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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

How Well Known Labels Are Changing the Counterfeit Stigma


 
A Guccy shirt from Gucci Resort 2018Photo: Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv
Once upon a time, counterfeit designer goods were a fashion no-go. Buying a fake piece of clothing or accessory was associated with a try-hard attitude and an empty pocket. Take, for example, Sex and the City’s “Sex and Another City” episode, in which Samantha Jones bought a knockoff Fendi bag from the trunk of a car. After showing it off to her friends, she noted, “You’d never know it wasn’t real Fendi unless you look inside at the lining.” Later on, Samantha’s dirty little $150 made-in-China secret was found out publicly at a party—a small price to pay for long-lasting embarrassment.
But times have changed. Recently, some of the most influential runway designers have created cringe-worthy, definitely-not-real clothes and accessories—a far cry from Samantha’s trunk-plucked Fendi, inspired by the more modern appeal of bootleg fashion. Alessandro Michele showed Fake Gucci T-shirts loudly emblazoned with the label’s logo for Resort 2017, a design based on counterfeits that were popular on the streets during the ’80s. The brand’s Resort 2018 collection continued with the theme of through-the-looking-glass bootleg culture: A coat with Gucci-monogrammed sleeves became the meme heard round the Internet after it drew comparisons to a similar topper by Harlem-based designer Dapper Dan, the original kingpin of DIY luxury bootlegs, who created a Louis Vuitton monogrammed coat for Olympic medalist Diane Dixon in the ’80s. There were also shirts that read Guccy—reflecting a trend at bargain bazaars, where misspelled names (deliberate or otherwise) are on every corner.

Before Gucci’s foray into faux fakes, there was, of course, Vetements, which turned the concept of fake fashion on its head and shilled “real fakes” to the mass market. In October 2016, the brand held an “official fake” garage sale outside Seoul, where off-kilter remakes of iconic pieces nodded cleverly to the proliferation of Vetements bootlegs in that city. Since Vetements, like Gucci, has become one of the most copied labels in the world, the strategy makes sense: If you can’t beat the copycats to the punch, then join them for a higher price tag. The approach seems to be working. Those Fake Gucci T-shirts have sold out both at Selfridges and Farfetch.



A Fake Gucci T-shirt from Gucci Resort 2017Photo: Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv
I recently returned from Tbilisi, Georgia, with hoards of thick plastic “Chinatown” bags printed with the double-C Chanel logo (with the house’s name written as “Ceanhl”) and other totes combining Louis Vuitton’s classic Damier monogram with Gucci monogrammed tabs. The cheap carryalls may be considered the bane of luxury—they are scathingly, shamelessly fake—but there’s also a cheeky charm that comes with proudly sporting something so obviously not real. My colleagues seemed to agree with this line of thinking: The totes were a hit at the office. “It’s a so-bad-it’s-good thing,” said Vogue’s Fashion News Director, Chioma Nnadi, the recipient of one of the bags. “There’s nothing subtle about the fakeness of it. It’s like no-shame fake.”



Fake Chanel tote bags, a fake Versace shirt, and fake Chanel bedsheets from Eastern EuropeCourtesy of Liana Satenstein / @liana_ava
On a smaller scale, there is the rise of millennial bootleg artists. Designer Ava Nirui of @avanope has built a career out of embroidering Gucci onto Champion hoodies and merging Carhartt with the Chanel name. Imran Moosvi, aka @imran_potato, uses the Louis Vuitton and Gucci monograms in almost everything—splicing them into Nike zip-up hoodies or creating natty ties from them. “For me personally, fake stuff is more fun,” he says. “There’s more freedom to do whatever you want with it. I think the stigma associated with something being bootleg or fake is starting to disappear a little bit, because at the end of the day, people just want to see a cool product.”

But does the trend have legs? “I don’t think this design culture has longevity, because people will always find a way to overdo and ruin,” Moosvi says. After all, is there really fun in spending top dollar for an item that mimics a fake $15 one? Luxury consumers so far seem not to mind; it remains to be seen whether Guccy will have the same effect. Until then, maybe it’s more real to stick with the fake deal.
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Monday, May 8, 2017

Customs seizes HK$10 million in fake products at popular Hong Kong street market in largest counterfeit haul in years

Watches, handbags and leather goods said to have sold at Ladies Market at five to 20 per cent of genuine products’ price

An investigation revealed the syndicate sold counterfeit goods at four hawker stalls in the market and used computer tablets to show clients photos of the products.
“Some clients were taken to its upstairs showroom nearby, which was packed with about 600 counterfeit products,” Fong said, adding that four nearby flats were used as warehouses.
He noted the investigation uncovered a female ringleader who went to the mainland regularly to purchase the fake products while a male mastermind was responsible for selling them locally.
After a month-long investigation, about 90 customs officers on Thursday swooped into action and raided the four hawker stalls, the secret showroom and the four warehouses.
Seven men and three women, including the two ringleaders, were rounded up in the operation. More than 10,000 fake products were seized, including watches, handbags and leather goods.
Fong said it was customs’ largest seizure of fake products in a single operation in the past three years.
“We believe the syndicate stocked up the large amount of goods to sell during the Christmas and New Year period,” he said.
On Friday afternoon, the 10 Hongkongers, aged 24 to 38, were being held for questioning. None of them had been charged.
Fong said the department would enhance its enforcement activities against counterfeiting during the holiday season.
He reminded traders that the sale of counterfeit goods was a serious crime, carrying a maximum penalty of a HK$500,000 fine and five years in jail.
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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

6 REAL REASONS FAKES ARE DANGEROUS

6 REAL REASONS FAKES ARE DANGEROUS


Counterfeit handbags, shoes, jewelry and accessories are not only illegal, they can be toxic to the economy, environment and even your health. According to CBS New York, the sale of counterfeit goods account for a detrimental $250 billion industry. Here are 6 reasons, the price simply does not justify the purchase:

1. Child LaborThe counterfeit market relies on cutting corners to maximize profits - this ideology unfortunately applies to every aspect of counterfeiting process. Counterfeiters do not abide by the standard government regulations put into place with intention to protect workers. Employees assembling counterfeit goods are often children, working for less than fair wages, in less than acceptable conditions. It is not uncommon for these underaged employees to be sent by their families to live and work in counterfeiting factories in order to help provide for their impoverished families back home. 

2. Counterfeit Goods Fund Illegal Activity
Many counterfeit operations are created as a front to launder money acquired from criminal activities. Most often, organized crime networks operate many illegal activities all at once and use the sale of counterfeit goods to either launder money or generate funds for other criminal activities like drug trade, human trafficking, sex trafficking, robbery or terrorist activities. All of these activities hurt both local and global economies as well as cause severe injury and harm to basic human rights.

3. Unsafe Working ConditionsTo make matters even worse, the factories themselves force unsafe working conditions upon their employees. Workplace safety is of no concern and many serious injuries often occur while on the job. Protective clothing such as masks and gloves are not provided to employees and therefore they work unprotected from toxic chemicals, dyes and unclean air quality clouded with dust, fumes, or even fabric particles from sewing, cutting or distressing fabrics. Exposure to these elements can cause serious longterm illness.

4. Health Risks and DiseaseOne of the most common health issues caused by poor working conditions is Silicosis, a respiratory disease that can lead to death if left untreated. Silicosis, is the result of silica dust particles entering the lungs and is most frequently acquired from sandblasting materials to achieve a 'distressed' look (thats right - the faded jeans that literally everyone wears). In 2009, over 20,000 workers suffered from this disease (due to workplace conditions) in China alone.

5. Negative Environmental ImpactLooking at the issue from an environmental standpoint, counterfeiting factories do not dispose of their waste properly or in accordance to any regulation. Surrounding communities can feel the affects by becoming unknowingly exposed to toxic chemicals in their air, soil or water sources. Again, potentially leading to longterm illness and environmental issues.

6. They Can Kill You.Counterfeit goods can be hazardous to your health. The technical construction of counterfeit goods is under par at best. Materials used to make fake handbags, shoes, clothing and accessories are often completely toxic! This is primarily concerning when counterfeiting children's apparel, though the toxins can most certainly affect adults as well. Lead paint can often be found in counterfeit goods which is highly toxic and can be deadly if ingested or if the child puts their hands in their mouth after coming into contact with the product containing lead paint. Many of the fake handbags, shoes and accessories that we have seen over the years have a pungent plastic-like or even gasoline-like odor to them. This can undoubtedly be bad for not only your health but also the environment.

Currently, trade in counterfeit goods is estimated to be a $500 billion dollar global industry. By the year 2025 it is predicted that the global economic loss due to counterfeiting could reach $2 trillion dollars annually. In 2005, customs preformed 8,000 seizures of goods valued at more than $92 million. In the United States alone, it is estimated that 750,000 jobs are lost each year due to counterfeit goods. Please follow this link for an extensive report on the severity of counterfeiting in the global marketplace.

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Real Authentication offers expert authentication services for luxury designer handbag brands like Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Burberry and many more. Our handbag authentication experts have truly studied the ins and outs of each and every brand we offer authentication services for. It may seem hard to believe, but with daily research of each designer handbag brand, we are able to confidently pass our expertise off to you through authentication, appraisal and identification services. We are always happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding your preowned designer purchases. We specialize in handbag authentication but also provide many additional services you may need as well!

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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Woman Charged with Fraud by Elaborate Scheme of Buying Real Handbags and Returning Knock-offs

Praepitcha Smatsorabudh, 40, from Arlington, Virginia, was caught in the act of purchasing high end designer handbags from reputable sellers only to return a counterfeit handbag instead. Smatsorabudh would then resell the real bags purchased on e-commerce platforms racking up more than 1 million dollars in sales; netting all those profits.

Smatsorabudh was caught by a retail associate who became aware of the scheme.  Since being caught, Smatsorabudh has been charged with fraud and could face 20 years in jail after being accused of running the scheme, which authorities say targeted Gucci, Fendi and Burberry.  Police believe Smatsorabudh, sold the high-end products on eBay and Instagram to make even more cash.

Photo of fake handbags purchased by Praepitcha Smatsorabudhonly to be returned to retail stores for 
cash back keeping the real thing.


How it all went down.  Smatsorabudh would purchase the bags - some worth $2,000 and have them delivered to her home. Then she would drive to 12 different states to hand the counterfeit bags in to customer services in-store, prosecutors say. 
Investigators discovered that Smatsorabudh bought handbags every week between late 2014 and the end of 2015.
Most of the handbags are believed to be purchased  from dealers in China and Hong Kong. 
In an email to one of the knock-off handbag suppliers in September 2014, Smatsorabudh allegedly said: 'The best fake bag I’ve ever seen! Can you send me more ... from this factory. They make bag Implacable!

https://www.shopbop.com/boutique-whats-new-db/br/v=1/2534374302052549.htm?extid=affprg_CJ_SB_US--&cvosrc=affiliate.cj.

Authorities would not disclose which department stores were targeted. 
Smatsorabudh is charged with wire fraud and faces up to 20 years in prison.

Its just goes to show you cant trust even high end retail stores anymore.  Fakes really are everywhere!  It is very important to get your high end luxury goods authenticated no matter where they're purchased.  Get your handbag Authenticated by credible experts today! Click here




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