Real Authentication Blog | Luxury Authentication News

Real Authentication provides top tier Authentication, Identification and Valuation services for over 100 Designer Luxury Brands: Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermes, Prada, Gucci, Fendi and more. Contact us today to shop and sell with the confidence and protection you deserve!

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Q&A: Founders of Real Authentication by Italist

Q: Tell us a bit about your backgrounds. What prompted you to launch Real Authentication?

A: Real Authentication was founded in 2016 in the USA by Anastacia Bouzeneris and Jenna Padilla, who met while working together as lead authenticators at a reputable designer resale company. Realizing there was a need in the industry for a quick, easy, and reliable way to authenticate luxury goods, Bouzeneris and Padilla came together to offer global verification services for anyone that questions the authenticity of their luxury merchandise.

We are completely enamoured with luxury and designer fashion. We have a deep appreciation of the craftsmanship and heritage behind the brands we service which motivates us to uphold the mantra Real is Better.

Our team is determined to find justice for our clients and offer a reliable, non-biased source of regulation to the secondary market.

Q: What services does Real Authentication offer?

A: Real Authentication offers virtual expert designer authentication services. We service all designer categories including: handbags, watches, eyewear, clothing, jewelry, shoes, scarves, hats, and homegoods (pillows, glassware, and blankets).

We also offer documentation including Certificates of Authenticity and official Written Statements that serve as the expert opinion needed to regain funds from selling platforms, PayPal, and credit card companies if a counterfeit item is accidentally purchased.

Real Authentication also offers identifications and fair market valuations to give clients an idea of what their item is worth.

Q: The luxury resale market has exploded in the last few years—players like The RealReal have even IPO-ed! How has that impacted your work and the day-to-day as authenticators?

A: Yes, as the market has expanded very rapidly over the last few years, we have been scaling right along with it. From day one, we have prioritized technology and streamlining our processes. Our custom platform allows us to quickly and accurately offer the highest level of expertise to anyone and everyone in the secondary market on a global scale.

We have collected some of the top experts in the industry and cultivated a collaborative environment for continued learning which we are very proud of. We document and track everything to help provide a consistent level of service to all of our clients both large and small. 

Q: Out of all the authentications you do in a week (or a month), how many do you find to be inauthentic? (What’s the proportion of real items vs. fakes you see on a regular basis?)

A: The majority of the orders we receive are indeed authentic, but the split is not too wide. It also fluctuates over time but roughly 10-20% of orders are counterfeit.

real vs fake balenciaga bag comparisons
Real vs. fake Balenciaga Classic City bag comparisons. Credit: Real Authentication

Q: What are the 3 easiest tell-tale signs of an inauthentic designer handbag? Are certain types of items harder than others to analyze?

A: There are certainly different grades of counterfeit items. We typically see trending items counterfeited at higher levels since they will be vastly searched for in the marketplace.

The easiest way to identify counterfeit products is the overall material quality, serial number inconsistencies, and hardware.

Q: Which are the hardest brands to authenticate? What makes them challenging?

A: Hermès and Chanel are the most complex brands to authenticate. You really have to know exactly what you are looking for since the counterfeiters are pumping out such high quality.

Q: I feel like fakes have gotten much much better over the last few years. How much “continuing education” do you have to do in order to stay sharp in your authentication work?

A: They absolutely have. We are continuing our education, tracking data, documenting trends and improving our internal processes daily. It really requires all of the above to stay on top of things. 

Real vs. fake Gucci Marmont bag comparisons real authentication
Real vs. fake Gucci Marmont bag comparisons. Credit: Real Authentication

Q: Do you look at different things when authenticating a vintage/resale piece vs. a brand new or very contemporary item?

A: Brands are always changing up their manufacturing so yes, vintage components will be vastly different from more contemporary ones. With this, it’s crucial to document and even have timelines for manufacturing changes memorized.

Our database is quite extensive so timelines and comparison references are something that we have a deep understanding of.

Q: Tell us about your process and SmartDatabase Scan technology.

A: We analyze every aspect of an item that is submitted, from general product information all the way down to the denier of a stitch. Each order is reviewed by two or more of our highly-trained authentication experts and run through our proprietary Smart Database Scan™ technology. Smart Database Scan™ cross checks numerous data points within our system and identifies any red flags that may be identified.

Dior Cannage bag real vs. fake comparisons
Dior Cannage bag real vs. fake comparisons. Credit: Real Authentication

Q: Which sites (or types of sites) do people generally have to be wary of, and which sites (or types of sites) are “safe?”

A: Sites that are actively monitoring or regulating their listings for counterfeit items are always going to be safer and more reliable for shoppers. The bipartisan SHOP SAFE Act was introduced in early 2020 and if passed, will hold internet platforms liable under trademark law for third-party sites selling counterfeit goods sold on the platform.

They will be required to put forth reasonable efforts to combat counterfeit activity on their sites. It’s important to know that not all platforms are operating this way yet, but those who do typically provide information around their efforts within their FAQ or elsewhere on their site. 

Q: Have you ever had a case of an inauthentic item that you evaluated actually come from the first-hand market (a reputable e-commerce site)?

A: It’s not too common but yes, return fraud is real. It’s a tricky situation to help our clients navigate, but it does happen. Return fraud is when a scammer will purchase an authentic item from a department store and then return a high quality counterfeit in its place. The counterfeit item is not likely to be detected by sales associates because they are not trained at a high enough level to detect high quality counterfeits.

We have experienced firsthand instances where sales associates take just a quick glance at the item before accepting the return. You can really never be too careful these days, and if something just feels off about the item, there’s a good chance you’ve been duped. 

Real Authentication
Credit: Real Authentication

Q: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen in your authentication work?

A: What surprises us every time is seeing designer items with a different brand’s components on them. Many people would never guess this, but brands share manufacturing facilities and sometimes things get a little mixed up.

Quality control issues are prevalent in any manufacturing process, but it always gives us a kick to see the flaw make it to the secondary market. 

Thanks again to Anastacia and Jenna for giving us a glimpse into the exciting world of luxury authentication, and discussing how the process has changed with greater volumes of buyers, sellers, and potentially dubious products.

Check them out on Instagram for more side-by-side real vs. fake comparisons!

If you enjoyed this post, you might like: The Queen of Milanese Designer Resale, Q&A with Stacie from the Luxe Hunt Blog, and Sustainable Style Icon: Tess Montgomery.

Shop italist for up to 40% off on over 200,000 up-to-the-minute luxury fashions for women, men, and kids from leading brands like Golden GooseFendiGucciMiu Miu, and many more—direct from Italy’s finest boutiques to your door.

Real Authentication founders Anastacia Bouzeneris and Jenna Padilla. Credit: Real Authentication


Friday, May 15, 2020

Vestiaire Collective raises $64.2 million for its second-hand fashion platform

Vestiaire Collective just closed another big round of funding in the middle of an economic crisis — the round closed in early April. The startup raised $64.2 million (€59 million) and the company has raised more than €209 million in total, according to Crunchbase. Vestiaire Collective operates a marketplace of pre-owned fashion items. Users can both sell and buy clothes and accessories on the platform.
There’s a huge list of investors in today’s round — Korelya Capital, Fidelity International-managed funds, Vaultier7, Cuit Invest and existing investors Eurazeo (Eurazeo Growth and Idinvest Venture funds), Bpifrance, Vitruvian Partners, Condé Nast, Luxury Tech Fund and Vestiaire Collective CEO Max Bittner are all participating.
With 9 million members across 90 countries, Vestiaire Collective has become a huge marketplace. And it makes sense that an e-commerce website focused on pre-owned items is working well. There has been a ton of backlash against fast fashion over the past few years.
People now also value circular business models as it becomes more affordable to refresh your wardrobe, especially during an economic crisis, and it is better for the environment.
As always, Vestiaire Collective will use the new influx of cash to expand to more countries. In particular, with Korelya Capital as a new backer, the company will expand to South Korea and Japan this year. While the company started in France, 80% of transactions are now cross-border transactions.
Originally, Vestiaire Collective asked you to send your items to its warehouses to check them before putting them on sale. The startup has been betting on direct shipping from the seller to the buyer in Europe and it has been working well. You can get reimbursed if there’s something wrong with what you ordered though.
Direct shipping has been available in Europe since September 2019 and it now represents over 50% of orders in the region. Up next, Vestiaire Collective will introduce direct shipping in the U.S. this summer and in Asia by the end of 2020.
oa here

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

From Stationery to Coffee Mugs: Tiffany & Co. Launches a New Homewares Collection

Tiffany & Co. won’t be ditching the diamonds anytime soon, but America’s most famous jeweler is branching out.
Tiffany & Co. stationary
Tiffany & Co.’s envelope and stationary.  Courtesy of Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany & Co. mugs Image Courtesy of Tiffany & Co.

Partially encouraged by the success of its recently launched men’s collection and a pop-up in Harrod’s, the company is delving even deeper—into homewares. From tableware to scented candles and fragrances to stationary, it’s now possible to outfit nearly every facet your home or office in Tiffany blue.
That’s because many of the products in the lineup riff on the label’s signature shade. Several of the ceramic pieces included in the offering––a bone china teapot, mugs printed with a map of Manhattan and glazed dog dishes––incorporate the iconic hue. Many of the items in the collection were first introduced in the London installment of the jeweler’s Blue Box Cafe, which allows diners to feast a la Holly Golightly. Even an etched wine glass and coordinating champagne flute in crystal are tinted with the pale blue shade.
The collection also has something for customers who want to elevate their game—literally. A beautiful travel poker set, housed in a leather case, comes stocked with porcelain poker chips. And those with access to a pool table may find themselves itching to play just a bit more with the addition of a sterling silver pool cue and triangle-and-ball set.
Travelers aren’t left out, either. Part of its collaboration with luggage-maker Globe-Trotter, Tiffany now has a range of trunks that spans from a mini size all the way to a rolling “trolley,” all of which come with leather detailing. You can even use a new branded luggage tag to make sure your bags are easy to spot on the airport carousel. Should you get cold while on a long-haul flight or just need to power nap until you reach your destination, a silk sleeping mask (which comes with its own silk case) and a 100 percent cashmere blanket set are sure to make the ride more comfortable.
See more images from the range below. Head over to the Tiffany & Co. website to view even more new pieces.
Tiffany & Co. scented candles
Courtesy of Tiffany & Co.
Tiffany & Co. pen
Courtesy of Tiffany & Co.
Tiffany & Co. fragrance
Courtesy of Tiffany & Co. 


Sunday, May 10, 2020

Fashion Reseller Poshmark Fast Tracks Video Feature, Targeting Shoppers Stuck At Home

Poshmark is joining the social media juggernauts capitalizing on a captive consumer base by adding a video feature to its fashion marketplace that aims to make shopping for used clothing on your phone feel more like, well, shopping.

With stores and restaurants shuttered and millions of people stuck at home, platforms like Zoom, TikTok and Instagram are thriving, and now the San Francisco-based business, which sells used clothing, shoes and accessories, will allow its eight million sellers to post live 15-second videos or upload footage from their phones that links directly to the items they are selling.
Poshmark was founded by Manish Chandra, Tracy Sun, Gautam Golwala and Chetan Pungaliya in 2011 as a way for women to sell clothes they no longer wore. The app lets them “like” and comment on other people’s listings, which helped make Poshmark a more personal experience than shopping for secondhand stuff on eBay. It has since expanded into categories like menswear, kids and home décor, taking a 20% cut on sales. In 2019, it said it paid out $2 billion to sellers, double the previous year. It was reportedly valued at $1.25 billion after some existing investors sold shares in a secondary transaction last year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The company has been building and testing a video option for over a year and planned to roll it out in the second half of 2020 but fast-tracked the launch due to the pandemic so it could offer more of a “real-world experience” to shoppers. The new feature allows sellers to show off the ways they styled an outfit they have for sale or give the backstory on how they acquired a particular item, for instance. The content will automatically disappear after 48 hours.
The feature mimics Instagram, which lets influencers and brands tag clothing, furniture or other items in their posts and link to a website where it is available for purchase. Instagram has been doubling down on its shopping features and last year began allowing customers the ability to checkout from some retailers without leaving the app. Social shopping apps such as LikeToKnow.It also offer people the ability to shop the looks that they see on celebrities and influencers. However, none allow for the purchase of secondhand clothing, a segment that is growing 21 times faster than the overall apparel market.
“Physical retail is challenged in this environment,” says Chandra, 52, CEO. “People are looking and turning in so many ways to online.”
Chandra is hoping that video will increase engagement and sales among its 60 million registered users, who spend an average of 23 to 27 minutes per day on the Poshmark app. With purchases generally correlating to time spent on a service, Poshmark sees this as a way to forge a better connection between buyers and sellers, and help move the $175 million worth of inventory that gets uploaded to its platform every week (Poshmark doesn’t hold any inventory, leaving users to buy and sell directly from each other).
While many retailers are struggling amid prolonged store closures and a looming recession that has cut into discretionary spending, Chandra says that Poshmark’s business has been fairly steady. A wave of new sellers have turned to the platform for supplemental income after cleaning out their closets or even as a main source of income. The bigger challenge is demand. Poshmark is reliant on apparel sales, which dropped a whopping 52% on a national level in March, according to the Department of Commerce. Chandra declined to provide specifics, but says demand has picked up after lagging at first.
“We were concerned in the early days of the crisis,” says Chandra. “But it seems to have balanced out.”
oa here 

Friday, May 8, 2020

Gold Prices Soar, Pushing Jewelry Industry Into New Uncertainty

New gold futures predict the safe haven metal could reach $3,000 per ounce over the next 18 months.

Gold prices are spiking 

The fine jewelry industry was put on high alarm earlier this week when Bank of America released a new gold forecast, predicting the metal could surpass $3,000 an ounce over the next 18 months. The quickly escalating price of gold — which stood around $1,400 at the beginning of the year — is tied to global and political uncertainties, plummeting oil prices and massive cash injections from governments looking to stave off the economic impact of the pandemic. On Thursday, the safe haven metal’s price stood at more than $1,700.
Soaring unemployment and waning consumer confidence are not the only bad news the jewelry sector now faces. If gold nearly doubles in value, designers say it will change the trajectory of business and design as they currently know it. Many have set $2,000 an ounce as the benchmark for when they will need to seriously reconsider pricing and approach. The last historical high for gold was around $1,900 an ounce in 2011.

“I was hoping to wait this out and take lower margins in the meantime since everyone’s income levels are lower. Now is not the time to get too high on prices because people won’t be able to afford it. But if the gold price continues to climb, we will have to change our prices,” said Beth Bugdaycay, founder of the New York-based fine jewelry line Foundrae, which heavily relies on 18-karat gold in its designs.

Related Article:  How Covid-19 Changed the Resale Market
Related Article: Counterfeit Fashion-Manufacturers Now Making Counterfeit Masks

“As the designer and ceo of a company that manufactures and retails, the increase in the cost of gold is a small but significant factor as we navigate the impact of COVID-19,” said David Yurman, cofounder and chief executive officer of his brand. “Through creative design, ingenuity and technology, we can adapt to a changing environment and manage increased costs. As a retailer, we may shorten our margins to remain attractive and competitive. That is our plan. We have been here before and have successfully navigated challenging circumstances.”
Jean Prounis’ namesake line Prounis is based in 22-karat recycled gold — a sustainable practice growing in popularity that follows the same market value as metals that are newly mined. When her label was established in 2017, gold hovered around $1,100 an ounce. Last year it escalated to around $1,500, forcing her to reevaluate pricing and explore goldsmithing techniques that allow for volume while requiring less metal weight. “That’s when we had to evaluate and shift to adapt to this market. We are working in more hollowware and repoussé, using thinner sheets of metal,” Prounis said.
The designer, whose line is carried at Bergdorf Goodman and multiple Dover Street Market locations, thinks that the industry’s outlook on producing collections will change as a result of drastic gold price increases. “Chunkier pieces may move to more private order, it’s not something a designer will make for a collection just to have in their inventory,” Prounis said.
While fine jewelry has been pushing a more minimal aesthetic that relies on precious metals, rising costs may force some designers to incorporate heavier stones to build a sense of drama instead. The result could be a new period aesthetic for jewelry, much like pieces designed around World War Two when precious metals were not readily available and design houses like Cartier relied on semiprecious stones such as amethyst and citrine to comprise the majority of their pieces.

“I am a big lover of stones, they can make a big impact,” said Jesse Lazowski, founder of Marlo Laz. She cautioned, however, that the addition of many small stones to a design requires more settings, thus piling on labor fees. “I think we will see a move into bigger stones all around,” she said.
Diamonds, which have been steadily decreasing in value due to a decline in demand, may appear a better value than gold if the metal’s price continues to increase. “[Diamonds] will feel a lot lower than gold because they are not surging like gold is. Engagement rings should be really interesting,” said Alison Chemla, founder of Alison Lou. She, like others, is now looking into a more direct-to-consumer model to buoy margins.
Tacori’s senior vice president of marketing Michelle Chila said that “if this continues, we would be happy to design with more diamonds honestly, because diamonds have seen a price drop and something with more diamonds in the design has a high appeal anyway.”
Chemla was early to what could become a trend for diffusion lines. Her contemporary collection Loucite peddles seasonal merchandise like lucite hoop earrings and bangles that often sell out in the summer months. Chemla is looking into expanding this category while gold reaches historical highs. Prounis is also looking into a lower-priced line.
Reinstein Ross, which hired Greek designer Ileana Makri as its creative director in November, will release an 18-karat line this summer as a response to escalating gold prices. Previously the jeweler worked in a minimum of 20-karat gold. “We will not compromise on quality, so we will make a switch to more delicate pieces,” Makri said.
While Bugdaycay’s Foundrae label cannot waver from 18-karat gold, as the brand’s enamel technique requires an 18-karat minimum to adhere correctly, some other labels are considering reducing their gold purity.
“Jewelry was always based in 18 karat and so many of us have moved to 14 karat and some people have already moved to 10 karat. I’m not sure what will happen, but I’m interested to see if this will have more of the 18 karat group go to 14 karat and maybe even more people to 10 karat,” said Lazowski. “Karat changes are interesting, chunkiness and big statement pieces are a core part of what we do. I am not going to suddenly make dainty pieces of jewelry,” she added.
Mejuri’s founder Noura Sakkijha, said the company will strengthen its focus on classic styles. “People want to buy products that stand the test of time now more than ever. Everyday jewelry, rather than occasion-based jewelry, will become the thing you want to buy, especially given the increase in price. If people want to buy gold, they will go to more classic designs. Getting too trendy with solid gold pieces might not be the time. There are trendy pieces with silver and vermeil that are more fashion forward,” she said.
Small labels do not have the luxury of stocking up on gold reserves at its current price. Bigger brands or those with a huge muscle of venture capital funding have gotten to work on building their inventory of the metal.
Aurate, the direct-to-consumer jeweler founded by two former finance executives in 2017, revealed a $13 million Series A funding round last June. Cofounder Sophie Kahn said, “One of the things [our production] offers us is to produce with current gold prices and pay when it is sold. This way, we can be smart about the increase of gold prices and how they translate to our customers.”
Aurate said if gold does increase to $3,000 an ounce, that spike “is not linear” to how their jewelry will be priced at retail. Pieces, depending on gold weight and labor involved, could see between a 5 and 50 percent price escalation.
Chila said that while Tacori is mostly focused on platinum jewelry, the brand has gold reserves to last the company between six and 12 months. “We don’t have a backlog of inventory in the vault, everything is made to measure. Price increases would be a question for retailers,” she said.
Tacori is not looking to further buy into gold, as “it’s impossible for anyone to determine demand. We don’t know what we will open up to, if there is going to be a pent-up influx or steady drip. We feel very secure with what we have and are not planning to do anything drastic. If anything it’s focusing on the more fun element of what we can do to shift designs,” Chila said.
or here

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Reebok UNLOCKED is partnering with thredUP

Reebok UNLOCKED is partnering with thredUP to reduce our impact on the planet by extending the life of clothing. thredUP is the most convenient way to clean out your closet (and do good for the earth!). Order a Reebok UNLOCKED x thredUP Clean Out Kit and turn your gently used clothes into cash or shopping credit. Plus, you’ll get 150 Reebok UNLOCKED loyalty points!


Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Chanel and The RealReal Both Nab Wins in Latest Round of Ongoing Counterfeit Lawsuit

The RealReal and Chanel have each scored a few wins in the highly-watched trademark-centric lawsuit that the famous French brand waged against the resale giant for allegedly selling counterfeit goods, and using the Chanel name to “deceive consumers into falsely believing that [it] has some kind of approval from or an association or affiliation with Chanel [when it doesn’t] or that all CHANEL-branded goods sold by The RealReal (“TRR”) are authentic.” In response to the motion to dismiss that the San Francisco-based resale site filed last year, a New York federal court has agreed to toss out a number of Chanel’s claims, while enabling three to remain intact.
On Monday, Judge Vernon Broderick of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted TRR’s motion to dismiss in part, agreeing to toss out Chanel’s claims of trademark infringement, and false endorsement and unfair competition, as well as the Paris-based brand’s claims under New York State General Business Law on that basis that TRR’s “use of Chanel’s genuine trademarks is not likely to cause customer confusion, and because Chanel has not adequately alleged injury to the public at large.”
At the same time, the judge refused to dismiss Chanel’s trademark counterfeiting/infringement and false advertising claims, and similarly kept its common law unfair competition claim in play, as well because Chanel “adequately alleges that TRR marketed and sold counterfeit Chanel products, and because [TRR’s] advertising regarding the authenticity of the products it sells is literally false.”
In the recently-released opinion and order, Judge Broderick looks first to Chanel’s claims of trademark infringement, false endorsement and unfair competition, which he says Chanel “does not plausibly allege … based on [TTR’s] use of genuine Chanel trademarks” in connection with its sale of authentic Chanel products, as the Lanham Act – the federal statute that governs trademarks and unfair competition – “does not prevent one who trades a branded product from accurately describing it by its brand name, so long as the trader does not create confusion by implying an affiliation with the owner of the product.”
Here, Judge Broderick asserts that Chanel fails to successfully make its claims because it is “highly unlikely that a customer buying a secondhand Chanel product from [TRR]—which unambiguously holds itself out as consignment retailer in a luxury market— would confuse the nature of [TRR’s] business, the source of its products, or its affiliation—or lack thereof—with Chanel.”
To be exact, the judge points to the following factors as examples of why consumers are not likely to be confused about the source of the goods in question or be misled into believing there is an affiliation between TRR and Chanel given TRR’s use of Chanel’s trademarks: 1) “Chanel’s trademarks are incredibly well-known, recognizable, and prevalent in the luxury fashion market;” 2) “As Chanel makes clear in [its complaint], [it] does not sell secondhand or vintage Chanel goods, and in that sense, [TRR] does not directly compete with Chanel;” 3) “Chanel has identified no evidence of actual customer confusion, or that [TRR] has adopted the genuine Chanel trademarks in bad faith;” and 4) “the luxury fashion market is a relatively sophisticated market that … commands top-dollar prices.”
The judge similarly states that “Chanel has not plausibly alleged facts suggesting that [TRR] ‘stepped over the line into a likelihood of confusion by using [Chanel’s] mark[s] too prominently or too often, in terms of size, emphasis, or repetition,” and thereby, diminishing the merits of a nominative fair use defense. “Chanel has identified no facts suggesting that The RealReal displays Chanel-branded goods ‘more prominently than other luxury-brand goods,’” Broderick asserts, and “has offered no non-conclusory allegations to suggest that [TRR] inaccurately depicts its relationship with Chanel or Chanel’s products and services.”
This is particularly true, according to the court, given the disclosure on TRR’s website that “[b]rands identified on [its website] are not involved in the authentication of the products being sold, and none of the brands sold assumes any responsibility for any products purchased from or through the website,” and that “[b]rands sold on the [website] are not partnered or affiliated with [TRR] in any manner.”
With those claims out of the way, Judge Broderick states that Chanel does, in fact, “plead sufficient facts to plausibly allege a cause of action for trademark infringement based on [TRR’s] advertisement and sale of counterfeit Chanel products.” And while the resale site is “involved neither in the manufacture nor the affixing of [Chanel’s] trademark to [any counterfeits], its sale of the [counterfeits] [is] sufficient ‘use’ for it to be liable for the results of such infringement,” Broderick declares, due to the nature of its model.
As distinct from the Second Circuit’s finding in Tiffany Inc. v. eBay Inc., in which eBay was let off the hook for the counterfeits sold on its site, Judge Broderick says that TRR may be liable for infringement in connection with the sale of allegedly counterfeit goods because it “retains the power to reject for sale, set prices, and create marketing for goods, and unlike eBay is more than a platform for the sale of goods by vendors.”
“By adopting a business model in which [TRR] itself controls a secondary market for trademarked luxury goods, and by curating the products offered through that market and defining the terms on which customers can purchase those products, [TRR] reaps substantial benefit,” according to Judge Broderick. “As a result of this business model, [TRR] must bear the corresponding burden of the potential liability stemming from its ‘sale, offering for sale, distribution, [and] advertising of’ the goods in the market it has created.”
In terms of the alleged counterfeits sold by TRR, the court states that “Chanel has adequately averred that its own investigation revealed that [TRR] marketed and sold counterfeit Chanel products, and Chanel has also alleged that [TRR’s] own customers have complained about the receipt of counterfeit merchandise,” which is “sufficient to plausibly allege that [TRR] directly infringed Chanel’s trademark.”
Finally, as for Chanel’s false advertising claim, the court sides with the “iconic” fashion brand, determining that TRR’s “advertisements regarding the authenticity of the products it sells, considered in context, are literally false.” For instance, TRR’s statement that it “ensures that every item on [its site] is 100% the real thing” is an “unambiguous representation of fact,” per Broderick, which stands in contrast with “Chanel’s allegations that certain products advertised and sold by [TRR] are counterfeit.” As such, this “suffices to establish a plausible allegation of literal false advertising based on [TRR’s] representation that all the products it offers have been authenticated and are 100% the real thing,” thereby, enabling Chanel’s claim to move ahead along with Chanel’s unfair competition and counterfeiting/trademark infringement claims.
Chanel made headlines when it first filed suit against The RealReal in November 2018, accusing the popular resale site of “selling counterfeit CHANEL handbags,” despite its claims that it “ensure[s] that every item on[its site] is 100% the real thing.” The fashion brand went on to claim that while “there is no nor has there ever been any approval by or association or affiliation between Chanel and The RealReal …. the RealReal understands that the value of its CHANEL-branded inventory and attraction for consumers is enhanced if consumers believe that Chanel has a business relationship or affiliation with The RealReal.”
From the outset, The RealReal has vehemently denied Chanel’s claims, characterizing the brand’s suit as “nothing more than a thinly-veiled effort to stop consumers from reselling their authentic used goods, and to prevent customers from buying those goods at discounted prices.”
oa here
Blogger Template Created by pipdig