New York Times essay, “Terror’s Purse Strings,” writer Dana Thomas starts the essay informing the readers, it’s the beginning of some well known New York fashion shows; she shines the light on a darker side we never see in the fashion industry. Thomas explains throughout the essay why buying counterfeit goods like non-authentic purses is a huge ongoing problem. Her first purpose for the essay is to be informative, informing the readers the real dangers between people (counterfeiters) who sell knockoffs and international crime groups that support child labor and terrorism.
Her second purpose to this essay is to show the audience that people can be the solution by not purchasing these items, it can stop funds and support to these criminal organizations. By showing her credibility in the industry, appealing to both reason and emotion, Thomas does a great job at building her argument slowly, creating an informative and impressive essay.
To convince the readers this is a good argument, Thomas has to be persuasive to gain the trust of her readers.
She does this by predicting a good-hearted, educated, sympathetic audience and then she shares her own experiences. Thomas assumes that her audience are oblivious to the bad intentions brought by counterfeit goods. She provides some basic background information and uses language like “what most people think” (page 114) and “At least 11 percent of the world’s clothing is fake” (page 114). She also acknowledges that her readers’ are highly educated by giving references to the Victorians and Oliver Twist.
Gaining further trust of the audience, she uses what she knows and her status to gain her credibility in this essay. Thomas shows great credibility, as she is a fashion and culture journalist and author based in Paris.
She introduces well-known designer Miuccia Prada into the essay which shows her credibility to the fashion world. Further into the essay she recalls an incident she encountered with the involvement in the dangers of counterfeit actions. With this encounter she has more knowledge about counterfeit as well as in fashion, “I have seen it myself” (page 114). Thomas chooses her writing style to be in first person and uses engaging language “So it comes down to us”(page 115).
Thomas presents a well-organized essay and provides effective evidence to support her argument. She starts off the essay by providing factual information about the world of counterfeit and takes a turn to address the deeper issue. In the first paragraph, Thomas engages with the audience asking to “Understand the importance of the handbag in fashion today” (page 113). She provides information about how counterfeit handbags are created as well as being distributed and how people don’t mind having the bootleg version. “Two-thirds of British consumers are “proud to tell their family and friends” that they bought fake luxury items” (page 114). She also informs that continuously buying these fake luxury goods can have a serious negative impact. “The counterfeit racks are run by crime syndicates that also deal in narcotics, weapons, child prostitution, human-trafficking, and terrorism” (page 114).