The fashion industry brings us some of the worlds most desired items. New trends and styles come round before we know it and with each new season, the wish list grows. Whether it be a Vera Wang wedding dress or an Alexander McQueen toe pump shoe, lets not deny it ladies, we are always wanting. But what happens to this desire when counterfeits are readily available, accessible and affordable?
Recently, Prada’s CEO, Patricio Bertelli, stated that “fake goods aren’t totally bad, at least it created jobs at some counterfeit factories. We don’t want to be a brand that nobody wants to copy”. Italian fashion house Prada are known for luxury designs and collections which have been dressing men and women since 1913. With their range of luxury goods from suits to perfumes, Prada have established themselves as one of the leading labels on the fashion district with shops located worldwide, including fashion capitals Florence, Paris, Madrid, and New York City.
Counterfeiting has always been a burden to the fashion industry. Producing, selling and paying for fake items does not support the industry that works so hard to offer and dress us in unique and creative luxuries. Producing counterfeits of desirable and expensive brands is growing in popularity but has come at the expense of some large payout sums for some of the world’s biggest design houses and even labour exploitation in the factories whereby they are produced. So why are Prada not shunning the counterfeit industry?
Have you ever walked down the street and grown green with envy after seeing a gorgeous handbag hanging off someone’s arm? A Mulberry or a Chanel perhaps? Unfortunately, today the chances are that they are just imitations of the authentic product. One argument, and perhaps that of Prada’s, is that without knowing it was a fake, it got you interested in the product and wanting one yourself didn’t it? So in this sense, they are a form of advertisement. They get people talking about the products and raise awareness of the brand as the label is more frequently seen. So although Prada may not be dismissing the knock off trade, they are appreciating the silver line on this cloud and that is that counterfeits still promote and generate awareness of some of the superior designs and collections available today. However, true fashion needs to perform and counterfeits are not designed with durability. An authentic design will never be out desired by a mockery, just as no diet coke will ever be as good as the full fat can. After all, just as Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani stated, “the difference between style and fashion is quality”.
By Marni Banks