By Mary Bubala

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Talk about the fashion police. A proposed law in New York City puts you in jail or fines you $1,000 for buying a knock-off.

Mary Bubala reports it’s already illegal to sell fake designer goods, but the focus may soon be on the buyer.

They look so much like the real thing, but they’re not.  The women buying them — from New York to Baltimore — know it.

Chelisa Nave showed WJZ her recent purchase from a Baltimore street vendor. She got two Dolce & Gabbana knock-offs for a fraction of what the real thing costs.

“I don’t think buying a knock-off is all that bad or inappropriate. I would buy them all day,” said Nave.

But in New York City, a city councilwoman is proposing a bill that would criminalize the purchase of counterfeit designer goods.  She says the production of the cheap imitations could violate child labor laws and the only way to get sellers to stop is to go after the buyer.

“We start cutting the demand, ultimately we will cut the supply,” said Margaret Chin, NYC Councilwoman.

People, including many tourists from Baltimore, would face a $1,000 fine or a year in jail. It’s a real wake-up call for purchasing a fake.

“I think it’s ridiculous. Everybody can’t afford things, so at least if they have the knock-off it makes some think they have it,” said Katherine Ibarra.

“I think it would be crazy, difficult to enforce. Not only that, don’t we have better things to focus on?” said Stacy Nartker.

If passed, New York City would become the first U.S. city to criminalize the purchase of knock-offs. It’s already illegal to sell them.

Comments (6)
  1. Larry says:

    Stupid–Stupid–Stupid. Why not ban all fake! Fake breasts, butts, lips, tans, hair, teeth, eyes, drugs, lawyers, politicians, preachers. It would never stop. Fine them all. OK–take fake breasts off the list–LOL!!

  2. moonbeam says:

    now we are being told how and where to spend our money? give me a freakin break. im spending my money where ever i please.

  3. Ex-Baltimore says:

    This just could never stand in court. However, going after the importers, wholesellers and street retailers is the way to enforce.

  4. Amanda Willgetitin Smithlin says:

    This is some B.S yall know that right? >:/

  5. I'm just sayin... says:

    I would take a nice long look into who is backing the councilwoman, I dont think she came to this one on her own! Also if child labor laws that “could” be violated are her issue again I would take a nice long look into some of the high falutin designers and how their purses are made….

  6. Roberta says:

    I was the RN in the dispensery in Jessup, MD. So I saw first hand the same approach that’s used to deal with the drug crisis in this country. Now the NYC
    councilwoman wants to arrest the buyer-cutting the demand, utimately we will cut the supply-. Councilwoman Chin needs to come up with a new plan cause there’s “no room at the Inn.” , to get the selling to stop. Going after the buyer
    has a bad track record!

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