With our interest in luxury pieces growing exponentially, it’s no wonder that designer replicas are on the rise. From loose inspirations to carbon copies, we’re seeing high-street stores and foreign sites alike churn out recognisable yet discounted designer duplicates to keep up with the demand. Only last week, shoe brand EGO Official released the “Lucille trim detail rubber boot”, and it’s uncannily familiar…
It’s not hard to place where you’ve seen the “Lucille” boot before if you’ve been at all present on social media over the past month; it’s an identical yet substantially discounted version of MSCHF’s sold out “Big Red Boot”. What you may not realise about the EGO Official “Lucille” boot is that, although it’s a designer duplicate, it’s actually not a dupe – it’s a knock-off. Here’s how to spot the difference and why it’s something you need to know.
The word “dupe” has been bandied around quite a lot lately, and it’s becoming apparent that we’re not all entirely sure what it means. Derived from the word “duplicate”, a dupe is something which almost resembles a pre-established, popular, and usually more expensive item. Basically, a dupe is something which looks similar to a designer item, but not identical, whereas a knock-off is carbon-copy, only cheaper and mass-produced.
For example, a vintage pleated skirt which you find in a charity shop could be a “dupe” of one from a recent Miu Miu collection, as it only looks loosely similar to the designer piece, whereas a fake Bottega bag from Zara isn’t a dupe – it’s a “knock-off”. This is because, other than the cheaper quality fabrics and craftsmanship, the fake Bottega is identical to the original.
The issue with confusing knock-offs for dupes is that the term “dupe” is a lot more socially acceptable. Since a dupe is only a similar copy or look-a-like of a designer product, they don’t require mass production because they still allow for variety. On the other hand, knock-offs, which limit variety, have a substantially bigger environmental impact, as they rely on the fast-fashion cycle to keep up with a rapid turnaround and meet the demand for identical designer copies.
Another issue with the knock-off is that, because it limits variety, they cause consumers to have less creativity or room to be unique. Dupes allow for us to be different, even if only in a small way, whereas knock-offs contribute to the ever-growing sea of identical outfits. So, don’t be tricked into thinking you need a knock-off of a designer bag or boot to complete your fit, when in reality it’s only going to cause you to blend into the crowd. Finding the perfect dupe is both more rewarding and makes your fit more interesting.
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