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So, this is common in clothing because, as described above, the purchasing process guarantees the production of many illegitimate copies for every one legitimately branded item of clothing. (Also common: two brands who serve different social classes contract with the same factory to purchase the exact same clothing, then sew different labels onto the identical clothing to create a large difference in retail price.)

I have no reason to believe the supply chain for sunglasses is anything like the supply chain for clothing. But I do have reason to believe that people who think sunglasses are less valuable by virtue of not being Prada are more interested in the brand than in the functionality.

If you want Prada sunglasses because you're The Right Kind Of Person and that kind of person wears Prada, getting genuine-but-discount items isn't really better than getting "fakes". Cheaply purchasing expensive sunglasses fakes a signal that you can afford them, but the fact that you can't will still be instantly apparent to the same people you were hoping to fool.

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