phillips Van Heusen (PVH) owns licenses for BCBG, Sean Jean, and Kenneth Cole.

Then, there are retailers that only sell merchandise purchased from manufacturers. These include stores like Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus. Many manufacturers also have their own retail locations such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Armani Exchange and Nicole Miller. Other retail stores have their own product development teams and have merchandise manufactured specifically for their private label such as Gap, Old Navy, and Express. In addition to purchasing merchandise from outside manufacturers, many department stores also have their own private label collections. Examples are: I.N.C. (Macy’s), and Arizona Jeans (JC Penney).

The largest employment opportunities out there lie with mass-market companies, which often pay pretty well to start, however these figures usually level-off after a few years of experience. The higher end markets pay less to start, and work hours are longer, but the prestige you’ll receive from such reputable companies will do wonders for your resume!