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The Fight Against Faux

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To fight the war on counterfeiting, eBay and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) have teamed up once again to launch their second collection of "You Can't Fake Fashion" tote bags. With the first collection selling out in approximately 48 hours last summer, this year's bags include looks from over 75 leading designers such as Diane von Furstenberg, Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch, and many more. The collection exists to praise and promote original ideas and designs, and to raise awareness on the distribution and sales of counterfeit handbags. So many brands have their authentic designs replicated by underground merchants who sell the bags for much less. This type of manufacturing has become an issue because the fakes are easier to attain and cost a lot less than the real deal. As a result of this sleazy business, high-fashion brands suffer a loss in popularity if their bags can be bought for $20 in a New York City alleyway. When women are suddenly wearing bags that emulate designers' creations almost exactly, the original piece loses some of its charm. CFDA CEO Steven Kolb said:

"Our first YOU CAN'T FAKE FASHION campaign with eBay last summer was hugely successful, and we continue to collaborate on this bold initiative to raise awareness and fight fakes. Authentic and original design is so critical to the industry's livelihood, and we're excited to have so many more designers on board this year, proving how supportive the entire fashion industry is of this issue and campaign."

Like Kolb boldly stated, originality is the fashion industry's livelihood, and without it, redundancy takes over. The idea of a designer bag is special, and a there's nothing like a real handbag. It can give an individual pride and confidence, and why should the industry let low-rent merchants take that feeling away from millions of women? It only makes sense that everybody wants to own brand-name items, but that doesn't mean it's okay for manufacturers to rip off another designer's idea. Law enforcement officials are cooperating with eBay and the CFDA's efforts to combat counterfeits by setting stricter rules and restrictions when it comes to designs. The tote bag campaign in the past helped to raise awareness in consumers, and this year's campaign launched at the end of March is set out to do just the same.

But just how can sites like eBay be monitored to make sure they aren't selling consumers counterfeit items, too? eBay's employees are equipped with "state-of-the-art detection tools" to watch over millions of the site's listings each day, and the site has invested in removing unlawful listings that pose as luxury goods. "As much awareness we can raise around the dangers of counterfeits and the harm they cause the better," says Debra Lloyd, president and chief creative officer of kate spade new york.

During fiscally difficult times, it may seem tempting to take a walk on the faux side of things, but everyone must remember the thought and effort that was put into each designer's ideas. With that said, it's easy to find great deals on eBay. With over 100 million active users daily, the site includes a Designer Exclusives shopping section with limited-edition collections from designers like Rebecca Minkoff, Derek Lam, Narciso Rodriguez, and Alexander Wang. eBay works directly with retailers and brands to bring the best items to its marketplace for the best prices. Through its Designer Exclusives offers and the eBay Fashion Outlet, the U.S.'s first virtual outlet mall, the online fashion emporium offers original pieces from the world's best brands and designers.

With the diversity of the CFDA's 75+ participating designers and eBay's masterful ways of selling authentic merchandise, the "You Can't Fake Fashion" tote bags are sure to make an impact. Steven Kolb and Deborah Lloyd both stressed the importance of preserving originality in the industry, and that's just what the collection aims to, and will, do. Launching less than a month ago, it has gained a heap of positive press and sold many items. Along with the 76 designer totes listed at about $200 each, there are also four additional totes that are only $45 and just as fabulous. Through blogging, social media, and leading press publications, the CFDA's "You Can't Fake Fashion" will revolutionize the current merchandise market and bring back the good old charm of a genuine, one-of-a-kind, designer bag that's been longing to return.