Why Does Gen Z Prefer Dupes Over Original Brands?

Short answer: price. The price tag on a piece of clothing is almost always the biggest defining factor when it comes 

But when does prioritizing savings become so important that the originality of an item becomes less so? 

It’s no surprise that Gen Z prefers to be thrifty when it comes to spending on clothes, but an interesting study has discovered that Gen Z picks dupes more so than any other generation.

Companies like DHGate, where you can order replicas of practically any clothing item you can imagine and then some, make this easier than ever. Plus, many rep owners, as those who prefer replicas over original items call themselves, mention how the quality of the reps is higher

At some point in fashion history, the bigger the logo, the more fashionable you were. Millennials lived through both sides of the celebrity logomania phases: the pride of sporting around handbags patterned with luxury brand logos, and the shame that came with purchasing a dupe and being discovered.

Turns out that Gen Zers are equally brand-obsessed, thanks to social media and brand exposure being everywhere from the digital to the real world, but there’s a catch with them. With inflation higher than ever and the cost of living crisis infesting almost every big city in the world, centennials are looking for alternatives to look fashionable: purchasing dupes.

While some older generations might label this behavior as dodgy or even unethical, Gen Zers are slowly becoming more used to purchasing from DHGate, Yupoo, or even TikTok dupe resellers. 

Many of these even participate in Discord or Telegram groups that advertise dupes of brand-name items, like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Chanel.

“Most reps come from the same factories that brand the original items.” This is a common sentiment often mentioned among rep buyer groups, of which r/repbuyers and r/reps are premier.

Many brand enthusiasts saw these websites as risky, due to either previous bad experiences or mistrust of the quality of the clothing item. After all, no one wants to wear a dupe that looks fake.

But with the advent of TikTok, viewers can see in video format how the reps would look on their hands, increasing consumer trust. Furthermore, Many of these TikTokers share collections of links to their preferred DHGate sellers.

Both male and female TikTokers sharing their favorite reps of iconic or trendy brands are quickly amassing millions of views and uncountable requests for links. 

Why pay $2,500 for a monogrammed Louis Vuitton, or $8,000 for a Chanel flap bag, when you can just pay $60 or $100 for a dupe? -Anonymous Reddit user.

Will this hurt luxury brand sales? The more dupes cement themselves as part of contemporary culture, the worse it will be for their original counterparts.

On the other hand, how many Gen Zers care about the well-being of these luxury clothing empires? An argument could be made in favor of supporting the original work of their designers, but many of these brands are known for ripping off the ideas of indie designers, branding them with their overpriced logos, and selling them for up to ten times the price. And that’s without getting into their environmental concerns.

Regardless, it’s likely that we’ll discover how the skyrocketing popularity of dupes affects the fashion industry in the next five years or so.

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