Spent the weekend reading about bags. Specifically, reading articles on authenticating bags, so I can shop in the pre-loved market for designer bags without getting duped.
In the process, I stumbled upon blogs written by bag lovers who are in support of counterfeits. The blogs question the logic of spending thousands on authentic goods when they copies cost so much less. The blog writers and readers interact with each other, sharing where they get counterfeit bags of the highest grade, later happily showing them off and proudly claiming that they can claim that their bags are the real thing to other people.
As someone who have lived thinking that only the real deal is acceptable, I was fascinated to see another group of people who are passionate in vouching for the opposite. I completely get the logic behind not spending thousands on bags — if spending that much on a bag is not financially feasible or a priority, I think it’s alright to buy any bag that you love (although I don’t quite understand the need to pass their bags as things they’re not).
Then I was reminded of the time I bought a fake Stam.
I was visiting in London. After being there for a couple of days, the Prada messenger that I was carrying became too small to accommodate the things I needed to carry e.g. wallet, passport, scarf, gloves, maps, guidebook, camera and water bottle. So I figured I needed a new bag, just for the time being. When my cousin, Mimi who was studying there brought us to the Paddington Market, I went looking for an affordable big bag.
The stall that was selling bags there were selling counterfeit it bags of those days — I recall seeing Spybags, Paddingtons and Stams. Although I wasn’t so keen on getting a fake bag, I desperately needed a bag and picked the one that I thought was the most appealing to me out of the lot, the fake Stam.
The bag was spacious and it could fit everything that I wanted to carry for throughout the trip.
Midway, I met a tall blonde lady on the tube who was standing beside the door, looking polished from head to toe. What do you know, she was carrying a real Stam. Hers looked more refined. It also looked different than the regular Stam, like a limited edition. There, she caught a glimpse of me and the “Stam” I was carrying. I immediately felt segan. I looked away.
I don’t usually care about what people may think of me, but although it was just a bag I bought to help me carry my things while I was there, the idea of having people notice that I was carrying a fake made me feel so bad.
As soon as I returned home, I used it for a while but since I still couldn’t live with it, I listed the bag on eBay. I sold it to a girl who told me that she was looking high and low for a lookalike Stam and now that she had found it, she loved it so much. Although the bag didn’t work out for me, it was the ideal bag for her.
At the end of the day, it’s up to one’s personal choice.
Over the years I’ve contemplated on my stance on this issue. I conclude that I am in support of the real thing — when I can’t afford designer bags, I bought bags from high street labels; now that I can, l hunt for authentic bags at the prices I’m comfortable with. Even if it meant waiting for years until the bag gets discontinued and securing it for much less than the retail price from the pre-loved market, like my real Stam.
But hey, that’s just me and I won’t pass judgement on other people who think otherwise.