The “Brand Name” Experience: Why We Aren’t Buying Knockoffs

Until rather recently, wearing designer or name brand clothing items was more about quality and appreciation for the product than it was about flaunting the name itself. However, with the rise of celebrity influence and the incredible influx of social media sharing, the brand name is highly coveted and displayed to large audiences.

The ownership of an exclusive or high end brand name has become more of an experience than an appreciation for quality. We want to experience the life of a person who is able to buy sought-after items. We want to know how it feels to step out in a pair of Yeezys and we want to know how it feels to get lucky when Supreme drops a line on Thursday. We have no longer taken the time to evaluate the product itself or to analyze our aching need for making the purchase.

To further this theory, we can take a look at companies such as Rent The Runway who make it possible for consumers to rent out designer clothing and accessories for the night or weekend. The renter is able to go out and show off their name brand items or even pose for Instagram pics. After they are finished experiencing the designer lifestyle, they simply return the items and go about their normal lives.

So if this experience is so important to the new age, why are people making and buying knockoff items? This question is one that I, personally, have not come to fully understand. The person who makes knockoff items is out to make a quick buck, either by fooling non-experts into thinking they have found the best deal of all time on the real thing or by explicitly exposing the level of authenticity. The person who knowingly buys a knockoff designer item is not someone who is invested in the experience. This person wants to belong to a crowd, not stand out in it. This person does not understand the value of the rare, the exclusive, and the unforgettable.

If you are duct taping your sandals to make DIY Gucci flip flops, it might be time to evaluate your motives and what it is that makes you feel like the fake has the same worth in the fashion world as the real. Who are you showing off for? The experts and the people who can afford the products know the difference between yours and theirs, so who are you buying knockoffs for? The experience of the name brand has not been had, and therefore the purchase has absolutely no value.

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