Above is Target's $34.99 Mossimo bag; Below is Proenza Schouler's $1,995 PS1

If you've been to Target lately, you may have noticed a nice buttery looking faux-leather satchel placed near the accessories and clothing. Looked familiar, didn't it? Maybe you'd seen it before, right? Well yeah, you probably have. The bag is a strikingly similar replica of Proenza Schouler's PS1 satchel, the schoolboy bag that's had everyone talking. While the brand has worked with Target on a GO International collection before, this was definitely not a collaboration piece, and Jack and Lazaro are not happy about Target's producing it.

After reading The Cut's article about the  knock-off bag, I starting thinking two things:
1. I want that Target bag.
2. Is it ethical of me, as a knowledgable consumer, to buy it?

As someone who doesn't have the lifestyle that allows me to buy a $2,000 purse (let alone one that's $100) every time a new trendy it bag comes out, I usually feel grateful when lower-priced brands like Target and Forever 21 release similar models. I buy them knowing well that they're poorly made and not as good as the real thing, but also knowing that they'll satisfy my urge for a product that will always be out of my reach. Plus, I don't expect to trick anyone in to thinking that my knock-off Target bag is really the super expensive designer original; anyone who knows the difference would recognize that it's not the same bag and anyone who would think the bag is designer-made probably has no clue who Proenza Schouler is anyway. Still, I feel a pang of guilt when considering the purchase of a knock-off item. On one hand, it's not like the products I buy have fake labels plastered all over them (think fake Louis Vuitton), but on the other, they do look similar enough to the original product that I can make the connection.

My conclusion is that I'll probably continue to buy designer look-a-like clothes until I can afford the real thing. Until brands like Proenza Schouler start losing money, and more importantly, customers to lower priced brands like Target, I can't feel all that bad for toting around a Mossimo1.

You can read The Cut's article detailing how hurt and betrayed the designers of Proenza Schouler feel here

Image from The Cut

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