La version française de ce blog est ici.
The most fun I am having in China is trying to understand the origin of what I am buying when I am shopping « outside the box ».
Is it fake? a perfectly (or not so perfectly) executed copy of the real deal? Is it genuine and ‘fell off the truck »? Is it genuine but made « after hours » from the ‘real’ factory hence legally a fake but perfectly identical just much much cheaper? Is it a 1.1. fake, made with genuine materials that came from a factory that produces high-quality fakes? Is it a production sample? A reject from the production line? A copy made from a discreet « factory » secretly attached to the back of the genuine factory by an accomplice (cousin, spouse, partner)? A Korean copy? Those have a reputation of such excellence that only an expert can claim to detect the differences after careful examination. Is it « Export Trade »- goods made for foreign markets that bear a tiny defect so cannot be sold in the US or in Europe. Those end up also on the grey market. The tangles are so complicated that I have made a sport of trying to understand them.
So many layers, so many lies, so much fun!
What do I love best of all?
The TRUE FAUX. The GENUINE FAKES. The honest-to-goodness absolutely ridiculously fake crap with slapped-on logos that one can find just about everywhere one cares to look. Everywhere as long as it is typical, « real china » and worlds away from the luxury malls that crowd the streets of Modern China’s major cities. These ridiculously UN-luxurious items can be found in farmers markets, Russian markets, subway stations, on Taobao (China’s leading online e-commerce platform) some sort of Ebay that deals mostly with tiny sellers or from the factories.
I simply love them. They are imaginative, crazily creative and simply bonkers – sometimes quite ugly but so much fun.
The LV pollution masks that clip-on behind the ears, the Gucci driving wheel covers, the baby Chanel diaper covers, Disney leggings…
No one in their right mind will purchase any of them expecting to buy the ‘real deal’. They will not come with doctored Hong Kong invoices. These are not bags, or sunglasses made to look like the genuine article. This is different. They are not about status or saving face pretending to be the genuine or ‘perfect copies’ like the 10K RMB Hermès Birkin (€1 200) or the thousand dollar Roleix. These are simply more or less useful stuff with logos slapped on randomly to make them pretty; bearing no relation ever to the genuine brand nor do they pretend to.
China regularly will make a show of reducing the counterfeit industry that thrives within its many, many factories. This is not about that. Not today.
Today it is about the fun. I tracked some on Taobao, others I saw randomly in the streets and they inspired this post…. I probably have missed most of them… But O what fun!
A sea of copyright infringement in such a tiny space… MK, Chanel, Versace, Louis Vuitton…
Fashionable babies…. COCO sweater for the 8 months old fashionista, that loves sport.
These silly things are totally bonkers… So they are clips that you put instead of your seat belt to ‘fool’ your car into thinking you are safe!!! WTF right?
Who could resist this cute « Hermès » RARIS t.shirt?
Or the matching jeans?
Not quite the Louis Vuitton color theme but who’s looking?
The favorite victim of these relentless « créations » is the iconic Chanel logo, by far the most popular. Here… The doormats with prices ranging from 2,40 euros to… 15!
Chanel iconic double C is simple, easy to recognise making it the most easy to copy on just about anything, giving it an instant « fashion touch »… sort of.
Designer nails… Oh yeah baby!
For the modest price of 3 euros, these gorgeous 100% real plastic earrings can be yours too!
Designer Baby gear… For the sporty princess, 120 cms tall.
Begging to have Disney AND Chanel lawyers interested in the copyrights issues.
Chanel and pirates. irresistible.
A garbage bag in Beijing Zoo….
Before you pick up that pretty Chanel baby romper, just remember one detail: Chanel does NOT make baby clothes.
When it comes to baby clothes, actually the biggest victim is probably Burberry, but at least they make children wear and slap on their logo all over the place. Oh, and they are made in China. Céline « Guangzhou » is closer to the truth below.
Hello Kitty + Chanel + crystals = barf.
I think that these umbrellas handles will show snow if shaken…
These i.phone covers are incredibly popular right now. Actually, Bill Cunningham just did a special on them in the New York Times
(Hi John!) I have many…. I confess.
Nails, bedspreads… The list is truly endless.
Hermès Car mat.
Strawberries, stripes and Chanel and LV (and actually Gucci) all harmoniously mixed in the same bolt of cotton poplin.
The very popular Louis Vuitton car seat covers…. These 25 euros.
Yup! No one is too thin, too rich or too young to be a YSL consumer.
Prada rainbow colored umbrellas
Travel in style…
YSL plastic pearls kleenex box. There is a Dior version DIY!
Please leave me comments (if you like) I have absolutely NO idea who reads my blog. Thank you