An Insider’s Perspective on the Counterfeit Industry

An Insider’s Perspective on the Counterfeit Industry


[Music playing] [Valerie Salembier] A counterfeit product is simply when a manufacturer or a counterfeiter creates a copy of the bag but using the logo. [Susan Scafidi] A
counterfeit is a technical legal term for when we’ve copied identically or
substantially identically a logo or a label right. A knockoff might be
something that’s similar but not an exact copy in that same way. [Steven Kolb] Most counterfeit has a pretty dark connection you know. You’re talking
you’re talking drug trade. You’re talking organized crime, child labor. You’re
talking about people who have no respect for humanity whatsoever. [Valerie Salembier] When you are
buying a fake you are funding child labor, drugs, drug cartels, and terrorism. [Susan Scafidi] It can seem like buying a counterfeit bag is just something to do on Canal Street
when you’re visiting New York however it it there are actually a lot of
repercussions to buying that counterfeit bag.
The first are economic, the taxes that you would otherwise pay and that
the companies selling you the bag what would otherwise have paid Joe so there are financial issues. There are questions on how and where that bag was made. Was there child labor involved? If you’re putting
we know from the disasters in Bangladesh that even very legitimate companies have
problems monitoring their supply chains if you’re putting somebody else’s name
on the bag if you’re not even putting your own name on an item and standing behind it how much less likely are you to pay attention to the conditions of the
workers? [Alexandra Steigard] I think there’s the the assumption that the products are they’re
just you know it’s more frivolous but in reality a lot of the counterfeiting can
fund other activities. [Valerie Salembier]
Global investigators work on these issues and
they do it quietly. They do it for the brand’s. They’re will paid. It’s around the
globe certainly in China but as I said earlier if there’s a raid
if there are raids on six factories in China they open up a week later and in
perhaps a different location. While there’s a lot being done unless
consumers understand what they are funding this is going to continue and
the demand will continue. [Alexandra Steigard] The problem is a lot of these counterfeiters can start
new websites. They can easily register a new domain. [Valerie Salembier] Consumers need to be much more proactive when buying anything online. Click on the icons on the
website to make sure that you can get to a person. Things like capitalization of
words. If a word is not capitalized that should be it’s a counterfeit
website. If the language is somewhat awkward and it doesn’t quite sound like
an english-speaking person wrote that copy that is a red flag. Do not buy there. [Alexandra Steigard] When they are prosecuted it’s difficult to find them. There’s not it’s not like
there’s someone sitting in a dark basement somewhere selling counterfeit.
These people are all over the place and to be able to find them and prosecute
them it’s very difficult for the courts. The NYPD has a very important trademark
infringement bureau and I work closely with several of their police executives
on these issues and they have done a phenomenal job in taking down
manufacturing sites in the five boroughs of Manhattan and over the past probably
two and a half years they have closed 18 manufacturing sites. [Alexandra Steigard] The movement to
prosecute third parties is something that really started to develop because
those are the people that the courts can hold accountable. A lot of those
companies are registered in the U.S. [Valerie Salembier] In France if you purchase a counterfeit you can go to jail and you will be fined up to 300,000 Euros. [Steven Kolb] There is protection in Europe. We’re the only country that doesn’t have that
protection. Okay fine but with counterfeiting it’s not only illegal to
sell it it’s illegal to own it. So if you’re walking in the streets of Paris
and you’re carrying a fake Bhutan bag you’re breaking the law. [Valerie Salembier] Harper’s Bazaar covered counterfeiting and the counterfeit industry for eight
years. The coverage was really to open consumers and readers eyes. Everyone said the same thing maybe using different words but it was as simple as this
I had no idea. The tragedy in my eyes is that the major brands spend millions of
dollars every year on anti counterfeiting global investigators. They
spend it on intellectual property law firms and retainers and so on. They do
not spend five cents on consumer education. [Steven Kolb] It was actually Diane von Furstenberg who came up with the tag you can’t fake that shit and what’s so
brilliant about that is when you carry a bag you can’t take it you know you can
see a real bag versus the different bags. So in this instance you know it’s right
there print it out for you spelled out for you. We enlisted the memberships you
each take one ad personalize it customize it make it unique to
themselves to their brand and it was a great way to just celebrate originality
and also to create laws and awareness. [Susan Scafidi] But when you’re looking at the real item and at counterfeits and knockoffs. One of your questions is of course how do I
tell the difference. Well your first item of business is to do your homework and
take a good look at the original if you can. Another thing to do is to make sure
you observe not only with your eyes but with your fingertips because most fakes
are designed not to fool your fingers but or your other senses but to fool
your eyes. So leather actually feels dry if you run your fingers down it whereas
pleather in the case of this knockoff or this counterfeit actually it’s going to
feel a little bit slippery or oily. We do have double C’s on both of the bags but
one set of double C’s is crooked. We have quilting in both cases but the
quilting is less perfect. With the structure of the bag itself the original
has a solid structure that will hold its shape the knockoff is kind of collapsing
even though it’s actually never been used. I suspect that this
knockoff was made from a photograph of the original not from having seen the
original or even from seeing a three-dimensional copy because the
inside is the wrong color and the back is not a copy right. The back does not
have the same pocket if you start to look more closely at the counterfeit
you’ll see things like loose stitching right you won’t see that on a Chanel
original. You may remember the Goyard bags that are available in among other places
Bergdorf’s customizable popular a number of years ago. The classic totes often
come with a little change purse attached and of course the Goyard tags. Even got
the price tag on this one so this bag is going to retail for over $1000. This is
our good one. This is our original so we’ve got the good. We’ve got the bad
which I’ll show you in a moment and we’ve got the ugly right. Here they
couldn’t even get the name right. It’s not we’ve got Gooyard instead of Goyard.
Here too though is a case where you have to start looking at the details
to know the difference. On this correctly spelled counterfeit if we look at the
details we do have the names correctly. We have the same stitching
although the materials aren’t of the same quality. We can take a look at the
canvas the coated canvas and look at the inside and see that we’ve got a much
finer canvas on the original then we do on the copy. It’s like we even have a
little bit of a dye having rubbed off on the inside on this one. But we still have
a little change purse although in this case the change purse on
the snap does not have the logo. Our poor little Gooyard example is just a
disaster overall. It’s close right. It’s close in
dimensions but not quite the same in dimensions as the other as the better
counterfeit was. It does have a change purse again without the logo but even
the logo as incorporated into the printed pattern is in fact misspelled.
You will notice that the the reds are different. The red of the original is
dark and rich. The reds on the counterfeits are lighter. When the
counterfeits were originally purchased a couple of years ago they were closer to
the original red so they haven’t lasted as well. They haven’t oxidized as well
even though they’ve been kept in the dark which is which is also interesting.
Then again if you didn’t have them side by side you wouldn’t necessarily know
the difference. So this fake can be especially hard to spot. [Valerie Salembier] This is the
Louis Vuitton speedy. The world-famous speedy bag. This is the real speedy bag and let me show you the difference. First of all the
speedy is made with one piece of coated canvas. That means that it’s rough. The
logo is right side up in the front and then as it goes around the other side
has to be upside down. So here’s the fake. One side right side
with the LV logo and you come around. My goodness it’s the same. That’s the automatic understanding that I am holding a fake.
The speedy never has feet or seams because then it wouldn’t be one piece of
coated canvas. Inside what you see is the real speedy does not have a zipper
compartment and the inside fabric is the same. It’s coated canvas. If you take a
look inside this fake what you’ll see is a zipper compartment. Would never find
that in a speedy and the interior is made of a faux leather. You can always
tell a real speedy by the stitching especially here. There are one two three
four five. There are five stitches. There will always be five stitches on a speedy.
On the fake and again this is what we call a super fake. This is a pretty good
one there are five stitches but look how they’re made. It’s a mess. This would
never pass quality control at an LV factory. Never never never. They would
throw it away and destroy it. So the the final thing which is always a shot. See
the ink here. It’s just not there’s a spot here that has actually leaked
whoever did the filling on this did not do a very good job. There’s a bit of a
sloppiness there. Take a look at the real ink. It’s perfect just like a real speedy
should be. [Susan Scafidi] Another example of a popular bag from a few years ago was the
collaboration that Marc Jacobs did with Takashi Murakami. If you open the bag and this one is the real one and look inside and ask yourself where it
was made to look for the made in label. What it reads is Louis Vuitton Paris made in Spain and then you open this one which happens to be a counterfeit and it says
Louis Vuitton Paris made in France. Well of course Louis Vuitton is a French
company and so you might immediately assume that this was in fact that this
was the original and this was the counterfeit. You’d have it backwards
because this particular line was manufactured in Spain. Some people are
fooled by things like this counterfeit having a label on it. A label
that actually has the Vuitton logo and says Vuitton and is even stamped
with a number. If you were to buy this bag or this brochette in a store
it wouldn’t have this label. If you look closely at the counterfeits
you’ll see that the quality of the of the pink over the brown is not quite
as opaque so you see some of the brown coming through and on this counterfeit
you’ll see even things like the fact that the counterfeiter had never learned
how to color within the lines. So we see that the pink coming outside
the edge of the flower the rim of the flower in a way that it
shouldn’t. In order to get all of these counterfeits through customs
counterfeiters have engaged in a range of strategies including mislabeling
shipments, ramen noodles for example or creating fabric covers for handbags that
can be then easily ripped off later or in this example which takes us back to
the cow bomb bags. We have our Chanel C’s and we have a design that echoes
a lot of the elements of the Kanban bag our quilting our corner our metal rivets
through which the pleather in this case straps are threaded but instead of
the classic Chanel logo we have something that looks a little more like
pac-man. But if you come a little closer you realize that the double C portion is
stitched down but this little bit in the middle is left loose. So you can bring it
through customs. It doesn’t quite look like Chanel and so in theory a customs
agent might miss it and then you could snip it off later and have your double
C’s. Christian Louboutins red soles are instantly recognizable everywhere in the
world and they’re also trademarked in many
jurisdictions including the United States and he always uses the same
shade of red. Yves Saint Laurent decided to do a shoe that was monochromatic
and they did a number of monochromatic shoes that season. So Louboutin decided
to sue Yves Saint Laurent the company then known as Yves Saint Laurent now just Saint Laurent for making this shoe and a number of others like it. Like the
classic tribute right so this shoe is actually a difficult call. It’s a generic
shape. The red the shade of red is slightly different but not very
different if you weren’t seeing them next to one another. So there might be
some confusion. This would boggle the mind of the consumer. You’ve got red
soles and to go along with the red uppers but you have a shape that is
classic Yves Saint Laurent and the tribute so the question of whether or not these could
be used on this shoe was something that the court had to decide and ultimately
as you know the court decided that Louboutin had the right to a
trademark in the United States on the red sole so long as there was contrast
between the upper and the sole but decided that in the case of
monochromatic shoes like these it was fine for any company to go with red on
red. [Music playing]

30 thoughts on “An Insider’s Perspective on the Counterfeit Industry

  1. Our latest video related to our exhibition "Faking It: Originals, Copies, and Counterfeits"  on view from December 2, 2014 to April 25, 2015

  2. Your funding child labour what a joke all the big international design brands have funded the following, Child Labour, Poor Working Conditions, Lack Of Good Health & Safety, most of the products all the big brands make are in third world countries the staff are paid peanuts and forced to work exhaustive hours sometimes changed to the machines they work on, they all denie this goes on but all know and fund it, they charge the public what can only be discibed as criminal prices for the goods which are turned out in there names, they will not slag of China, India, etc for making copies because their own brands are made in the sweat shops of these countries along with the fakes, so bullshit all of it , the big corporations spinning the usual bullshit

  3. The only thing that was correct in this video was the fact the taxman was losing out, but this is not strictly true sure the taxman who serves to protect the hand that feeds him is pissed because his not getting his share of the fake sales,the companies who produce the brands don,t lise out simply because those who buy their products anyway can afford them and would not buy fakes, fakes are for the poor who cannot afford super luxury items simple, and the bit about funding drugs organised crime I dont believe that rubbish, sure they are breaking the laws of the big corporations by faking things so technically they are criminals but theres really not that much difference between the two as the big organised crimjnals in the corporations use contract laws to protect themits a wonderful life

  4. I've seen knockoff's with similar but different names of the original, is there any law against buying and selling that?

  5. Yawn…..John Stossel – The Knockoff Economy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9nbfmnY5Y4
    …All as folks watch stuff here on YouTube rather than buying the source media…

  6. all bs the people making the bags are just making money no drugs no terrorist crap all money nike is the only one that works little kids in china america land of idiots spreading bs

  7. The question is how much really d cost of Gucci/LV/Prada wallet…u name it? we take the price of the material+ labor + transport +marketing + others. about usd 50-100? so the question is why on earth they charge so much? the additonal usd 400-500 u pay is only for d name! I am not saying that the fakers r right. the point here is that the designers make their products at reasonable price no one will buy fake onces. it's so irretating when I see a material lv bag for usd 1500!

  8. i think the demand will always be there. unless everyone that likes to be fashionable wins the lottery. Everyone would prefer to have the original it just is not possible for the majority of people.

  9. Marc Jacobs didn't do the collaboration with Takashi Murakami, as she states – see the timer point 12:13 in the video. It's Louis Vuitton.

  10. The real reason that designers (and these snotty hoytie
    toyts) are going so batsh-t crazy over fake bags is simple. Brand image
    control.  They can't have "Hilda
    Hillbilly" walking around with the same bag for $10 that some overmoneyed idiot
    paid $1000 for.  This is all about the
    people with all the money trying to control fashion and society, so they can
    keep their appearance of superiority.  It
    is elitism.
    As for child labor, a lot of designer bags are made in China
    (Coach, Michael Kors), and who do you think they are made by there?  As for any connection to other shady organizations,
    that is almost too comical to be commented on. 
    It is very doubtful that these fake bags being sold for pennies on the
    dollar would bring in enough revenue to finance anything like that.
    I cannot believe that we actually have government task forces
    set up to try to "catch" these things.  I don't want my tax money being spent for
    this.  Let our highly trained and
    professional agents go fight real crime and catch real criminals instead of some
    poor immigrant family just trying to make ends meet on canal street.  Our valuable government agents are not
    fashion police.
    These/ you people are full of SH-T!

  11. What kills me is these people always do comparisons with BS replicas, none of these points hold valid when dealing with a high quality replica that are on the streets and easily available to be purchased.

  12. Lmao child Labor please.. illegal to wear a bag but people running scott free for murder but going to jail for a purse this is hilarious… These people aren't selling drugs or robbing people they just selling purses lol. People know there buying fake bags when they got to canal.there are people that are not wealthy working regular 9 to 5s that want nice things that cant afford a 6 thousand dollar bag. Or some peole can afford it but just dont want to spend the money.

  13. This women spent 5 minutes explaining the difference between counterfeits and knockoffs and can't even use the correct word, this is ridiculous.

  14. You all come off as ridiculous highbrows, totally ruining the message of this video you are all trash people and I hope you all lose your jobs.

  15. If you look extremely closely you can tell that someone saved thousands upon thousands of dollars while only sacrificing a few very minor details almost no one will ever pick up on. Buying knock offs is a much better idea, and the only ones that actually hurt are these name brands that significantly overprice for the sake of pretending that they are exclusive.

  16. This was interesting for like half, then it was just a bunch of rich white women complaining that the fakes are so good they can barley tell them apart.

    If anything this convinced me to buy some quote "super fakes".

  17. Lmao they really want their precious designer stuff to be exclusive to the elite. They’re trying too hard.
    I support counterfeit 100%. My mom was a big name in the european fashion industry in the 90s and she teached me that at the end making high-end fashion costs almost nothing. So why ask an arm and a leg for it?

  18. “You’re supporting child labour”
    This woman has no idea that the fashion industry is built on a foundation of child labour. What a joke

  19. As if these people aren't biased! Their jobs depend on the largess and obscene profits of the luxury industry. Pot calling kettle black here!

  20. Lots of people complain about the prices of originals to convince themselves that they are not thieves. If they can’t afford it they will steal it because they are brainwashed by brand names. Brand names are not important. You should make your own brand so you will be famous too and then you will get a taste of your own crime when other thieves steal your brand. I hope you understand these ‘brandheads’.

  21. i wonder when the fashion houses are going to realize, that fashion is in the same boat as the recording industry, you make a CD for sale and 5 minutes later is in U tube, complete album.

  22. Why is this video constructed in a way that assumes that people don't know they're buying fakes?

  23. High quality knockoffs and counterfeiting exists, which they won’t show in comparison of course. The expensive bags still use unethical labor, don’t try to kid me. There’s little reason to buy legit save for reputation.

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