Monday, March 9, 2009

Wishful Thinking

Sometimes, when you're me, you have to be the bearer of bad news. The pooper on the party, as it were. Which last week resulted in me saying something that greatly disappointed someone I like a whole bunch. I felt bad about it, but I had to tell her, "Oh, honey, no. Those are fake."

It started with an e-mail from my friend, the lovely Elke, who has it bad for a pair of boots. These boots:

And who could blame her? These are Louboutins. The style is called "Babel," which I don't think is a well-chosen name because if you ask me those are pretty damned easy to understand. In three words? Gorgeous. Freaking. Boots. Maybe it's supposed to be "Babble," as in: the stream of nonsense syllables I'd be likely to spew uncontrollably if presented with a pair of them.

Elke and her husband were on a visit to Chicago and Elke met the boots in Saks. She was smitten; and apparently her husband was also smitten, to the tune of commenting that even
he'd like to try on those boots. (See, that's a discerning male eye. If it's beautiful, it's beautiful, and there's no sense in going all Fear of Pink on us just to preserve your man-cred. Go with it -- enjoy the beauty.)

What will
de-smitten a gal pretty quick about these boots is the price tag: almost 1400 smackers.

Yeah. Ow.

So Elke went a-huntin' on the interwebs for the boots and she found
this link, which sent to me, asking me if I knew anything about this site.

What do I know? I know everything on it is fake, that's what I know. First off, those boots on this fake site are $274.00. As I told Elke, I don't think you could even get those boots wholesale for that price. If you click on the picture of the boots above it will take you to the Net-A-Porter link for them. If you do that you will notice they've been reduced from $1475 to $997.50, which is a pretty good reduction, about 30%. You might also notice, if you look carefully, that they are sold out. So the things are going for a cool grand
on sale and they are still sold out. Do we really think these people have sooooo many of these stuffed into a warehouse somewhere that they can afford to let them go for 3 Cs a pair? Unlikely.

Here's the other way I know for sure this site is full of counterfeits.

This, they claim, is a red ostrich leather Hermès Birkin bag, available for $399.00.


First off, Birkins
start at around $7000. That's for cowhide -- exotics like ostrich can cost three, four, five times that (or more) easily. Secondly, the only -- I mean ONLY -- place to get a brand-new Birkin (or a Kelly, for that matter) is an actual, brick & mortar Hermès boutique. You must walk in and put your cash on the barrelhead, so to speak, and even then you're not guaranteed to walk out with one because there is often a wait list for these bags, depending on what color & skin you want. Hermès does not sell these bags anywhere else; not their online store, not any luxury department stores, certainly not in outlets. I double-checked this information with a very nice SA at the Dallas Hermès boutique, so I know this is true. It is possible to find genuine Hermès bags through reputable re-sale dealers, but they usually get snapped up pretty quick and they're not sellin' for 400 bucks.

So that bag above? Is a counterfeit.
I have ranted here before about counterfeits and so I'll spare you the bulk of it. Suffice to say that I feel quite strongly that no matter how badly you want something, no matter how much it tugs at your soul, there is never an excuse to buy a counterfeit version of it. You are simply buying into a system that exploits people all over the world. And? You've got a fake. It's fake. That thing you loved & wanted? Is not what you have -- you have a fake. You have an unreal, cheap, artificial version of the thing you loved & wanted -- like a Madame Tussaud's wax statue of your husband or wife instead of the flesh and blood human. It will never be as good as the real thing, and you will always know it.

So back to the boots.
Those are some lovely Loubies and I would never dissuade anyone who had room for them in her budget and closet from purchasing them. I would not encourage it if it's going to be a financial hardship, because no boots are worth sitting up at night worrying that you can't pay your mortgage. But if a person did want to splash out that kind of scratch (say she has a Luxury Tithe, or a nice fat tax refund coming), these boots would be a worthwhile investment. I don't think they are going to go out of style ever -- that is some classic, classic footwear. That is important criteria to take into consideration when trying to build a quality wardrobe, especially if you, like most people, are thinking a little more about your budget than you might have been a year ago.

There's a good argument to be made that when you have less disposable income, you should buy fewer disposable clothes. When times are flush & you toss away 50 bucks on a pair of shoes you're only going to wear for a few months, it's not such a big deal. When every penny counts, so does every purchase.
And if you happen to have 140,000 spare pennies, this is not a bad way to spend them.

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Deja Pseu said...

I'm so with you on fakes. They're just so wrong.

Re the Loubies, perhaps the name Babel is from the Tower of Babel, as those are some towering heels.

elke said...

I will have to get those boots somehow!! Maybe Oscar can . . . well maybe not :(

Anonymous said...

Those boots are freaking gorgeous but how high are they?? Even if they were affordable, I know I'd sink those heels into a sidewalk crack or sewer grate.
" And? You've got a fake. It's fake. That thing you loved & wanted? Is not what you have -- you have a fake." This reminds me of your hilarious post about all the fake jugs walking up and down 6th street :)
Carolyn in Utah

Bonjour Madame said...

I've read a couple of books recently on this subject. "Deluxe" and "The New Connoiseur" and both opened my eyes to just how much fake stuff is out there. And not to mention things that you think are luxury items being manufactured just like the less expensive brands.

Those are some serious boots though.

When I was in a Hermes boutique, I walked by the ordering area for birkin bags. That is serious stuff. Lots of choices to make. I can see why they do it in person.

Princess Poochie said...

There must be a rash of these fact Louboutin sites popping up out there because I just saw one like last week and wrote about it too:

I think it's worth passing along this information (I'm going to share yours too) because I know some hopeful person will get lured in.

And I'm sure there isn't a return policy.

Anonymous said...

I just happen to own the bag on post ( in black not red). As I have a dear Aunt who buys well for herself and pcks up things for me. You know spy my wedding dress& C. bag is the same aunt. Well I never knew the price until reading it here. I am in shock a bit. But I tell you it is one well made item to have and I seldom want to buy another. My bag is too well made to be faked . I know it is not as she is a frequent buyer. AH what my Mother & Aunt have to do to clean me up . LOL But to elke buy the boots if you can get 5 years of wear out of them and NO other boots buying . You then would have a deal LOL. Hope you get a visit from the fairy god mother ,you should have something that means that much to you...Katie

StyleSpy said...

Deja -- I hadn't thought of that. A definite possibility.

Elke -- Two words for you, missy: Luxury. Tithe.

Carolyn: Alas, those boots are not made for walkin'. They are for sittin' & drinkin'.

Madame -- "Luxe" was great, I need to re-read that one. I need to look into the other title.

Poochie -- The counterfeit business seems to be growing, and it's insidious. I really feel obligated to try to inform people about this problem.

K -- your auntie has excellent taste in accessories AND in nieces.