Faux-fashion fans beware: The next time you head down to Chinatown for a knockoff Louis Vuitton (a.k.a. a Louis Vuiton), you could be fined more than the cost of the real deal. New York councilwoman Margaret Chin has thrown her 2011 proposal calling for more strict law enforcement on the sale of designer bootlegs back on the table.
Currently, it's not illegal to buy knockoff designer goods, but Chin wants to make the purchasing of these items just as punishable as it is to produce and distribute them. Canal Street shoppers believing they scored a deal on a $30 Céline bootleg could be faced with a $1,000 fine. In fact, that bag could even earn them a stint in the slammer. Fashion's black market is huge in the US, and is a considerable source of revenue across the globe. In a comment to WWD, Susan Scafidi, director of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham University School of Law said, "As long as some consumers consider fakes fashionable, counterfeiters will make them available."
While a double-digit price tag for a LV-covered bag is tempting, the satisfaction of breaking into your designer digs savings, going to the store, purchasing the real thing, and then keeping it for life can't be beat — not to mention, you won't have to worry about going through the tedious process of authenticating your new tote. (WWD)