Cancel that trip to Canal Street -- cops raid fake-goods dealers
The holiday shutdown is one of several major busts that have occurred since 2006, when the city created a special police unit devoted to stamping out New York's thriving counterfeit industry.
And make no mistake -- it is thriving. In recent years, merchants of fake have stepped up their games, expanding their repertoire to contemporary brands like True Religion and moving with lightning-fast speed to recreate the latest must-have looks.
Just check out the photo next to the news story about the bust -- see that red tote in the righthand corner? That's a terrible attempt at the Valentino Petale tote, which sits at the top of every fashionista's wishlist this year and retails at Saks for $1,995.
What to do if you had your heart set on snapping up that very knockoff this winter? Well, don't worry: legit retailers take style cues from the couture houses, too. Save yourself a trek to Chinatown and pick up this ruffled rosette bag from Spiegel -- for just $44. No haggling required.