Yesterday’s post threw me into a thought frenzy as I received some comments from friends asking if me if you can buy Christian Louboutin shoes online. The answer is yes, you can but the cautiousness in me always asks “Are they the real thing”?
Not long ago, I was in Hong Kong and was wandering through the must-go-everytime-I-visit Harbour City (Kowloon side for 700+ shops to tickle your tastebuds and tempt your mastercard with). Harbour City is one of those shopping malls that you just don’t get in Oz, no offence Mr Westfield but it is an endless maze of super-brand stores; big and small ones, unique HK cult-brands, Joyce (the iconic HK department store), quirky Chinese bakeries, gold-gilded restaurants serving endless banquets and salivating Shanghainese dumpling joints and bottom line is, it just doesn’t compare to or come close to BJ, the Chase, Chadstone or Indro.
While wandering aimlessly through the mall, arms already laden with goods (of course), I suddenly came face to face with the superstore Manolo Blahnik. I didn’t even have to walk into the store to spot the shoes I wanted yesterday. As I walked in and went straight for the blue shoes with little square jeweled piece made famous in the SATC movie because Big proposed to Carrie with one (yes, you know the ones I am talking about), I had to refrain myself from doing a little “oh my god” dance, I was that excited. Again, it just wasn’t meant to be as they didn’t end up having my size but I left the store thinking to myself “I must hunt those shoes down!”
At home in front of my laptop, I googled blue manolo blahnik and up came an array of results. I clicked through to an ebay link and saved that search. I looked at Neiman Marcus and net-a-porter.com and even had a girlfriend say she would have a look for me as she was off to the U.S. in a couple of months and could bring them back. I seriously contemplated the ebay link and found that they were not only in electric blue but also in black and hot pink. The ebay buy it now options were averaging around the $270 mark and it was at that moment that I stopped my hunter mindset and week-long obsession since I had landed from Honkers to realise that these shoes on ebay were not the real thing but had to be fake. I had seen the price tag of the shoes in the Manolo Blahnik store and had silently gasped at the $890 price (actually I almost had a coronary from the HK dollar price which was something like HKD$5,340 before realising I needed to convert to Aussie dollar first) so these $270 ones must not be the real thing. And so my hunt halted.
I have plenty of girlfriends who love the real thing and only buy the real thing. On the other hand I also have plenty of girlfriends who have bags and sunnies that look like the real thing, feel like the real thing but they then tell me over lunch how much of a bargain it was and they have more of where that came from! Girlfriends from both camps are very stylish people nonetheless and the thing that’s hard is that sometimes it is so difficult to the naked eye to really tell a fake from the real thing without opening the zipper and peering inside. I myself have a mantra that if I can’t afford the real thing, I don’t buy it. That’s not to say that I have never bought a fake but after buying a tan Mulberry satchel from a pokey little store in Phuket only to have the handles fall off two months later, it’s just something that I choose not to do anymore.
Buying a fake is an accepted social practice but then it also can be a bit of a taboo and the reality is that not everyone can afford the real thing but that’s what makes them so special and described as jewels.
I have put a poll up today on my blog in light of this post as I would really like to hear from you on what you feel is important? I look forward to hearing your thoughts…