Piracy is now such a huge problem that the China Government in an effort to be
seen as internationally reputable, is cracking down on the multibillion
dollar business of counterfeited goods in its most famous markets. In
Shanghai, Xiangyang Road market famous for its fake designer products such
as copies of Hermès handbags, has been targeted by the Chinese
government as an example and closed. The companies Burberry, Prada, Chanel,
LVMH and Gucci are all expected to receive compensation from that clothing
It does not matter if it is Silk Alley in Beijing, Counterfeit Alley/Canal
Street in Manhattan or a Sunday market or car boot sale in London or an
internet auction site, knock-off goods are everywhere. Few goods are
immune from counterfeiters and in many cases only a forensic scientist can
truly spot fake merchandise after doing complex tests.
blatant outlook of the producers and distributors of these goods is easy for
everyone to see on the internet. A quick glance at the comments posted at sites
such as iOffer or EBay soon reveal 'counterfeit' mirror
image, replica and faux bags by the hundreds.
Despite this there are still many places within China to acquire pirate
copies of goods bearing names such as Prada, Fendi, LV, Dolce & Gabbana,
Burberry, Versace, Gucci and Ralph Lauren and many more. It is
estimated that 1 in 5 Chinese women owns a fake handbag and usually that is
an LV bag.
The demand for designer goods that are genuine and actually come from the
real store has been satisfied by Louis Vuitton opening a new store in
Beijing. The store opened in late November 2005 and the Chinese capital is offering LV
ready-to-wear for the first time. The store proved so popular that
people had to queue and wait just to see a bag and crowd round the counter
with dozens of other shoppers.
With such local interest it's a certainty that this will accelerate
the luxury label throughout China. Others like Giorgio Armani have long term
plans to populate major cities with outlets.
The counterfeit problem is not only in cyberspace, but also local to you and
to me. It is not just confined to
a few major city corners of the globe, but is in your small town at a car
boot sale or one day market. The design houses and trademark owners are the losers.
With regard to bags, for every fake
bag sold the fashion design house loses a possible sale and eventually this is how designer
houses go bankrupt.
For example crackdowns by Korean authorities meant
that in 2005 in total it seized 19.2 billion value of fake products made up
mostly of designer clothing, bags and other accessories. In
early January 2006 the Korean Intellectual Property Office was prepared to
offer almost $10,000 US dollars as a reward to those reporting factories
routinely making faux items.
Similar problems exist in Brazil where counterfeit clothing and trainers
were valued at over 4.6 billion US dollars. According to Brazil-U.S.
Business Council many products that Brazilian consumers bought, especially
sneakers, were known by the consumers to be counterfeit. This type of
consumer behaviour just reinforces this grey market. To reduce piracy of
such great proportions the US government is pressurizing Brazil to clamp
down on counterfeit activities.
But it has a huge problem on its own doorstep in New York where knockoff
designer replicas or so called mirror images are also assembled in factories
outside of Manhattan. Women who can afford the real price of a genuine
bag need to feel good by possessing far more than they can use or buy them
to give as gifts hoping the recipient will think they spent a lot of cash on
Starting out from the 1997-1998 Autumn/Winter season
Dolce & Gabbana S.p.A. decided to introduce an anti-imitation system made up
of both visible and invisible elements. The aim of this system is to protect
the articles of some of the lines which are to a greater degree the object
of numerous attempts at imitations on the part of counterfeiters and, on the
part of Dolce & Gabbana S.p.A., to safeguard its clientele.
The by now consolidated system of anti-imitation
principally consists of the use of a safety hologram (in the foreground
showing an "&", together with a series of micro-texts which reproduce the
trademark): the graphic elements were ideated by Dolce & Gabbana whereas the
hologram is produced and guaranteed by the Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca
della Stato (the Italian State Printing Works and Mint).
The anti-imitation elements used by the "D&G Dolce &
Gabbana" line which make up the system consist of a certificate of
authenticity bearing the hologram, a woven label placed inside every article
with the trademark with the same hologram heat-impressed on it, a safety
seal whose braiding contains an identification thread that is reactive to
ultra-violet rays and a woven label with the Company's logo incorporating
the same identification thread.
Furthermore, Dolce & Gabbana S.p.A. has stipulated
agreements with the Customs Authorities of the most important countries
throughout the world with the intention of monitoring the articles bearing
its trademark. Dolce & Gabbana has also provided these Authorities with
anti-imitation kits which reproduce and elucidate the elements mentioned
above, divided by way of each line forming part of the anti-imitation
system, with the aim of individuating and blocking the transit of
counterfeited goods bearing our trademark by the same customs personnel. End of Press Release
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