Glory to the luxury fashion houses! It’s about time that those makers of what I call ‘fakeries’ (laughs) are definitely put into their place — either shut your shop or surrender.
Haven’t heard the news? Well, let me give you a quick lowdown.
Gucci has won court battle against the online makers of their fake version of products. The fashion house filed the lawsuit after discovering an online counterfeit operation. These online domains (about 155 of them) were registered internationally; predominately from the UK, Japan, France, Canada, United States, Cocos Islands and Italy. The Federal Court is awarding the fashion house $144.2 million in the damages according to Marie Claire and VOGUE.co.uk.
It’s become a never-ending battle between the designers and the-counterfeit-pirates of these designer fakeries. Fortunately, with the rise of online retail and legislation in copyright, it’s no wonder that the fashion world are pleased to see this massive breakthrough.
Counterfeit goods are damaging to the luxury houses. Apart from the fact that profit goes to the makers of the counterfeit ring, it deceives customers; thinking that they are getting the latest product for such a good price (which can never be as luxury designer products will be always expensive). Common victims are Gucci, Fendi. Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton, just to name a few.
It’s amazing how people can’t tell the different between a fake designer bag and a real one because I can surely notice the difference. Apart from the ‘made in china’ label inside, the designer label and location of make would be engraved in the bag. Difference in leather come into play as designer products will use real animal, hard material in comparison to soft or faux. I recall my secondary school days when people were envying and craving for the Gucci printed bomber jacket. Some folks were saying how Gucci made only 10 of those jackets, priced at £2,000 each. One guy fell into the counterfeit trap by purchasing a’ fake’ Gucci jacket that embroidered the two G’s in the incorrect position. I also remember when everyone was being a sucker for the bright multi-coloured Louis Vuitton bags. The markets were selling them in such variation and cheap prices that many preferred the ‘fakes’ than the real. It’s not their fault that they didn’t know the difference…guess they couldn’t afford the expensive one.
Nevertheless, which one do you think is worse? Is it a) knowing that you’ve purchased a fakerie that is supposed to be real or b) saving up cash in order to get the real product.
If you’re not aware, COUNTERFEITING IS PIRACY. We’ve seen the increase of forced laws on illegal downloading of entertainment media. Remember those days when it took like a year for a film to be released on DVD? Now it takes less than 6 months! Raise your hands if you remember seeing those Chinese folks selling pirate DVDs in the markets for less? With legislation on illegal downloading in enforced, online movie sites such as Netflex & Love Film require users to pay a certain fee every month because that’s the only way money will go to the film distributors, film makers, producers etc, instead of those pirates – which at times filmed the movie in the cinema. It can also be said that legal downloading is another way for companies to have control.
Now that illegal downloading is now tackled, the next target today is fashion-counterfeit-money-fakers. The UK has the highest of counterfeit goods about 4 million of counterfeit products, clothing and cosmetics. Also joining the CTT (counterfeit-trackdown-team) are Louis Vuitton and Taobao. Now according to the article on Fashion United, Taobao was once the maffia of counterfeit goods; being considered on the United States Trade list as ‘notorious’. However, the Taobao Marketplace has now signed an US Motion Picture Association and the International Anti Counterfeiting Coalition agreement and have been working with agencies and brands ever since to build their reputation.
Taking account of these breakthroughs, does it mark the beginning of the counterfeit trackdown? I think so. After that Gucci lawsuit, those counterfeit dealers’ days are numbered.