Mixed Media Bib Necklace: DIY (tutorial here)
Convertible Chiffon Top: QoJelly
Neon Yellow Chain Necklace worn as bracelet: moussy
Rigs: various (mostly bought in Japan)
Bag: Hermes Birkin knockoff (exact maker unknown)
Double-wrap Studded Belt: Forever 21 (similar here)
Spotted Poly Chiffon Skirt: Thrifted (label says Country Road Australia)
Rho Heels: All Saints Spitalfields
The weather turned super-warm this weekend so I draped myself in chiffon and neutrals.
I thought to offset all the neutrals with my DIY Mixed Media Bib Necklace, which I received a lot of compliments on.
My latest thrifted Goodwill find: I couldn’t believe this tulip skirt with lovely print was a mere $4.99…and was exactly my size!
I paired the skirt with my Rho heels I bought with an All Saints gift card I won last year in a ShopItToMe giveaway (seriously, they have giveaways often on their blog [as well as daily sale alerts]; you just have to sign up for their newsletter and pay attention to their blog and enter!! Usually the odds are pretty good and you may walk away with something great…I won a $300 gift card to AllSaints.com and was so thrilled!!). I hadn’t had a chance to try these sandals out, and was so surprised…they are the most comfortable heeled shoes I’ve ever worn, hands down. When it comes to high heels, quality definitely makes a difference! The padding, the curve to the arch, the foot support…it’s amazing. I can’t say enough good things about them! (Except for the price, which I would have usually found out of my budget, but they were on sale and I had to use up that gift card all in one go…)
I’m terribly morally conflicted about this bag. It’s not a real Birkin; it’s actually from my mother-in-law. She used it for awhile and got tired of it so gifted it to me. She said she had been on a waiting list for years for a real Birkin, and had gotten impatient and so had looked for a fake version in the meantime. She was thrilled to have found “an excellent replica” (her words) for a mere…
…wait for it…
And then once she got the real Birkin she decided to give the knockoff one to me.
On the one hand, it’s a gift from my mother-in-law, in good condition, and a serviceable bag.
On the other hand, it was $1200 and a blatant knockoff, which I’m morally opposed to. I like to encourage people to make their own versions of designer stuff, for themselves, on a personal basis…which I feel is different from producing exact replicas and selling them as “affordable versions of the real thing.” Not only does the mass production of exact knockoffs hurt designer sales (though yes, the luxury brands aren’t impacted that much), but it also often employs underage and exploited workers, evades taxes, encourages money laundering, and supplies funds to international drug cartels, firearms rings, terrorist activities [like the 1993 World Trade Center bombing] and prostitution. See here and here for two interesting discussions regarding this.
So what am I to do with this bag??? By using it am I condoning this sort of activity? By not using it am I being inconsiderate towards my mother-in-law and her gift?
What would you do?
Also: Most of the above photos were taken by my 6-year-old son Lil Tot, which is why they are off-kilter and blurry, LOL! He is actually beginning to get interested in photography and has begun “helping” me photograph my outfits!
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Hey! I really like how you’re straightforward about this issue. I myself would probably keep the bag but not use it as a sort of middle ground if I were in a similar situation.
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A very good compromise!
I was just going to say that I loved the outfit, that the skirt is really cute.
I don’t really know what to say. 1200 for a knock off is quite outrageous to me. But hey if you throw it away, you would be throwing 1200 bucks in to the rubish. I would just forget it’s “history”, think about it as a present of your mother in law and that’s it…
Any way, I like that back, looks very comfortable to carry it full of “stuff” and the colour is great since it combines with eveything. xx
Alice Barton ♥ TheMowWay
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Thanks Alice!! I know, it’s a conundrum. Can’t throw away, can’t give away, feel terribly conflicted about even using. I should probably just get over it and respect my mother-in-law and her gifts and just use the darn thing.;-)
As it was a gift, you have no control over its origin and while it may be a knock-off, at $1,200 it is by no means and inexpensive one and I would hope at that price it was created by a skilled craftsperson and not an exploited underpaid worker.
By using it when someone asks you if it is a real Birken, you could open up a conversation on it and it could be a door opener letting people know your views.
A solution might be to embellish it by DIY it into your own one-of-a-kind creation.
If you are worried that might offend your MIL, another solution might be to donate it for charity auction and donate the proceeds to your favorite cause or even your son’s school for equipment, supplies for field trips.
Thanks for your sage advice, Kathryn! I wish it were real so that it would be able to fetch a lot of money for charity were I to donate it for auction.:-/ It’s a good idea to use it to open up the door to a more meaningful conversation about the origin of fashion, or in this case, knockoffs. I wanted to do that with this post; I could have just posted the outfit and not said anything one way or the other, but I wanted to start a conversation and get feedback from people so I could figure out what to do. Given that it was from my mother-in-law, and smooth and peaceful family relations are most necessary, I probably will hold onto it and at least use it when she is around, regardless of my own personal feelings about it. Mother-in-laws trump most other things!;-)
I think since it was a gift you should keep it, but I feel the same way. In all honesty, when I saw the title, it kind of ruffled my feathers a bit. But, once I read that it was a gift, that made it into a completely different situation. Not keeping it could definitely be seen as rude or ungrateful.
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Very true. Yes, hearing about the $1200 my MIL paid for this actually makes it hard for me to sleep at night.:-( Well, at least she used it and enjoyed it for a little while before bequeathing it to me.
I love this outfit so much! The shoes actually really fits the dress and the bag as well.. Anyway, this is perfect!
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Honestly… I would never pay so much money for a bag like that. It’s not ugly, but a bit plain and boring. It’s the amount of money that some people earn in 2 months in the rural areas of my country. And, I really wouldn’t care who did or didn’t make it. For 1200$ there should be something special about it, but I am simply not seeing it, maybe it’s just me. I think it would suit you in, maybe 30 years?
I hope I am not offensive or something. When I read blogs by people who live in one of Top 20 of most prosperous countries in the world and see some of the stuff they have, I sometimes wonder, do they really like the design, or are they just brand junkies, fans, whatever.
Not that I am saying that this is true about you, or your bag. Just got me thinking and rambling…
I agree with you! I was shocked and dismayed when my mother-in-law told me how much she paid for the bag. Because of the high price and the fact that it was a gift from her, it further obligates me to use it. I feel I would be acting ungrateful not to…but you’re right, it’s a bit mature for me right now. I guess I may just have to hold on to it and break it out to use when she comes to visit!!;-)
The bag and the shoes really made it for me! Love the color combination, you really have a good taste for picking the right colors
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Hi, just came across searing google under DIY and got to your website.. and I got to read your post. Very interesting about Birkin! I was actually considering to buy a fake birkin (around $250-$300 with high quality) But then, as a blogger, is it “ethical” to post those on my blog?? lol (of course if I’m going to post my outfit with it, I’d mention that it’s a fake. Just to be sincere.) I personally don’t care.. because I know how much the real birkin costs, which is like $8000 minimum?? jee-leweeze! I mean, I can use that money to plan a family cruize trip or something more valuable and meaningful to my life than a high quality leather bag! OF course I’d looove to have a real birkin, but at the same time, I’m realistic enough to know that I won’t be able to get that until 20yrs? LOL And afterall, it’s just a bag…. There are some brands I’d go for real deals like Michael Kors and Coach, which are affordable, but over $1000 bag is just too much for me….
Sorry, I got side tracked! As for your dilemma, I think it’s ok to keep it. Like other commenter said before, if it’s high quality and it’s $1200, I don’t think an underaged kids are working for it, but actual craftman… But anyways, it was a gift from your MIL, and if YOU love the bag, why not. I’d use it!
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