The Times of India believes fakes are in fashion? Then it’s ‘time’ they adjust their priorities.

July 30, 2009 § Leave a comment

A recent headline in The Times of India encouraging readers to “Get fashionable on budget with ‘Fake’ fashion!’ touts an article detailing a new trend in Delhi where the alleged ‘ubër chic’ set is shunning authentic labels for fake alternatives. Seems like a perfect opportunity to slam the practice as cultural poison, right? Well sadly The Times took another route and the article that ran is a cavalier display of disregard.

Offering the same old flat rationale for shopping in the sham aisle – affordability – with a lighthearted tone, the article’s practically a piece of service journalism for those who covet artistry of actual labels but are unwilling to buy them. What gives Times of India? Certainly trend journalism should be exciting and revelatory, but to encourage an epidemic with so many unseen victims? To detail how to get those designer looks without the designer prices? Come on! We’re all for smart shopping, but that’s just appalling. The paper has forgotten its purpose: to give a dimensional and balanced portrait of significant cultural moments.

This particular piece is as lopsided as a one-eared bunny.

Disturbingly, the article’s tone has a certain giddiness to it, like a child who found a way out of doing chores. This tone couldn’t be father from the reality of the knockoff bane. It’s about children, certainly, but children forced into unspeakable conditions to produce the fraud frock of the moment. And speaking of “of-the-moment,” maybe it’s true for the purchaser, but where the lowest person on the production chain is considered, and we’re talking children who are disturbingly young and other unfortunates, the fake trade is about stolen moments, about lives destroyed.

Anyone who could get excited about this kind of foolish opportunity couldn’t possibly be aware of the human cost. It’s not as easy as reduced prices and fashionable looks. It’s not as easy as a cheap chance to shine in the hottest trends. It is about corruption and stolen lives. It is about terrorist financing and child labor.

The Times offers the perspective of a designer who work is oft ripped-off:

Designer Suneet Varma, a purported copy of whose work we found, says, “I feel that once the design is out there, it’s for the world to see. If the outfit is influenced – if it has a similar print, silhouette, length or cut – and that takes off as a trend, then it’s okay. But if we spot something completely similar, then I consider it as plagiarism and I have lawyers who take care of it.”

But frankly, this isn’t even close to the in-depth consideration the issue requires. It’s a gloss over, lukewarm legal consideration. There’s no talk of the true criminal enterprise at work. There needs to be more.

Every time you consider buying a knockoff to save a little money, think about the cost to others. Wearing a copycat item is just like unbalanced journalism: they’re both lazy and harmful.

Get fashionable with counterfeit fashion? Please. How does that make a shred of sense? Let’s cut through the headline’s enthusiasm and get to the heart of the piece: it’s nothing more than a call to get fake.

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