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Villa Milagro's Code of Ethics

Our code of ethics is simple: We do not sell fakes. Period. Not "inspired by", not "faux", not "in the spirit of". No, nay, never.

Many hours go in to researching just about every article on Villa Milagro (on top of restoring pieces to their former glory); catalogs are consulted, company histories, makers' marks, production years, defining clues to authenticity, on top of years of experience in fine jewelry, leather, art history, modern antiques, and quality assurance.

Having said that, now I will try to explain my stance on fakes and misrepresentation. Know that this is just my opinion, and you know what they say about opinions..

Counterfeit items are illegal. First and foremost. Past that, since really, ICE and Homeland Security aren't gonna come knock down your door for sitting on a fake Eames chair of carrying a Frada, let's be real, is the materials and the processes that have been used to make said item. They are usually inferior to the original as a start, even on a "good fake". So yeah, you just bought a fake Eames Lounge online for $800; it will be broken in 2 years. Also, the pitch was wrong, the leather looked like crap quickly, and it wobbled a little before it finally broke. At that point you can either buy a new fake one for another $800, don't bother buying another one, or pony up the $6000 for a real one that will live 3 generations. Either way, you just threw out that original $800.

Next on my list of issues with fakes is that they are usually made overseas by underpaid workers in less than safe or humane environments. Toxic substances and very little worker health and safety equipment is very much the norm, so there is the human factor.

Third-last, but certainly not least- is the dilution of the designers' original intellectual property and the work that went in to creating the piece. I have had a design ripped off. It doesn't feel good; literally (they used cheap, cheap materials) or mentally, and I can't be OK with that.

I want an Hermes Birkin Bag so bad; Hermes' rich history is so intoxicating to me. It will be a very long time (if ever) until I get one, and I'm OK with that. A few years ago I was sitting at the bar in a nice restaurant in Palm Beach when I noticed that the woman sitting next to me had a beautiful 30cm black Birkin. She was a friend of a friend, so I felt comfortable asking her if I could touch and admire it.. it was gorgeous. Thick leather, beautiful stitching, date stamp, the whole thing. She leans over and whispers to me that it's fake. It took everything in me to not recoil; but I was legitimately interested in hearing more about the bag. She told me she's hooked a couple of our mutual friends up, and could get me one for just under a thousand dollars. I told her I would think about it because I didn't want to be rude. To be honest, that put me off wanting a Birkin for a while because I started thinking, I wonder how many of these ladies who lunch are walking around with their (knowingly) fake bags?? Why? Status? Keeping up with the Jonses? I don't want to dig in to the psychology of it because I'm not a psychologist, but I know that it really made me dig my heels in to learning all that I can to be sure that anything my business sells (and that I own) is the real deal.

I am always open to being corrected. The vintage community as a rule are some of the nicest people out there, and every one has their area of expertise. I have been fortunate to have two people I don't know email me and say hey, that isn't Blenko, it's Viking or something like that. That's really fantastic! I am always grateful when people do that, because I think in our hearts we all know that we're not out to con people, that mistakes happen. Now when you intentionally set out to defraud someone by trying to pass something new off as vintage, well that's just scummy. Shame, shame, shame. It's out there, it's happening, and it needs to stop. This industry of selling online is relatively new, and I think it's paramount that we build trust with the buying public in order to go the long haul.

So, yeah. Sorry for the use of so many words, but I felt like I should put it out there since you really don't know Villa Milagro from Adam and I wanted everyone to shop with the knowledge that an informed client is a happy client :)



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