Lulu who? A cult brand takes on the booming culture of 'dupes'

show you how to make one out of an old tank top. If you're looking for a dupe for something on TikTok, chances are you'll find one. Whether it's leggings, a bodysuit, or something else, there's likely an alternative that's cheaper and just as good.

Lulu who? A cult brand takes on the booming culture of 'dupes'

There's a fake for everything on TikTok.

You don't want spend $98 for lululemon? These $27 alternatives are a great alternative. A smiling influencer can show you where to find similar bodysuits in their Amazon storefront if a Skims is too expensive. There are even dupes of the $45 Stanley bottle.

The hashtag #dupe, which refers to cheaper alternatives to luxury brands or household names but are not considered counterfeits as most do not fake logos, has been viewed by billions. One expensive brand has embraced the trend by offering the genuine article.

The athleisure company lululemon will be hosting a dupe exchange at the Century City Mall, Los Angeles this weekend. Lulu stated that if you bring a pair of knock-offs, they will swap them for the Align High Rise Pant 25".

Align Pants are a 2015 launch that has a certain cult following. The real Align Pants, according to lululemon fans, are buttery soft and lightweight. They are also among the most swindled products on TikTok.

Another said, holding two tank tops that had "literally" identical stitching.

It's cool to discover a fake now, rather than hiding the true origins of a knockoff. #dupe is a trend that has garnered more than 3.5 billion TikTok views. A trend has young people shouting (ironically) "DUPE!" Through store windows.

Finding knock-offs used to be a low-key way of finding affinity for a luxury brand. Jacqueline Babb, a professor of marketing at Northwestern University, said that "having the dupe" is now a way to show off.

Nikki Neuburger, Chief Brand officer at Lulu, said that the company was "hyper-aware" of dupe culture in an interview conducted by CNN Business. The company reported that the #lululemondupe hashtag has been viewed 180 million times.

She said, "We thought it was a fun way to bring back the focus on something that's a part of our culture but in a manner that puts the original at the forefront." LA was strategically chosen because it is a hub for content creators. Similar events will be held in London, Shanghai, and Seoul.

Lulu wants to make sure that customers do not hold onto their fakes. They will be sent to an textile recycling company. The website states that the purpose of the event is for customers to exchange their qualifying dupe products and try lululemon Align Pant.

Alexander Chernev, a Northwestern University marketing professor, said that while lululemon acknowledged the existence of dupes, brands cannot do much to stop them from spreading through social media.

Chernev added that it is difficult for companies, even if they have legal protection, to keep up with the copies of their designs.

Online, you can find many dupes. HeyNuts is one of the brands that has thousands of reviews praising it as a Lulu copy, but the brand doesn't have an origin store, even though the leggings were made in China and are available on Amazon.

Amazon "has no tolerance for counterfeit products," said a spokesperson. It has also taken measures to punish bad actors who try to sell them on social media.

The main source of income

Some TikTokkers turn dupes into major sources of income.

Hannah Slye, 22, has over 98,000 followers on her account. She also has about 3.7 millions likes. Her bio states that she "can't seem to stop buying stuff." Slye made up to $5,000 through her affiliate links during the Prime Early Access Sale, which lasted two days in October.

Slye loves a gold necklace that looks like a Christian Dior necklace, but no one has ever called it out as a fake. The goal is to have the designer-inspired look.

Slye explained, "I come from a small town in Pennsylvania." "So, you know, there aren't many people who wear designer clothes around here."

Does it really influence?

Some experts claim that dupe culture promotes a cycle of trends, which makes products outdated within months. One could argue that it is not worth investing in a quality piece when you can scroll mindlessly and buy the dupe for free shipping within two days.

James Roberts, Baylor University's researcher on consumer behaviour, said that impulse buying is a way of spending time. This is exacerbated by the constant availability of cheaper products.

Roberts explained that "they send you products which are consistent with the algorithms. They have a lot of products you need at lower prices."

Babb pointed out that some legacy brands are immune to this. Patagonia, for example, and Nike, are two examples of brands with a lot meaning. Babb says that Gen Z is more aware of brands such as these than they would like to admit.

"Patagonia will fix your jacket if it tears. They want you to wear it until it breaks. Babb stated that this is more appealing to Gen Z.

There is a great deal of loyalty towards legacy brands. Although lululemon is leading the pack in terms of dupe hashtags, its Align line, which began in 2015, remains the top seller.

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