The greatest asset a designer has is their creativity. The satisfaction of purchasing and then wearing a designer brand comes from knowing the investment of human capital that went into that product, knowing and respecting the creative mind that imagined it in the first place and imagining the steps it took to bring that product to you. When that creativity is stolen from them, it compromises their business. This is just one of the reasons that I see the counterfeiting of fashion, not only as a crime, but as a violation of both the designer and the consumer.
Counterfeiting is a multi-billion dollar global industry and shoppers from almost all socioeconomic backgrounds have admitted to buying a counterfeit product. Nearly 75% of women questioned in recent poll admitted that they have knowingly bought purchased a counterfeit designer fashion item. Handbags and wallets are by far the most popular items purchased.
As someone who works closely with both established and up-and-coming designers, these figures are concerning and the problem seems huge and insurmountable.
Over the years we at the CFDA have asked ourselves: "What can the design community really do to affect a change in counterfeiting?"
What we can do with our network of designers is partner on a national and global level to educate shoppers about the harmful effects of knock-offs. We have a number of initiatives, but one I am very proud of is our three-year partnership with eBay on "You Can't Fake Fashion" -- a campaign to raise awareness against counterfeit goods and celebrate original design. As the world's largest online marketplace, eBay consistently partners with brands, retailers and law enforcement to battle against the global counterfeit trade.
EBay understands that counterfeit items damage consumer trust and hurt the hundreds of thousands of businesses and sellers that sell authentic goods on their marketplace. This is the short version of why the CFDA and eBay have come together on this issue. Following two successful spring 2012 and summer 2011 collaborations, eBay and CFDA return this spring with our exclusive 2013 "You Can't Fake Fashion" collaboration..
We have brought together 90 of America's foremost designers, including Ralph Lauren, Diane von Furstenberg, Prabal Gurung, Rodarte and rag & bone to each customize a canvas tote to create a one-of-a-kind bag. We introduced this collection exclusively on eBay this week. The designers have infused their personality, originality, and creativity into each bag that puts a stamp on our stand against counterfeits and celebrates original design. This year, for the first time, we are making the designer bags available at auction beginning at $100. A standard tote is available at a $50 "buy it now" price.
"You Can't Fake Fashion" seeks to raise awareness about counterfeiting and the value of real design. Because handbags are among the most knocked off items, we believe that giving designers a platform to express that real fashion is not fake fashion will have a real impact on the consumer. Shoppers who say they buy counterfeit goods often say they do it because having a luxury good gives them a certain bragging right among their peers. What we can do with our designer bags is show that fake fashion is not cool, and most certainly not luxurious.
We want fashion lovers all over the world to carry a tote and spread the message for us that fake fashion is not fashionable at all.
To shop the You Can't Fake Fashion sale, now through March 25 visit: ebay.com/youcantfakefashion