Why you shouldn’t buy fake brand name products in Bangkok

COCONUTS BANGKOK FABULOUS – I won’t pretend that I’m not a sucker just like the rest of you.

I fell for a faux Fendi baguette bag in Patpong market. The other day some fake Anna Sui earrings caught my eye at Victory Monument. I’ll admit, when I first brought these items home, I was excited. They were pretty, trendy and best of all cheap. But now after minimal use I can report that they’re also sad relics of their former selves.

I should have and do know better.

This isn’t going to be one of those screeds about why it’s better to buy the real thing. It’s hard to feel guilty about not spending a month’s rent in Chanel or depriving Karl Lagerfeld of some pocket change. No, my problem with fakes (particularly bags) is that

a) they’re usually really easy to spot

b) they’re boring because everyone has the same ones and

c) they’re quite expensive for what they are.

If the point of buying a ‘Coach’ bag is to fool people into thinking you spent a lot of money on a posh item, then surely the bag should, well, look posh. I shouldn’t be able to see the lining ripping or the paint from the buckle chipping.

Moreover, just because something is ubiquitous doesn’t mean it’s fashionable. Louis Vuitton bags or overly shiny Tiffany necklaces don’t pack a punch in the style stakes when every other person on the BTS is toting the same thing.

Buying fakes in Bangkok is especially egregious when you consider your other options.

In this city it’s so easy to find cool one-off pieces by local designers in Siam Centre, Bangkok Arts and Culture Centre and boutiques in Thong Lo. These truly stylish pieces are the sort of accessories you can actually boast about (e.g. “oh this? It’s by Wonder Anatomie. They’re Thailand’s answer to Gareth Pugh). When you consider that these designers’ products are also more or less the same price as the knockoffs, the answer is simple: buy local.

That said, I did just spot a not-so-genuine pair of Steve Madden spiky shoes at Terminal 21. Maybe I’ll just try them on…

 

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