What do you think of knock offs?

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend - especially if it was a long one! I'm logging more hours than usual at my day job this week (and it's only Tuesday!), but I wanted to share a couple of purchases I made for the nursery over the weekend.

I can't wait to show you the vintage globe I found - it's so cute!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I decided to purchase an Eames-style rocker rather than the real thing. For me, it was a matter of cost, since my husband and I don't see eye-to-eye on the value of style (he's more of a function kind of guy).

Almost immediately after placing my order, I came across this article about the real cost of replicas. My husband is a musician, so we understand first-hand the importance of paying for original, authentic work, whether it be music, art, literature or furnishings. I agree that authentic designs are investment pieces, and if I'm prepared to spend $500 on an iPad, why wouldn't I spend $500 on a chair that will last much, much longer?

But let's be honest, I don't actually have $1,000 to spend on an iPad and a chair (at least not $1,000 that wouldn't arguably be better spent in a variety of other ways), and I'm not sure that I want or need all my furniture to last for generations. The article calls it a "disposable attitude", but I'd argue that people's tastes and needs also change over time. Knock offs and replicas are one way to enjoy an athestic without committing to it for the longhaul. Is that always a bad thing?

And, is buying a knock-off Eames (the original designers passed away decades ago) the same thing as buying a replica of a piece designed by someone who's still in business? I have a feeling I don't know enough about how the design industry works to answer this question and my experience with small business tells me that people's perceptions are often very different from reality (in other words, just because a business sells an expensive product, it doesn't mean the business owner is swimming in profits).

I can argue in circles with myself on the issue, but I think what really rubbed me the wrong way about this article was the message that if you can't afford the original, you should go without (they advocate buying original designs in your price range instead). Which implies that some styles and asthetics should only be enjoyed by certain economic classes. Regardless of whether you'd prefer an original, knock offs and replicas make high style accessible. Could it be that's exactly what some people don't like about them?

I would love to hear your thoughts on the issue. Where do you stand on the knock off debate?


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