Remember LV’s Foray Into the Sale of Fakes?

Remember LV’s Foray Into the Sale of Fakes?

As guests arrived for the opening of an exhibit celebrating the art of Takashi Murakami and his collaboration with Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton, they were greeted by an outdoor scene more common on Canal Street:  logoed merchandise piled on tables or hung on metal pegs, graffiti-covered walls, stalls closed "by court order," and persistent vendors promising "best quality" and "best price."  The difference?  Those piles of LV Multicolore bags were real.
Louis Vuitton’s Fake-Fighting Parody.

Brooklyn, New York, 2008. A row of street stalls in front of graffiti-covered iron gates. Tables full of fake merchandise: LOUIS VUITTON handbags and wallets, with their familiar “LV” monograms; brown and beige; white with multicolor fruit-like designs. You can find them for sale on Canal Street in New York, in the night markets of Hong Kong and Singapore or the covered market in Mexico City, and in many other places around the world where the urban poor go shopping. ‘LV’ articles piled up alongside the Patek Philippe watches, Chanel perfume, North Face jackets, and Adidas shoes. Copies, fakes, counterfeits, cheap, poorly made reproductions, or are they? 

This is the opening night for ‘©Murakami,’ a retrospective devoted to the work of Japanese visual artist Takashi Murakami

You are not in a night market or on the street, and you are standing inside the Brooklyn Museum, surrounded by cameras and elegantly dressed men and women. Kanye West is performing in another room in the building. This is the opening night for ‘©Murakami,’ a retrospective devoted to the work of Japanese visual artist Takashi Murakami, including his celebrated collaborations with Louis Vuitton, such as the multicolor monogram handbag you just saw. And the bags in the street stalls are the real thing, made by LOUIS VUITTON, for sale at high prices. According to spokesmen for the company, the fake street stalls selling fake fakes are intended to draw attention to the phenomenon of counterfeiting, the production of illegal copies of LOUIS VUITTON’s products.’ VUITTON handbags have been called the most copied objects in the world.’ This statement, part of the folklore of contemporary global consumer culture, seems immediately open to question. 

VUITTON’s famous “LV” monogram was developed in 1896 by Louis Vuitton’s son Georges, as a trademark that would authenticate the family firm’s products, in response to the alleged copying of Vuitton Senior’s checkered-cloth design.

Takashi  Murakami, Chiho Aoshima Brooklyn Museum & Louis Vuitton honour  Japanese artist Takashi Murakami at the Gala Ball 2008
Takashi Murakami, Chiho Aoshima Brooklyn Museum & Louis Vuitton honor Japanese artist Takashi Murakami at the Gala Ball 2008

LOUIS VUITTON, after all, is a manufacturer of luxury goods which are defined, even in this age of global branding, by their scarcity. Internet folklore has it that only 1 percent of Louis Vuitton bags are actually made by the company.’ The copies, then, would be the 99 percent made by others. The selling of such mass-produced copies, which in its current form can be dated back to the 1970s when VUITTON bags began to be made en masse in various East Asian locations is not a new thing. Vuitton’s famous “LV” monogram was developed in 1896 by Louis Vuitton’s son Georges, as a trademark that would authenticate the family firm’s products, in response to the alleged copying of Vuitton Senior’s checkered-cloth design. Although Georges designed the monogram to distinguish his company’s products, today day it is the distinctive “LV” logo that makes the bags so easy to distinguish.

The market for such copies has developed in surprising ways. Today in Taiwan, we are told that there are five grades of copy, ranging from the highest-which are handmade, almost indistinguishable from the bags made by Vuitton, and costing thousands of dollars, to the cheap plastic fakes available in night markets in cities. Some of these bags, which are sold complete with certificates of authenticity, fake receipts, and logo-stamped wrappings, have been ‘returned’ to stores that sell the real items but which did not detect the replicas. On the other hand, famous movie stars have been spotted carrying Vuitton bags, which include designs that are not actually made by the company. Furthermore, because of the difficulty in actually purchasing some of the limited-edition bags made by Vuitton and other companies such as HERMÈS, with its famous ‘Birkin’ bag, it has become fashionable to celebrate rather than hide the fact that a bag is a copy, and the vogue for certain copies has resulted in their prices exceeding those of the originals that they supposedly imitate. Online, one can find images of Vuitton bags that bear the word “FAKE” in bold letters on the side of the bags. 

The fragility of the trademark as an identifier of authenticity is illustrated by the fact that in China destruction of copies is often prohibitively expensive, and so labels from counterfeits are merely removed and the now-generic items sold in the marketplace again. Conversely, in order to circumvent the law on illegal vending of counterfeits in Counterfeit Alley in New York, fakes are often sold as ‘blanks’ in one location, with logos and other trademarks being added at a second location later. The instability of the word ‘copy’ in this situation is also illustrated by the fact that factories that produce ‘originals’ under outsourcing contracts from international businesses may also provide the same goods illegally on the ‘ghost shift’ at night, which are then sold as fakes or counterfeits. The ironies on the Vuitton side mount, too. 

So Vuitton is a mass-producer of luxury, artisanal, unique individual bags, faking the faking of its products at an art exhibition, while vigorously pursuing the prosecution of fakers through police.

LOUIS VUITTON at the Brooklyn Museum by Takashi Murakami

The “LV” monogram was designed four years after Louis Vuitton’s death. The firm remained a family business for many years but became a publicly-traded company in 1984. The family lost control of the business in 1990, after a hostile takeover bid by Bernard Arnault that resulted in the formation of the ‘French’ luxury conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH). This shift was magnified by the hiring in 1997 of New York-based fashion designer Marc Jacobs as the brand’s artistic director and the hiring of global talent such as Murakami to develop product designs for the company. Although the company still makes luxury hand-crafted goods, it currently has 390 stores around the world. Unlike many other luxury businesses, VUITTON has resisted the urge to outsource production of its goods, maintaining fifteen factories in France. Still, the company also recently opened factories in Spain and the United States and began a joint factory venture in Pondicherry in India. So Vuitton is a mass-producer of luxury, artisanal, unique individual bags, faking the faking of its products at an art exhibition, while vigorously pursuing the prosecution of the actual fakers through police action and courts of law around the world. The not-by-chance meeting of Murakami and Vuitton in an art museum in Brooklyn embodies many of the contradictions involved in thinking about copies. 

‘The concept of a copyright holds an exalted position within Murakami’s practice, rooted in the acknowledgment of his work as simultaneously interweaving deeply personal expression, high art, mass culture, and commerce.’

Takashi Murakami X Louis Vuitton Monogram Cerises Speedy 25 handbag
Takashi Murakami X Louis Vuitton Monogram Cerises Speedy 25 handbag

Murakami is one of the most famous visual artists working today, exhibiting his paintings, the pinnacle of individualistic self-expression, in art museums, the most prestigious archives of the unique and original object. In the 2008 Brooklyn show, there was a Louis Vuitton boutique where the visitor could purchase some of the handbags Murakami designed in collaboration with Vuitton. A number of the paintings in the exhibition featured Vuitton’s logo incorporated into their complex ‘Superflat’ surfaces. At the entrance to the Copyright Murakami show, visitors were greeted by the statement: ‘The concept of a copyright holds an exalted position within Murakami’s practice, rooted in the acknowledgment of his work as simultaneously interweaving deeply personal expression, high art, mass culture, and commerce.’ The title of the show references a long-standing stereotype concerning the illegal and anonymous production of copies in East Asia and playfully transforms it. Murakami himself runs a company called Kaikai Kiki, which manages artists and produces and sells merchandise. At the same time, his own work is based on an explicit appropriation of materials from a variety of sources, including traditional and contemporary Japanese culture.

Furthermore, the idea for the museum installation itself appears to have been copied from previous works, such as an installation by Fred Wilson at the 2003 Venice Biennale in which he hired a black man to stand outside the main pavilion selling fake generic designer bags. In 2007 Korean artist Zinwoo Park’s exhibition of real Louis Vuitton ‘Speedy’ bags with the label ‘FAKE’ attached to them. The everyday saga of intellectual property and its protection is here elaborated to an unusual degree. Marc Jacobs may claim that the Brooklyn Museum’s tableau was just a little amusement, but the fact that all the players involved choose to pay close attention to such an apparently trivial matter as copying should indicate the existence of a crisis. 

The apparent indifference of the general public to whether the things that they buy are ‘real’ or ‘fake,’ ‘original’, or a ‘copy,’ as evidenced by the expanding market for both originals and copies of many products. 

One of the most influential and acclaimed artists to have emerged from Asia in the late twentieth century, Takashi Murakami
One of the most influential artists to have emerged from Asia in the late twentieth century, Takashi Murakami

Such a crisis might involve: the globalization of commerce and the transport of texts, images, symbols, objects, and products across national boundaries and cultural spaces in a way that calls into question the ownership of such things. The problem of when some ‘thing’ can be called ‘art’ and the ever-expanding role of the museum in legitimating objects as being art or otherwise. Even as museums themselves are forced to function as part of a market economy, consequently, the erosion of the gap between financial and aesthetic value and the increasingly open question as to the source of the prestige of particular fabricated objects, furthermore, the inability of the law to resolve, both intellectually and practically, questions about the identities of objects, about what can be claimed as private property or not, and what the rights of various parties as to the use of things are. Last but not least, the apparent indifference of the general public to whether the things that they buy are ‘real’ or ‘fake,’ ‘original’, or a ‘copy,’ as evidenced by the expanding market for both originals and copies of many products. 

So: what exactly constitutes a ‘copy’ in this situation-or rather, what does not? Writing admiringly of the LV copies available in New York City, for example, fashion journalist Lynn Yaeger struggled to put her finger on the difference between an original LV bag and a well-made copy. The site Basicreplica.com, one of a number of Web-based companies that in 2009 offered high-end copies of Vuitton, ton, along with Dior, Marc Jacobs, and others, proclaimed: No tongue in cheek, we can honestly say that our Louis Vuitton replica bags are absolutely indistinguishable from the originals. You can take your Louis Vuitton replica handbag to a LOUIS flagship store and compare, feel the leather, test the handles, check out the lining-not even a Louis Vuitton master craftsman will be able to tell which is the original and which the Louis Vuitton replica handbag from Basicreplica.com. Louis Vuitton replica bags with the same Alcantara lining, quality cowhide hide leather given a finish that oxidizes to dark honey just the way the original Louis Vuitton handbags color as they age, authentically original imitations of the real originals!’

What does it mean to say that something is a copy of something else? How is the claim that object A is a copy of object B established?

Aside from being a fabulous rhetorical flourish, what is an ‘authentically original imitation’? Or, more specifically: What is a copy? In everyday parlance, the word ‘copy’ designates an imitation of an original, for example, a copy of a Louis Vuitton bag. But a brief survey of the kinds of objects called ‘copies’ today raises basic questions about this definition. What does it mean to say that something is a copy of something else? How is the claim that object A is a copy of object B established? What do we mean when we say that A is ‘like’ B, that it imitates it? At first, these questions strike one as banal and the answers obvious or self-evident. But when original and copy begin to overlap to the extent that they do today (and the struggle to maintain the distinction between these two things, ‘original’ and ‘copy’ is precisely what constitutes the crisis. When original and copy are produced together in the same factory, at different moments, hen a copy is self-consciously preferred to the original, we must ask again: What do we mean when we say “copy”?

This article is adapted from Marcus Boon: In Praise of Copying

Where to find the best Louis Vuitton Replicas?

Where to find the best Louis Vuitton Replicas?

Are you looking for high-quality LOUIS VUITTON replicas the very best Fake LV bags that look and feel authentic? At CRIS&COCO you are at the right place to obtain high-end fake LOUIS VUITTON bags. Please continue reading to learn more about our celebrated Louis Vuitton knock off handbags. Are you looking for high-quality LOUIS VUITTON replicas that look and feel authentic? At CRIS&COCO you are at the right place to obtain high-end fake LOUIS VUITTON bags. Please continue reading to learn more about our celebrated Louis Vuitton knock off handbags.

You want the stylish, glamorous look of luxury that LOUIS VUITTON provides. You want their unparalleled quality and durability. You want the timeless elegance and style they convey – whether you’re at work, at an exclusive cocktail party, or just picking up the kids from school.

One of the biggest conundrums in fashion is that many people who are into fashion with incredible stylistic tastes can’t afford it. Who can afford to spend that much on a purse, belt, or sneaker? Trust fund kids and fund managers, celebrities, and influencers get the stuff for free.

There’s an answer for most people, buy the best quality LOUIS VUITTON replica. However entering an alternative market comes with significant risk. Most of the replica LOUIS VUITTON bags sold online or on street corners also look fake.
When you wear one of those apparent counterfeits to a meeting or an upscale party, you won’t fit in – you’ll stick out, as a wannabe who can’t afford an authentic LV. Buying the wrong LOUIS VUITTON bags replica can damage your reputation instead of enhancing it.
What you really need an exact duplicate of VUITTON bags sold in the company’s stores for thousands of dollars. The design and materials have to be perfect, the look has to be exact and genuine, just like our bestseller LOUIS VUITTON Neverfull replica.

Here’s why our knock off LOUIS VUITTON handbags are the very best you can buy. Poor-quality faux LOUIS VUITTON often uses the wrong fonts, the embossing is blurry or crooked, their materials are obviously second-rate, there are sloppy or missed stitches. Some copies even spell the brand name incorrectly.

When you start looking at high-quality replicas, however, it gets almost impossible to tell a replica from the genuine article. That’s where CRIS&COCO outworks and outshines the competition.
For example, every luxury handbag line features design details that are specific to the brand, and LV is no exception. The crystal-clear “LV” stamped onto the zipper pull, the correct color saturation on embossed logos, the use of the right lining material to fit the handbag’s purported year of manufacture – all of the small details have to be perfect, if a replica LOUIS VUITTON is going to pass for the real thing.
Our competitors usually mishandle or ignore those details, because they don’t do the research and sourcing that CRIS&COCO is known for.

Our authentic LV handbags reverse engineered. We then use advanced 3D modeling techniques to create our prototype design. We use the same materials, reproduce the stitching, the exact placement of every logo, and hidden pocket so that we produce a 1:1 copy of the purse we sell in our store. The replica looks feels and wears precisely like the original.

How about the color of the leather as it ages? The number of stitches and their positioning on the handle tabs? The color and design of the inside lining? The font and placement of the hidden date codes inside the handbag? No detail escapes our suppliers, who are responsible for ensuring that every one of our best LOUIS VUITTON replica bags looks just like the handbag that inspired them.

How can some outfits sell fake LOUIS VUITTON bags on street corners or shady websites for $50 or $100? It’s simple: they use substandard materials and don’t care about the quality of their product.
Those poorly-made counterfeits are usually constructed from cheap, low-grade leather, or even from Polyurethane or vinyl. Their hardware is often painted steel or plastic instead of quality metal. LV uses only top-grade leather and high-quality metals to manufacture their iconic handbags – and so do we.
We carefully source high-end ethically-sourced calf leather, other fabrics like lambskin used for interior linings, and hardware, which faithfully replicate the look and feel of VUITTON bags. We match the thread and stitching used to hand-sew each bag. We even make sure our leather trim will gradually tan and change color over its lifespan, just like the real thing. We also focus on craftsmanship, because poor stitching and carelessly-mounted hardware immediately identify a handbag as a cheap LOUIS VUITTON imitation.

Each product is carefully inspected by quality control specialists.
We guarantee that you get the finest and highest-quality LOUIS VUITTON knockoff purses curated for a stylish and fresh experience. We ensure 100% customer satisfaction and are committed to transparency and accountability and strive for repeat customers.

All products are shipped worldwide with track & trace. And our commitment to your satisfaction also guarantees that your high quality knock off LOUIS VUITTON will arrive at your door in perfect condition; we’ll replace and reship it if it is lost or damaged during any step of the shipping process.
We want to earn your business when you’re buying your first LOUIS VUITTON replica or fake GUCCI product – but even more, we want to keep your business for years.

If there’s any particular model that you’re looking for, but it’s not listed in our store, please contact us to inquire.
We want to be your first and only choice for all luxury replicas – and make all luxury affordable, you can afford to buy a complete wardrobe of handbags and accessories for less than you’d spend for an LV bag at one of the company’s stores.

All of our CRIS&COCO products are priced extremely reasonably. For the high-quality design, materials, craftsmanship, and loving care that go into producing each of our high-quality LOUIS VUITTON replicas, our prices are surprisingly affordable.

A large number of our repeat customers tell us stories of praise and acknowledgment. They come back frequently to buy into more styles and different brands.

Is Resale Actually Good for the Planet?

Is Resale Actually Good for the Planet?

The companies cashing in on fashion’s fast-growing resale market are positioning themselves as a solution to the industry’s sustainability problems. But the reality is, the CHANEL fan who sells a used handbag so they can afford to buy a new one might not be reducing fashion’s footprint as much as it first appears. People are now trading these things, and it’s not preventing them from buying new stuff.

There is a tension at the heart of the narrative pitched by resale platforms. On the one hand, finding new owners for used clothes keeps them out of a landfill. It reduces their environmental footprint — an item that is worn nine extra months has a 20 to 30 percent lower carbon footprint, according to WRAP, an environmental group.

But there’s another side to resale’s environmental ledger. Critics argue that, by offering a ready market for unwanted items, re-commerce risks fuelling the current culture of binge shopping.
According to The RealReal, the majority of its consignors use their commission to shop the primary market. A recent survey by rival luxury re-commerce site Vestiaire Collective and Boston Consulting Group found around 30 percent of respondents’ primary reason for selling was to purchase new goods.

“The buyers are the ones who care about sustainability,” said Olivier Abtan, a managing director and partner at BCG, who leads the consultancy’s global luxury arm. “The sellers are different: they are typically fashionistas who buy first-hand products and get back money from resale and buy new products.”

Vestiaire Chief Executive Max Bittner said consumers aren’t “buying more because of resale, they’re buying more because they just want to consume more because. Consumers live in a world of Instagram, where they just want to buy a new outfit.”

The challenge is that while growing the market for secondhand clothes could be a powerful tool in reducing the waste and environmental impact of fashion, it is only one aspect of much broader changes required to reduce consumption, improve recycling technologies and ensure clothes are manufactured in an equitable and environmentally responsible manner, to begin with.

“Reselling, it still encourages this guilt-free ‘I can buy something new because, provided I could put it onto a resale platform, that’s OK.’ That’s not OK,” said Orsola de Castro, co-founder and creative director at nonprofit Fashion Revolution. “It cannot function as a solution on its own unless everything else before it is also in place. We need to resell clothing, but they need to be made in dignity and in a quantity that isn’t 150 billion garments a year.”

The article was adapted from businessoffashion.com .

Why Buying Super Fake Designer Bags and Luxury Accessories?

Why Buying Super Fake Designer Bags and Luxury Accessories?

One of the biggest conundrums in fashion is that many people who are into fashion with incredible stylistic tastes simply can’t afford it. Luxury goods should not be left for the rich; great style has no price tag. Fashion is a language, and we make it democratic. And as authentic quality replicas get better and better, why should fashionistas get left out of adopting objects de désir

At CRIS&COCO, we know how to fake it till we make it. Designer replicas give you the chance to elevate your look without breaking the bank. If you already bought three Louis Vuitton pieces at the flagship store in Paris, why not get the latest CRIS&COCO LV iteration like our customer Leesa? “I received the LV Dauphine last night. All I can say is, wow!” she said. “I own four real LVs, and this is simply stunning. I could not bring myself to pay $2800 for the real one. Thank you for making a quality product. I love LV, but some of their pieces are simply way too pricey.” Be like Leesa. Shop with CRIS&COCO!

Here are 11 reasons you should buy our super fake luxury accessories: 

  1. Expand your collection without hurting your wallet.
  2. Avoid resellers in the U.S. that spike prices for limited edition purchases.
  3. Pair your classic CHANEL from the flagship with a colorful replica from CRIS&COCO. It won’t compromise your look. 
  4. Enjoy the gift of giving without expecting a ROI.
  5. Customize your Kelly: spray it, paint it, tear it up. Ask the painter next door to create a unique creation with your replica. 
  6. Keep your original safe at home; wear your replica out for the night without worrying about lifters. 
  7. Imitate the rich: buy a replica. Why are they rich? Because they buy fake. 
  8. Be aspirational. Dress for success every day. 
  9. Have quality goods. Our professionals claim that our replicas are even better quality than their authentic counterparts.
  10. Pay honestly. You know that it’s a replica and that you paid a fair price. No need to worry about getting scammed ripped off or tricked into buying something inauthentic. 
  11. Never mind the snatch thieves. Globetrot with a bag in hand. A fake LV is the best travel companion. If it gets snatched in Paris, you can just laugh it off.
Never mind the snatch thieves. Globetrot with bag in hand.
“Authenticity Guaranteed”: what does it really mean?

“Authenticity Guaranteed”: what does it really mean?

There are many words for a copy. Replica bags and accessories are called many things, fakes, super fakes, knock offs, duplicates, forgery, appropriations, clones, remix.

But how do you call the bag you bought in CHANEL‘s flagship store at the Rue de Cambon or in Soho’s Spring Street? Real? Everything is real if it is tangible. Original? There is only one original bag, the prototype most likely in the vaults of CHANEL’s headquarter. Everything is engineered from that single design, and the most popular bags are worn by thousands across the world. 

After many allegations and even lawsuits of selling counterfeit goods on their store, The RealReal, a site designed to sell authentic affordably, luxury goods, continues to advertise the claim “authenticity guaranteed.” But what does this really mean for your purchase? 

We looked up the word in the dictionary to verify its meaning. Is the RealReal misleading? Let’s break it down. 

Miriam Webster’s definition of authentic is as follows:

  • Worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact, paints an authentic picture of our society
  • Conforming to an original so as to reproduce essential features, an authentic reproduction of a colonial farmhouse
  • Made or done the same way as an original: authentic Mexican fare
  • Not false or imitationREALACTUAL, an authentic cockney accent
  • True to one’s own personality, spirit or character is sincere and authentic with no pretensions
  • Of a church moderanging upward from the keynote
  • Of a cadenceprogressing from the dominant chord to the tonic— compare PLAGAL sense 2
  • ObsoleteAUTHORITATIVE

Authentic has an implication of being not false or of any imitation, but the word also refers to conforming to an original to reproduce essential features. So by definition, an identical copy has authenticity, which makes an original quality replica authentic by definition. As for the RealReal, their motto is authenticity, which for them implies selling only luxury goods and no replicas. But a replica, if we are to really follow the definition of “real,” is an authentic piece in its own right. Different, yes. But real? Definitely. 

Who buys fake designer bags and counterfeit branded luxury goods?

Who buys fake designer bags and counterfeit branded luxury goods?

One way to signal one’s status is through the products one uses. The possession of a CHANEL or HERMÈS, among others, constitutes part of the extended self. We measure our worth by the products we own and the brands we use.

There is a significant market for counterfeit products around the world. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reported that international trade in counterfeit and pirated products has increased from 250 billion USD in 2008 to 1 trillion USD in 2016. 

Chinese retail giant Alibaba’s Taobao app is home to a treasure trove of knockoffs. What is interesting is this increase in counterfeit trade comes on the back of numerous campaigns by regulators and brand owners to discourage consumers from buying fake products.

Branded goods manufacturers are always thinking of ways to thwart counterfeit goods sellers, for example, by date stamping the products with unique codes. However, such measures will not be effective against consumers who buy counterfeit products knowingly.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of counterfeit consumption – deceptive and non-deceptive. Deceptive counterfeiting happens when consumers buy counterfeit products under the impression that the product is a brand original. In such situations, regulation and measures used to differentiate the authentic products from the fakes will be helpful.

However, a broader piece of the problem comes from non-deceptive counterfeit consumption. In such situations, consumers actively search for and purchase counterfeit products.

BUYING COUNTERFEITS KNOWINGLY

Intuitively, one assumes buyers of counterfeit products come from developing countries and within each country, the lower-income group. Such intuition is driven in part by the assumption that people buy counterfeit products because they cannot afford to buy the “real” thing.

Much research has shown that this is not true, high profile businesswomen and executives are among the purchasers of counterfeit bags. After all, how many people can afford $ 3,000 for a designer bag, counterfeit, or otherwise? 

Though financial scarcity may be a driver of counterfeit consumption, it does not appear to be the most crucial reason why people buy fake products. Counterfeit use is driven by more insidious societal pressure and individuals’ mindsets. Two groups of buyers fall in this category – one group, driven by impression management concerns, and another who buys counterfeit products as they do not price in the value of intangible attributes such as product development costs.

SOCIAL INEQUALITY AND ASPIRATIONS

A discussion is going on about rising social inequality. What is the implication of this for the consumption of counterfeit products?

As long as there is a gap in social status, people in the lower echelon of society will aspire to move up in social status. Luxury brands become a tool for us to fulfill our status enhancement goals. This drives the sales of luxury brands, and to a large extent, the secondary market of counterfeit products.

HOW DO YOU PRICE INTANGIBLES?

A desire for branded goods does not automatically imply a willingness to pay for such products. One key driver of counterfeit consumption is consumers’ perceptions that the high price of the authentic product is unwarranted. Though many consumers want to be seen carrying a GUCCI or DIOR bag, not many are willing to pay its price. Many consumers do not understand or see why they should pay such a high price for an authentic branded bag.

Most consumers focus on the tangible aspect of consumption, for example, the material used to manufacture the product.

Asked undergraduate students in Singapore whether they feel guilty when they buy counterfeit products, 80 percent indicated that they do not feel guilty. Many of us do not think that counterfeiting a product is inherently wrong. This may, to some extent, be the key reason behind the normalization of counterfeit consumption. There is no stigma when one admits to buying counterfeit products. It is common, and in some cases, such buyers are seen as smart shoppers. In such an environment, it is hard to convince consumers otherwise.

CAN THE INDUSTRY STEM THE GROWTH IN COUNTERFEIT CONSUMPTION?

As long as there is a gap between the haves and have-not in the society, as long as we measure our worth by the brands we own, there will always be a demand for counterfeit consumption.

Any time there is demand, there will be suppliers who will try to cash in on the demand. Counterfeit products are here to stay.

The article was adapted from the article: Who on earth still buys branded customer goods by Sharon NG.