Written Nov 10, 2014 / Updated: Aug 28, 2019
Are Louis Vuitton bags worth their steep prices?
As l was writing my recent post about the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, l thought back to the attached bazaar at the back of the mosque. It differs from the world famous Grand Bazaar in that it is much, much smaller. If you find yourself in Istanbul and want to find awesome fake designer accessories, definitely make this stop as part of your Istanbul itinerary.
I have since found the name of this bazaar through a relative who had a long layover in Istanbul. It is called the Arasta Bazaar Istanbul. As previously said, it is located right behind the Blue Mosque in Sultanahmet. Smaller in size compared to the Grand Bazaar, there are only about 70 stores offering everything from spices to turkish delights to “brand name” items.
Louis Vuitton Turkey:
Where to find it:
The Grand Bazaar Istanbul Louis Vuitton bags we found to be quite cheaply made. The smaller bazaar at the Blue Mosque, has a fewer selection of stores, but better quality fakes so to speak. The Louis Vuitton bags that are “Made in Turkey”. Before before you pooh pooh the whole fake thing, take a look at your expensive piece of clothing and check out where it is made. Turkey is most likely one of the places.
Anyway, the shops here look just like regular boutiques. Only difference would be that inside, they would carry different brands under the same roof. We walked into a few to admire the handiwork. I am not a big label fan, save for Ralph Lauren.
The last store we walked into had a really nice guy working there. He did not try to sell us anything. There was a second person seated who was taking in a new consignment of goods. We were fascinated with the way he was checking out the handbags etc. He had a magnifying glass with him, and was checking out the stitching, the engraving, every detail of the handbags.
Related Reading: Blue Mosque
Louis Vuitton made in Turkey:
One of the Louis Vuitton bags caught my eye. I did what he did, checked it out thoroughly, and decided to buy one. I also bought a wallet. I had intended on keeping it for myself, and did actually use it twice. It’s a little too fancy for me, so l decided to give it to one of my sisters, who love the labels, but is not willing to pay the outrageous prices.
The bag has real leather trimming, just like the real one. I even wet it a bit to make sure it changed color, unlike fake leather. He gave me the dust bags, and the long strap, everything complete with the logo.
Once while in Rome, I watched a special on how these designer bags are made for an average price of $35 with cheap labor and then sold at outrageous prices. The conditions under what the employees work are horrible so l feel little guilt that some employees “acquire” some material from their jobs and make these bags.
I have checked the L.V website, and to the naked eye, the bag and wallet is identical to the ones online. There may be something missing, but l’m not sure what. Anyway, my sister is thrilled with the bag, and has received tons of compliments on it. People assume it’s the real thing. I don’t think she bothers to correct them :-)
Louis Vuitton Turkey Prices:
Oh..I kept the wallet for myself. I know l could afford the real one, but l could never bring myself to pay $1500 for a bag or $795 for a walle!!!. Certainly not when l could get both for $165!!! For those of you with a little extra cash, you’ll be happy to know there is a Karl Lagerfeld designed L.V punching bag that is now available and priced at a mere $175,000. Better get yours before they run out!
I still have the wallet and it’s still going strong. Yes! I think the worn looks makes people absolutely believe that the wallet is real, and just like my sister, I don’t correct them. My sister also still has her bag, so there! :-)
Related Reading: Istanbul guide
Now my brother wants a genuine, fake Rolex! The cheapskate :-) :-) :-) . There was also a Gucci scarf l am kicking myself for not buying! That l would wear. See why l need to go back???
Arasta Bazaar Address:
Sultan Ahmet, Mimar Mehmet Ağa Cd. No:2, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Are Louis Vuitton bags worth it?
The genuine ones? not in my opinion. These Louis Vuitton bags made in Turkey? Definitely worth it. The prices are reasonable and they last just as long. They have all the genuine markings, so if you can get yourself a Louis Vuitton knockoff that is made in Turkey, you should. The selection at the bazaar right behind the Blue Mosque is absolutely worth it and a great find. I’m glad we purchased from there and not the ones from the Grand Bazaar.
Trivia – Many famous politicians and show biz types including Shakira, Ellen and Bill Clinton have shopped here. Think about that the next time you see famous people with their “designer” bags :-).
What do you think of my bag and wallet? Does it fool you? Am l a horrible person for buying a knock off Louis Vuitton? Would you purchase a knock off anything?