What's in a name?
Surely a bodycon dress, with any other label, would look as incredible as a Balmain stretch lace, where it not Balmain called??
The jury is out, and it may not be back for some time.
The price point of luxury labels are exclusive, some argue this is purposeful, so it's not unexpected that copy-cat designs, or even cheap knock-offs, will emerge to offer similar styles to those excluded from the hallowed circles of the affluent.
More affordable versions of your favourite labels are not always bad. Some brands, like Ralph Lauren, use the 'diffusion range' strategy to attract buyers up and down the income scale as their Purple Label Collection caters for those capable of spending 4 figures and upwards, whilst their polo range is far more affordable for the regular shopper. It's a win win for brand loyalists and for Ralph Lauren.
Copy-cat designs have also become somewhat expected, although a little frustrating for the original designer! The Herve Leger bandage dress is so prolifically copied that you can pick up lookalikes from ASOS, Lipsy, New Look, and BooHoo, to name a few.
However, these copy-cats are still backed by a known brand name and the importance of a brand name is you know what to expect (for better or for worse). The problem arises when cheap knock-offs, or even cheaper unnamed copy-cats, flood the market. This is definitely an area to keep away from! Even if the 'Expectation V Reality' meme is chuckle worthy there's nothing as bitter as thinking you've made a huge saving by buying cheap, only to receive an item that's hardly worth the effort at all! Back to the drawing board it is then.
Sometimes, to understand the fuss about a label, simply invest in one, even if it's the cheapest item on offer.
A belt, a scarf, a piece of fashion jewellery, from a heavy hitting brand will introduce you to the quality they stand by, and the shopping experience they offer.
Remember "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"