NEW YORK, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Even if they can't afford the real thing, many American women still strive for that designer look and have no problem buying knockoffs, or cheaper copies, according to a new survey released on Tuesday.
Three-quarters of women questioned in the poll admitted that they had knowingly purchased a counterfeit designer fashion item, and many said they had as many as five fake dresses, handbags, wallets, jewelry or pairs of shoes.
More than half bought knockoffs because they couldn't afford the designer label, while 37 percent wanted to impress their friends or family. But nine percent simply couldn't tell the difference.
"As demand for designer fashion and accessories has increased, so has the demand for knock off designer goods," said Mark Pearson, the chairman of the website CouponCodes4u.com, which conducted the poll.
"While it may be satisfying for those consumers who can afford to purchase designer goods outright, many Americans are turning to knock off pieces to fit in, without the expensive price tag," he added in a statement.
Handbags and wallets were the most popular items, with about a third of the 2,105 women questioned in the poll saying they had purchased them.
Nearly a quarter had bought a fake designer dress, and roughly 20 percent purchased knockoff jewelry or shoes.
Despite their appeal, Pearson said the quality of the fake items may not be as good, and added it is also illegal. (Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing by Sandra Maler)