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Counterfeit, Replica & Mirror Fashion Goods

Fashion Fraud 2006
Counterfeit, Replica & Mirror Goods

 Purchasing Trends Part 2

By Pauline Weston Thomas for


Fashion Trends 2006 Spring Summer 2006

Counterfeit, Replica & Mirror Goods Part 2


Read more about Counterfeit, Replica & Mirror Goods Purchasing Trends 1 and my buying designer bags or aftercare tips.



Counterfeits at Xiangyang Road & Canal Road

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 market. 

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. 

The 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.

With the vast Chinese market, one problem is that the Chinese themselves, are hungry for designer goods.  So hungry, that knockoff goods are just as acceptable to the majority.  Their fantasy with the western world, logos and names once forbidden to them is buoyant as they move toward a westernised lifestyle and European outlook on clothing. You are reading an original fashion article written by Pauline Weston Thomas© at ©


Louis Vuitton in China

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 them.

If you want to buy a genuine Dolce & Gabbana bag for example, go to a genuine Dolce Gabbana retail store or to a leading outlet such as Browns in Molton Street, London, or perhaps Neiman Marcus in the USA.  For authenticity, buy branded goods through official known channels who have the support of the designer houses. You are reading an original fashion article written by Pauline Weston Thomas© at ©

In the late 1990s Dolce & Gabbana acted to produce an anti imitation system. This system is described below.  Press Information below reprinted courtesy Dolce & Gabbana


Anti Imitation Strategies

Dolce & Gabbana Anti-Imitation System

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

Press Information Above Reprinted Courtesy Dolce & Gabbana


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