Name Brands vs. Knockoffs

New York’s Fifth Avenue was buzzing with shoppers earlier this winter, when Footwear News asked locals and tourists to sound off on their go-to brands. Despite a tough economy, some women continue to buy big designer names, sometimes at mid-market prices. But in desperate times, how many would take the knockoff route? The results were mixed, but all the women surveyed by FN agreed that, while price is almost always a consideration, style, quality and comfort are key when searching for the perfect pair.

1. Michelle Dengler, 36
Residence: New Jersey
Favorite brand: Aldo
Most desired brand:
Jimmy Choo
Would you ever buy an obvious knockoff? Yes. “I don’t really shop for the name. It’s more about the look and comfort, not the company.”
What would you be willing to spend on the real thing? $200

2. Andrea Piskunov, 31
Residence: New York
Favorite brands: Diesel, Nine West, Mia, Cole Haan
Most desired brand: Salvatore Ferragamo
Would you ever buy an obvious knockoff? “Sure. If the quality is good and it’s cheaper, I would go for it.”
What would you be willing to spend on the real thing? $600

3. Marcia Geotes, 51
Residence: Mississippi
Favorite brand: Ugg
Most desired brand: Prada
Would you ever buy an obvious knockoff? No. “They don’t last.”
What would you be willing to spend on the real thing? $250, but “I would buy the real thing only if it was on sale.”

4. Deb Campbell, 53
Residence: Massachusetts
Favorite brands: Chloé, Prada
Most desired brand: Christian Louboutin
Would you ever buy an obvious knockoff? No. “You really can’t make a good knockoff in a shoe. They don’t fit well and are uncomfortable.”
What would you be willing to spend on the real thing? “The most I’ve ever paid is $2,000.”

5. Chantel Barohard, 23
Residence: England
Favorite brand: Ugg
Most desired brand: Jimmy Choo
Would you ever buy an obvious knockoff? Yes. “It would be cheaper and look exactly the same. I’ll wear anything as long as the price is right and it looks good on me.”
What would you be willing to spend on the real thing? $350

6. Donna Ellis, 46
Residence: New York
Favorite brands: Steve Madden, Nine West
Most desired brand: Prada
Would you ever buy an obvious knockoff? “Absolutely. The regular consumer wouldn’t know it was a knockoff.”
What would you be willing to spend on the real thing? $200

7. Carol Fryling, 58
Residence: Oklahoma
Favorite brand: Stuart Weitzman
Most desired brand: Chanel
Would you ever buy an obvious knockoff? “If it fit. I don’t care about the label.”
What would you be willing to spend on the real thing? $600

8. Karen Ng, 34
Residence: New York
Favorite brands: Kenneth Cole, BCBG, Puma
Most desired brand: “I’m not into designer brands. I think they’re uncomfortable.”
Would you ever buy an obvious knockoff? “If it was good quality, [but] I probably wouldn’t buy the real thing because of [the high] price.”
What would you be willing to spend on the real thing? $300 

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