Cris was an internationally acclaimed photographer, recognized for his extensive achievements in the fashion capitals of Europe. Coco, after extensive experience in tailoring and haute couture, for many years, she has also served as a stylist to the world’s top photographers and models.
CRIS&COCO has been delivering replica designer bags and luxury accessories since Jan. 2016. Our goal is to provide reliable service, superior customer experience, tremendous value, and after all, the best replicas on the market.
We like you to get to know us, here is our story: It was the fall of 2001 in New York. We just watched the Twin Towers collapsing from our rooftop, and our city came to a standstill. Every endeavor was disrupted, and our photography business came to a halt. Confined to our Lower East Side apartment, Coco got her dusting sewing machine out of the box and started to sew handbags. Cris watching her creations mounting on the Phillipe Starck sofa mentioned, why not start a business?
Nothing more natural than that, right? Coco is making the design, and Cris is taking some photos and does the marketing. Well, not so much. A lengthy rough, but a fascinating journey into the global fashion business has started.
The first stop was the street market on West Broadway. Somehow we got a license to sell our first bags in the cold dark weekends of autumn 2001. The demand was encouraging, and our brand was born.
Cris was asked to do a photoshoot for a fashion magazine. One fashion model just came back from Shanghai with a show-stopping handbag, from the local Shanghai Tang store. A baguette-shaped bag in green fake fur with a slim riveted black leather shoulder strap. Just identical to one of our very own designs. That day an age, this was a very unique style. Did we have the first encounter with the global copy trade?
Entirely possible and we were convinced somebody picked up the style in Soho and wired it to China, but of course, this is hard to prove. Moreover, we didn’t even care. “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
You can’t get very far building a designer bag business and sew the bags yourself. We looked for contractors and found them in the dying fashion district in Midtown Manhattan.
Later we moved to Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and opened a workshop. We hired artisans and were proud “Made in Manhattan” designers. Fakes and copies were rejected, and South East Asia was not on the map. We enjoyed taking only a few stops with the Seven
train to visit factories and source the material and hardware in the Fashion District.
Over time we got increasingly dissatisfied with the level of craft. The sample maker’s prices were outrageous. Workers were unreliable, unqualified, and the sourcing of materials and hardware too limited. We could see the diminishing fashion district right in front of us. What was a vibrant, relevant production hub was reduced to a few shops hidden in the numerous loft buildings of
A large American corporation we worked for suggested to try China. We threw all our bad notions of China overboard and went to Guangzhou in the fall of 2007. The third-largest Chinese city 130 km North of Hong Kong. We did in 10 days as much work as in 5 years before that in New York, we were hooked. Numerous fabric and hardware malls were larger than a block in Midtown Manhattan. A designer’s dream came true, factories, hardware, leather, fabrics were in reach of the
newly build state of the art Guangzhou subway system.
Fake watches and bags were everywhere, you passed a gate with a poster “Counterfeits are Illegal” and find a department store sized market with plenty of booths offering every model conceivable. Back then, the overall quality was inferior, and the idea of copying was to make “PARADA or CUCCY bags with an original design or the other way around, a handbag labeled Hermès with only a loosely inspired design by Hermès.
In the last years, more and more original high-quality replica handbags popped up, they are still hard to find unless you are an insider. The factories and showrooms are hiding the counterfeit production from the government. Opposite to popular belief, police raids are numerous and unpredictable. Shops and factories are shut frequently.
We were offered more and more high-quality replicas over time. Factory owners told us, their bags don’t sell the people want designer brands, so they focussed more and more on producing counterfeits.
Many factories, it is said there are a few thousand, are represented in gigantic malls in Shenzhen at the Hong Kong Border. Every brand is done in a different factory.
A few years ago, Cris was looking for a present for his sister.
Friends recommended a store in one of these infamous Shenzhen malls. He was shown an unsuspicious accessories store with little traffic in the back of the building. The store owners introduced me to Kiki. In her office, heavy product catalogs of replica handbags stacked up with every brand and style you can ask for. He picked a Louis Vuitton x Fragment and a Saint Laurent shoulder bag. We were able to select different qualities. Cris chose the best original quality, and it looked impeccable. I received my buy with an authentic dust bag, shopping box, shopping bag, and authenticity card. That was the start of CRIS&COCO.