I was watching an old episode of The Rachel Zoe project in which one of her employees was pulling things from shops for a photo shoot. When she entered a David Webb store to select some jewellery, lo and behold, this gorgeous black and white enamel zebra bangle appeared on the screen.

I happen to own this bangle. Except, I don't. Not really.

I was not familiar with David Webb but since that episode, I've done some research online (translation: a lot of Googling) and I must say I am a huge fan of his beautiful, intricate work. The brand David Webb is most famous for its animal-themed jewellery but there are so many interesting pieces in their website to salivate over.

It's no wonder that I coveted the zebra bangle the moment I saw it, because it was pretty much an exact rip-off of one of his most famous designs.

The RM 15 zebra bangle I bought at a jewellery kiosk in a bazaar:


David Webb's $69,500 (USD) diamond-and-ruby, platinum-and-gold zebra enamel bangle:
Image from: David Webb Zebra Bracelet

The similarities are uncanny, aren't they? I also own a giraffe bangle that has David Webb written all over it.

I have to admit, I felt a bit cheated when I made this discovery. Then again, I don't even know if I should feel cheated as the bangle cost me a mere RM 15. But I'm now starting to wonder: if I had known that the bangle was such a blatant copycat of a famous jewellery, would I have bought it anyway?

I'm not one for buying fake handbags; I love beautiful and good quality handbags too much that I could never handle the dissatisfaction of owning a subpar version of a bag or clutch that I love. If I can't afford the Chloe Drew handbag (and I certainly can'tyet), I might as well use my ringgits to buy a good, nice handbag at Michael Kors or Kate Spade, or even Zara, all the while continuing to dream about the day I would own Drew.

Based on that sentiment, I'd like to think that I would treat jewellery the same way.

But how about when it comes to clothes?

As much as I love style and fashion, I don't pay close attention to what's showing during Fashion Week but I am aware of the fact that many high-street brands get inspired by what they see on the runway and translate that inspiration into making everyday clothes for people who can't afford high-end.

This scenario though—I'm all for it. If an upscale brand does a leather jacket that I love, I'm going to hunt for a more affordable version of it, and what better place to scour for amazing finds than high-street stores?

But I'm not so much into buying a creation that is an obvious carbon copy of someone else's authentic brainchild, though, and same goes for these people: the trio designers of Sibling and Sister By Sibling was displeased (and not amused) when Zara imitated a floral motif they designed on their own with an actual artist; earlier this year, The Man Repeller also wrote a piece on the similarities between the garbs in Zara's Spring lookbook and Celine's designs.

But then you also get someone who likes being on the other end of the spectrum; I remember this article I read about how Balmain's creative director Olivier Rousteing loves it when other brands copy his work. Heck, he even complimented them for doing so!

I am a huge fan of Zara as most of their clothes and accessories are really stylish, well-made and most importantly, affordable (or I should say affordorable?). However, if I'm aware of a clothing piece being an exact imitation of a high-end product, I probably won't bother taking it to the cashier. 

But then again, a big percentage of peopleincluding medon't study the designs of high-end brands, so we might not even recognise a copycat when we see one. When we see something cute in a store, we'll get it.

All in all, I think I'm just going to happily continue filling up my closet with the best deals that Zara, H&M and my other favourite high-street brands have to offer.

The question now though: what do I do with these bangles?



For more photos of high-end copycats, visit these pages, then decide how you feel about the whole situation:

Don't forget to share your own personal sentiment on the topic in the comment section down below!