Browsing Category

Fashion Law Feature

Fashion Law, Fashion Law Feature

Knock-offs v. Counterfeits

Knock-offs and counterfeits are often used interchangeably.  This use is incorrect.
Counterfeits or knock-offs? Fake bags sold at law office storefront.
Play fashion lawyer: Are these bags counterfeits or knock-offs?
Knock-offs are inspired pieces. I italicized inspired because many people use the word as a cover for their copies that barely stop short of using the original design’s trademark name. Generally, knock-offs copy another designer’s style without trying to pass off the new item as the original. Knock-offs can be products that have a confusingly similar overall appearance to the copied products but knock-offs do not contain any identical logos or federally registered brand names.
 
Fashion knock-offs are legal in the U.S. but a counterfeit is not. In other geographic locations, namely France, there are protections for fashion, so even a knockoff is illegal in France. In the U.S., if the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act were passed, designs that are “substantially identical” to originals would be protected against for a three-year period.

Counterfeits are goods that are passed off as the originals they copy. Counterfeits are made to be confusingly similar to the authentic goods by even infringing on the genuine good’s trademarks. These products are intended to confuse consumers before, during, or after the time of sale. Counterfeits present fraud on the public. Counterfeits displace sales of the genuine goods they copy. The manufacture and sale of counterfeits is illegal. During 2011 in New York, councilwoman Margaret Chin introduced a bill that would make it illegal to purchase counterfeit goods. This bill suggests a penalty of up to $1,000 and up to one year imprisonment.
Penalties for illegal participation with counterfeits can range from paying damages to criminal sanctions.

Knockoff Tiffany & Co. enamel bracelets, not counterfeit
Play fashion lawyer: Counterfeits or knock-offs?
Trademark owners may bring civil lawsuits against people who produce or sell counterfeit or knock-off products. While it is more difficult to argue against knock-offs, if an original designer can show that the design itself serves as a trademark by signaling to consumers that the product is related to the authentic, then trade dress protection can be extended to otherwise unprotected designs.
Fashion Law, Fashion Law Feature

Is your Birkin real?

How to tell if your designer purse is real 

Third in my series of fighting fakes is how to spot a fake Birkin. I am not an expert in deciphering if a Birkin is real or not and that is why I will only get them straight from Hermès; however, I constantly spot fakes. I don’t know if these people know that they are carrying counterfeits but I would be happy if I can stop one reader from being suckered into a fake.
Authentic Hermes birkins, Hermès orange and vert veronese in a faceoff
My Birkin faceoff
Buying a fake is unfashionable and far from a harmless crime. Contributing to counterfeits may promote child labor, terrorism, unsafe work conditions, hazardous materials, drug crimes, human trafficking, and higher pricing on legitimate goods.
Authentic 35cm Hermes birkins, Hermès orange and vert veronese green
These are authentic 35cm Birkins purchased at Hermès boutiques.  

Continue Reading…

Fashion Law, Fashion Law Feature

Is your Chanel real?

How to tell if your designer purse is real

Be a fashion crime fighter by fighting fakes. Keep reading for some tips on spotting Chanel fakes.
Authentic Chanel accessories
For reference, these items are authentic, purchased directly at Chanel boutiques or Neiman Marcus.
 
Buying a fake is unfashionable and far from a harmless crime. Contributing to counterfeits may promote child labor, terrorism, unsafe work conditions, hazardous materials, drug crimes, human trafficking, and higher pricing on legitimate goods.  

How to spot a fake handbag

Chanel counterfeits commonly have:
  • Unbelievably good prices
  • Uneven seams
  • Misplaced logos
  • Crooked closures
  • Inferior materials
  • Counterfeits of vintage bags usually get the overlapping of the CC logo wrong
    • The top of the right C must overlap the top of the left and the bottom of the left must overlap the bottom of the right part of the C
  • Uneven stitching
Blue Chanel GST PurseBlue Chanel GST PurseBlue Chanel GST Purse
  Click on the images for detailed views
Blue Chanel GST Purse  Blue Chanel GST Purse Blue Chanel GST Purse

These photos are of Authentic Chanel purses

Black Lambskin GHW Chanel Flap BagBlack Lambskin GHW Chanel Flap BagBlack Lambskin GHW Chanel Flap Bag

Vintage bags may be easier for counterfeiters to fake. They may rely on your belief that the bag has weathered through time as an excuse for misaligned quilted patterns. Or blame flaking and removable brand marks on age.

Black Lambskin GHW Chanel Flap BagBlack Lambskin GHW Chanel Flap BagBlack Lambskin GHW Chanel Flap Bag
Black Lambskin GHW Chanel Flap Bag       Black Lambskin GHW Chanel Flap Bag       Black Lambskin GHW Chanel Flap Bag

 

Best ways to tell if a Chanel is real:
  • Make sure it is a style Chanel actually made
  • Logos and quilting always line up
    • Pockets on the outside of a bag do not break up the alignment of the quilted pattern on a real Chanel handbag
  • Look for authenticity card embossed with serial number 
    • Before the 1990s, these serial numbers were 7 digits on a white sticker with the Chanel logo printed in gold across the background
    • From the 1990s to the present, the serial numbers have been 8 digits on a white sticker beneath two gold Chanel CC logos
    • Check for logo holograms
  • Serial number on authenticity card should match the serial number in the handbag (usually in the pocket or lower left corner of handbag)
  • The Chanel name or logo should be on zipper pulls and hardware
    • One side of a zipper pull has the CC logo and the other side has the Chanel name
  • Inside stamps are matched to the color of the handbag’s hardware
  • Flathead screws are used
  • The space between the sewn interlocking Cs should be identical to the width of one of the Cs
  • Any hangtags are white and have code for style number, name, color and bar code
    Red Caviar PHW Chanel Flap Bag    Red Caviar PHW Chanel Flap Bag    Red Caviar PHW Chanel Flap Bag    Red Caviar PHW Chanel Flap Bag
Red Caviar PHW Chanel Flap BagRed Caviar PHW Chanel Flap BagRed Caviar PHW Chanel Flap Bag
 
While the “designer” purse in Chinatown with matching wallet and belt bought for a total of $200 may seem like a great deal, I can assure you someone else negotiated a cheaper price and your “deal” has much greater consequences than a fashion crime. 

Please comment with any additional tips.


Keep in mind that not all counterfeits are created equal. Some Chanel counterfeits are actually made of leather with even patterns and some people sell real dust bags and shopping bags, etc. So you need to exercise caution when shopping and receiving a designer item. 
Fashion Law, Fashion Law Feature

Is your Louis Vuitton real?

How to tell if your designer purse is real

When it comes to shopping, there is nothing I hate more than a fake. With the holiday season upon us I figured I should do my part in fighting fakes by writing a series of posts on spotting fakes.
Authentic Louis Vuitton handbag collection
All of these are authentic and were purchased at Louis Vuitton boutiques.
Buying a fake is unfashionable and far from a harmless crime. Contributing to counterfeits may promote child labor, terrorism, unsafe work conditions, hazardous materials, drug crimes, human trafficking, and higher pricing on legitimate goods.

Authentic LV Speedy:

Authentic Louis Vuitton Speedy Monogram Handbag Genuine Louis Vuitton Monogram Speedy Purse

How to spot a fake handbag

First brand up is Louis Vuitton. As I’ve previously mentioned, Louis Vuitton polices its brand a lot; however, Louis Vuitton handbags and accessories are amongst the most counterfeited.
Louis Vuitton counterfeit items commonly have:
  • Unbelievably good prices
  • Hangtags
  • Uneven seams
  • Plastic, bubble wrap, or paper on handles
  • Tissue paper on hardware
  • Piping is painted or glazed red and not leather
  • Fraying
  • Rounded dust bag covers instead of square edges
  • Misspellings
  • Unfinished interior
  • Uneven design
  • Falsified date stamps
  • Yellow authenticity cards
  • Dark brown envelopes, usually with stickers that have LV trademarks
  •  Plastic hardware painted to look like brass or gold metal
  • Items Louis Vuitton never made (e.g., Cherry blossom print on a speedy or alma)

Louis Vuitton does not sell irregular bags. Not even as a discount. One time I was at the large Paris location and the sales associate was cashing me out when he realized the store no longer had the particular bag I wanted because the one showing in the system was the display one. The handbag had a tiny pen dot on it so the associate refused to sell it to me. I said I did not mind the mark. He said it was over-handled and the sale would represent the brand poorly and thus he could not sell it.

Best ways to tell if a Louis Vuitton is real:
  • Make sure it is a style Louis Vuitton actually made
  • Handles are made of rolled cowhide leather
  • The untreated leather oxidizes/ages well
  • Monogram is lined up and cut evenly
  • Even and clean stitching
  • Handbags are now made in France, U.S.A., Spain, Germany, and Italy
  • Educate yourself: visit an LV boutique, browse the LV website, or call an LV store
    •  Check if the style was made in the fabric you want
    • Verify if the inside for the particular style is supposed to be in suede
    • Is it supposed to have a D-ring inside? Where?
    • Where can you find the date code? What is the correct font and size of code?
    • Recognize the font LV uses
Do you have other tips to share? 
While the “designer” purse in Chinatown with matching wallet and belt bought for a total of $200 may seem like a great deal, I can assure you someone else negotiated a cheaper price and your “deal” has much greater consequences than a fashion crime.

Source: blogue.us via Fashion on Pinterest

 

Keep in mind that not all counterfeits are created equal. Some counterfeits are actually made of leather and some people sell real LV dust bags and shopping bags, etc. So you need to exercise caution when shopping and receiving a designer purchase.