You Want Chanel?

Published April 18, 2013 by WELCOME TO HEIDI


Like the little voice inside my head – it was piercing and consistent. “You want Chanel? Louis? Hermes?”  Granted – none of these names were being pronounced correctly but there was no denying the small Asian woman was still speaking my language.  At first – I just kept walking.  Why would I need a fake Chanel handbag when I already have four real ones? (I didn’t pay for any of them. They are blood bags. Different story for a different day.) But still – the word Chanel kept calling to me.  What did they look like I wonder?  And so began my dangerous and brief affair with the faux bag business on Canal Street NYC.   I swore I’d never be that person but it seems even I can succumb to FauxNel. My friend Freddy and I peeked inside that first stall. They kept the Chanel under lock and key – apparently it’s illegal to sell knock off bags – who knew?  She opened a drawer and there they were shining like rainbows and quite frankly smelling a little bit like cancer.  I guess pleather has that distinct smell.  She had every shape and size and color and Fred immediately pointed out a dayglow orange one that was to die for.  I loved it but I had to explain to Fred that if you’re going to buy a fake Chanel – at least buy one in a color that the real Chanel actually makes.  This made no sense to him. Everyone will know that your bag is a fake so why not get a cool color?  Ha! Fred.  You silly silly man. Why would anyone know my bag is fake?  I purchased a small red one and took it out that night. I got a ton of compliments on it and no one was the wiser.  The next day I decided I needed more. The faux bag business was a drug and I wanted to be high again.  Fred and I returned to the same stalls and every time I asked if they had Chanel they said – No.  What? How is this happening?  Just yesterday you had scads of them?  Did other cheap jews like me come to your stalls and buy you out?   I told Fred maybe they think I’m a cop. So I started announcing that I wasn’t. I just wanted Chanel and I wanted it now! But alas, they weren’t biting.  We went home dejected. I immediately got the CDT’s and I didn’t think there was a cure for this kind of detox.  The next day I had to catch my plane home.  I hatched a plan. If I get dressed and pack really quickly I can make it back to Canal Street and see if I can turn this shit around and pick up one more bag.  I hit the streets at nine and voila – one man was open.  “You got Chanel?” I whispered in his ear.  No, he replied. I was devastated.  Then – out of nowhere he said – “You watch Leo, I’ll be right back.”  Leo was his 7 year old son. The man darted out the door . Leo looked at me like this wasn’t his first White lady rodeo. Five minutes later the man came back with three giant garbage bags filled with faux Chanel.  Appropriate carrying cases I thought. But still, the heavens opened up. The birds sang. Leo and I danced. It was a miracle.  I bought my new gold patent Chanel for 40 bucks and then tossed in a faux Louis Vuitton belt. Fuck it. Go fake big or go home.  Back in Los Angeles now – I put my fake Chanel’s in the closet with their real counterparts.  I figure maybe if they hang out together the phonies will learn something from their very expensive friends.  It’s  Hollywood. Anything can happen.

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