Dupes vs Replicas

I have been thinking about this topic a lot lately and thought I would share it with you! The difference between dupes and Replicas and their impact on the fashion industry.  The fashion industry relies on dupes.  It's called the trickle down theory where high Street stores become influenced by what is on the catwalk.  The designs are always extreme and flamboyant for impact on the runway and then the designs trickle down to high street to become wearable.  Dupes keep the fashion industry running, Replicas however do the opposite.  Dupes never claim to be the designer they were influenced from, only flatteringly nod towards them. Replicas will copy every detail and claim to be the original product but for sale much much cheaper.  They unfortunately devalue the original brands products and make people wonder when they look at a designer product, is it real? 

It ruins the exclusivity of products that only a selection of people can afford, which makes it special.  Dupes compliment that, but Replicas devalue it.  For someone like me, who is passionate about the fashion history and loves the history of the designers and their pieces, I would never buy a Replica.  The point of the designer pieces for me is wearing a piece of history that you've worked for and that is exclusive and special to wear.  If you've payed for a Replica, the only thing you have bought is people questioning if your designer item is real, but you might as well have bought something from Boohoo because there is no exclusive feeling to the items you have bought.  There's something special about saving to buy an item you've dreamed of and then feeling a million dollars with it.  Keeping it on a display shelf or safe in the box to protect it.  That product with be cherished and last years and possibly be passed down to family members. A Replica will be ruined on a drunken night out without a second thought and tossed to landfill with the rest of the unsustainable items that are in the world. 

River Island is currently the Queen of dupes - although there are still some designs that I think have been taken too far! Let me show you some examples.

1) The 1st dupe is this bag which has taken many design features from the Louis Vuitton Alma.  The monogram print is clearly RI though, it doesn't claim to be Louis Vuitton but is heavily influenced by it.
2) The second dupe are these shoes, which I think are a step too far in copying the Prada loafers.  They could have gone for the same design without having to copy the Prada triangle logo.  These are still dupes though as they will have the River Island name on them and not Prada.  Too far for me though and I think it's a shame River Island did this.
3) The third dupe are these heels that have been very influenced by Amina Muaddi with the distinctive shaped heel.4) The fourth dupe is a bag which has taken many design features from Balenciaga.  
5) The 5th bag has taken design features from the Louis Vuitton pochette bag.

6)  This sixth bag has been influenced by the Lady Dior bag.7) This seventh bag has been very heavily influenced by the Prada renylon bag.8) This eight bag has been very heavily influenced by the Gucci weekend bag.

 Dupes are generally compliments and will be seen in many high street stores proudly.  Replicas are everywhere but they don't stay in one place for long as they are usually reported.  Watch out for Facebook and Instagram adverts and often also Etsy and Ebay. 

Mageemillinery is one website I have found that has Replica pieces.  These tights and earrings shown on the website are copying exact products from Dior and Gucci and it is questionnable.

I see it as the same thing as plagiarism.  You should never claim something is yours or is something it isn't.  You'll never feel good about the item you've claimed you've written or claim to be wearing as it is dishonest.  Being tricked into believing the item you're buying is a designer piece is another conversation though and I urge you to do your research before buying from any online seller.  I have written blog posts on this previously that you can read.  I hope this has given you food for thought and I welcome a discussion on this topic if you want to!


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