Fakes that aren't fooling anyone

Fakes that aren't fooling anyone

How do you feel when you see a rickshaw puller sporting a Ferrari T-shirt with Puma shoes and a Lacoste belt or when you see street vendors selling ‘branded T-shirts’ for Rs 150-200 which actually would cost you at least Rs 2,000-4,000? Though one can easily make out the difference between an actual ‘Ferrari’ and a local one, these clothes have flooded the flea markets and are selling like hot cakes.

There are many stores and shops in the city which sell counterfeit clothing and accessories. They come at a very low price and are also quite affordable for people of lower income groups.

And it is quite a busy little industry! Clothes with counterfeit labels spell huge money for hundreds of illegal manufacturers and there is a complete production system in place. One can find fake bags, shoes, clothes, perfumes, etc in popular markets like Palika Bazaar, Ghaffar Market, Mohan Singh Place, Lajpat Nagar, Janpath market and Sarojini Nagar.

“These fake branded bags are a hit amongst the women. They are cheap and one can buy three-four bags in one go in different colours. One cannot even make out the difference between the fake and the original ones,” said a vendor in Sector 18 market in Noida.

In the thriving billion-rupee market, fake branded goods are often passed off as genuine products under the guise of ‘export surplus’. These are tactics to woo normal customers as it is a known fact that Indians have a voracious appetite for branded stuff. Also, they have the tags of popular brands, and it is actually difficult to tell the genu­ine from the imitation.

“Only celebs can afford to buy such high-end products. We middle-class people cannot buy Louis Vuitton or Channel bags. We will probably have to shell out our whole salary to buy one bag. And these fake branded bags are equally good. And best, you cannot spot the difference! I have been using such bags for a while now and no one has ever questioned me,” said Parkhi Gupta, a young professional.

Another Delhiite, Shubhra Sharma, is quite happy to procure her “First-copy Channel perfumes from Ghaffar Market. They smell really good and even my other friends have gone and bought them from there.”

Sonia Bajaj, owner of Fustaan, a fashion brand, said, “Selling fake branded bags is like selling fake CDs’, which is illegal. If people cannot afford to buy the originals, they should rather go for brands like Da Milano, which has really good range of bags. Buying fake brands evokes a negative opinion about a person and makes them out to be wannabes. It shows that they are trying to match up
to the high society and want to show-off. It also shows that they are insecure. One should be just original in their fashion sense and not copy others.”