Canal Street in New York – Year after year groups of college kids, kids on Spring Break, young adults, middle aged adults flock to Canal Street in New York for their “knock-offs” which do look much like the real thing, but they are counterfeit…..
You never really think about it – at least I haven’t because I have been there. In New York, with its speed, you can get caught up. It was pre-911. In fact, I didn’t even know that I had stopped to pick up not so legal fakes, I was just glad that I had a few bucks left over to bring home some souvenirs. What sticks out in my mind most, however is the watch that I had paid a whole $12 for that simply dropped from my arm to never be seen again. I didn’t think anything about it since it was so cheap but a friend gave me a photo of myself this year taken the December of that year and I had on that cute and actually costly-looking watch.
Many of the young these days have no idea of the difference between the knock off Prada or the real thing. Not to mention the Chanel bag, the Coach, the Gucci and so many other top designers originals. This is because the world is so bent on fashion and flashing the names of designers. This trend actually began sometime in the later 1970s. Canal street from what I remember and saw on television, deals a lot in accessories and purses are the number one accessory besides our jewelry, it seems. Since people are wearing designer EVERYTHING as if just having these items on will improve their clothing taste, flock there.
The truth is that these knock off districts are illegal and do get busted. Certainly not enough for them to fold up their tents and hide out the rest of their lives but they do get fined. They’re located in Manhattan on Canal Street and if you ask me where that is, I can tell you that if you haven’t been to New York but 5 times in a life, that you would not know how to explain it. I mean what is an 8th Street at 11th anyway, for example?
The Designing industry is losing billions of dollars each year because of these knock off districts and I guess one would say “Oh, they are rich anyway” and I would say “true”. But I would say too that if I had a talent and skill to create and design fashion that I would not want this to happen to me. Clothing and fashion are essential to us, probably coming in second only to food. And these Designers have put a lot of money into the education to have a clothing line. They are hard working and they need employees and it is reported that because of this fierce counterfeiting business, they are not able to keep employees which in many cases are your Blue Collar workers.
This is written not to dissuade people from doing what they want but knock offs are not fair. Ever since there has been commodities that can be duplicated, they have been duplicated. I think that before we think about throwing our money around Canal Street, think of the upcoming designers who have quite reasonable merchandise at stores such as T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Pay Half, etc. Remember, designer is still designer. And many of them are just as attractive. I buy Stone Mountain bags and have since 1978, the first year this line hit the market. The one I bought last year is as attractive as a Coach for a fraction of the price of a Coach. And it is real and authentic.
In the final analysis without standing on a soap box, flocking to knock off districts is tantemount to someone passing you a counterfeit bill. You’d feel cheated.