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We cover knock-offs and counterfeit fashion so much because it's such a vital, if not weird, part of the industry. And, I mean, this is the shit that really makes fashion fashion, ya know? So much in fact that there have even been museum exhibits dedicated to it. Now, Yahoo is breaking the news that the counterfeit fashion industry is bigger than you probably have ever imagined.

The piece speaks directly to the EU, but with most of the high-end fashion industry being concentrated in Europe, it still makes sense. Counterfeits are apparently worth approximately 10% of the all fashion-related products sold in the EU, amounting to about $28 BILLION in sales that legitimate operations are missing out on. The report says that Italy has been hit the hardest, costing the country roughly $4.9 billion per year and 50,000 jobs.

That's pretty fucking crazy. I'd love to see some more expansive data about counterfeiting operations and their effect on the U.S. They're fairly rampant here and Canal St. has even started to avoid the over oversaturated fake Louis Vuitton market, choosing to move onto other designers like Michael Kors and Tory Burch, according to WWD.

With such fluidity and astuteness in the market, you can see why it's appealing to get a knock-off item, especially when you consider the discounted price of course. Personally, I treat it sort of like free speech: You can wear whatever the fuck you want, but you have to live with the consequences of your actions when someone roasts you for being a poor, swagless bitch.

[Photo via Racked]