The other day, my $35 knockoff Louis Vuitton bag hooked onto someone and tore right open. Rather than purchasing a better quality bag, I walked two blocks to another NYC vendor and this time bought myself a faux Chanel tote. Fake designer merchandise sold on street corners always grabs me. Should I be concerned?
Believe me, I get it. Maybe all of those pricey watches that people wear are really cheap. Could that last Rolex I saw have been a knockoff?
The answer can be found in conspicuous consumption. Thorstein Veblen coined the term conspicuous consumption in his book The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899). Veblen questioned why very wealthy people would buy worthless goods and walk around flaunting them. He concluded that people will always want to appear as wealthy as possible. By wearing Rolex watches and driving fancy cars they are able to signal their class.
That’s why there are so many faux luxury goods– when people purchase luxury goods they are focused on the image they’re portraying rather than the price tag. By buying a knockoff item you’re fooling the masses. It may seem antiquated, but whether you are in a higher class or not, you’ll still strive to appear that way. As a conspicuous consumer, you’re bound to find the faux designer merchandise attractive.
So go out and rock your $35 bag with pride!
*This question was formulated by the econlife team.