Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Personal Story: You Fakin' The Funk?

Ever since I could remember I was obsessed with luxury.  As a kid, I idolized rappers draped in their custom Gucci Dapper Dan suits. Like most I found out what was dope by checking the streets and watching music videos, and that's how I wanted to dress. But I was too young and NY was too hot.  I couldn't even wear my shearling without a personal escort (a.k.a my mom), so it was Osh Kosh, Levi, and Lotto’s for me.
Growing up in Harlem my shopping radius was limited to say the least.  If it wasn't on 125th street or downtown on 34th street then it wasn't in my closet.  This was cool though because everything I needed I could get on "Two-Fifth", including my first knock-off gear.  What did I know about real versus faux? All I knew was that "Louis Vuitton" bag and that "Gucci" watch looked just like the ones I'd seen on my favorite rappers and for a measly $25 bucks could be all mines.
Around the time I entered junior high in 1992 urban wear lines started to really take off.  Designer duds took a backseat to brands like Karl Kani and Cross Colours, who were killing it in the streets along with the sporty collections of Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren.  It wasn't as high end as say a Louis Vuitton or Fendi, but the exclusivity was still there.  I traded one beast for another, begging my mother for bright blue $150 Cross Colours jeans with the matching jacket because it was so practical and I was going to have it forever (side note: Cross Colours was considered "played out" the following year)

My love of luxury returned with a vengeance in my senior year of high school, with me scouring stores like Century 21 for deeply discounted designer wares. This was also around the time when I first discovered Canal Street. Hidden in between the jewelry stores and t-shirt shops were vendors selling piles and piles of "Gucci, Fendi, Louis, Coach" goods. Who would know that my bag was faux? And I wasn't alone; people came from all over for fashion at a fraction of the cost. Of course maybe that G was a bit askew, or that Prada plate would fall off after a few wears but who cared, right? Even when I started adding actual designer pieces to my collection I would still venture downtown for a bag here and there.

Until one day while sitting in my closet I realized that these phony bags didn't make me who I was as a person. The false since of status I felt was nothing like the feeling of owning a quality piece that I worked and saved for. So I packed up those phony bags and tossed them in the trash. I was no longer fakin' the funk and it felt good.  It's just like your mom always told you, it's what's inside that counts.


  1. Nice post Caprece!! I feel you 100%. Sometimes I get down on myself about not being able to afford the same things that some of my friends have, but now I know that's okay. While I know that I am on this long journey to make something of myself, I know that all of that stuff will come eventually. Faking the funk is so 2000. It's not about the labels. It's about putting together the pieces that you love.

  2. Thanks Candace! I feel the exact same way. It will come to us and we'll appreciate it more because we worked for it! Plus, most of the stylish people I know do more with less. :)