Stitched up – labels hit back at replica trade - News - Fashion - The Independent

Stitched up – labels hit back at replica trade

Designers want action taken against market in fake goods

They are emblazoned with top fashion labels such as Burberry, Mulberry, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, but can be bought for a fraction of the normal cost at car boot sales, in markets and on websites offering "designer replicas". Now, as France and Italy step up their fight against the multimillion-pound industry in counterfeit designer fashions, there are calls for the UK to follow suit and clamp down on the trade in fakes.

John Whittingdale, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Intellectual Property Group, said: "It should be given higher priority: it does real damage to our luxury British brands. There is a case for increasing penalties for knowingly selling fake goods, and for making it easier to obtain convictions. There is a need for the Government, and the trading standards authority, to take it more seriously, not least because those responsible are often linked to organised crime."

Susie Winters, director-general of the Alliance Against IP Theft, said: "Greater priority should be given to counterfeiting and intellectual property crime, from government and the police. There is a clear link between counterfeit goods and organised crime, with the profits from these illegal goods used to fund serious criminal activity. It is not victimless crime, and we need to work with trading standards and the police to clamp down on the counterfeit trade."

Neither Ms Winters nor Mr Whittingdale thinks we should follow in France's footsteps by making it a criminal offence to buy counterfeit goods, but both believe a lot more can be done to tackle the counterfeit fashion trade.

Last week, the French luxury goods group Comité Colbert unveiled its new advertising campaign against counterfeits, with slogans including: "Buy a fake Cartier, get a genuine criminal record." Visuals for the campaign were created by luxury brands including Christian Dior, Lacoste, Louis Vuitton and Longchamp.

And in Italy, the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana sponsored a convention to clamp down on the spread of counterfeit goods. The association advocated closer collaboration between the fashion industry and police and customs officers.

A spokesman for Burberry, which was awarded a £65m payout in a counterfeiting case in the US, said: "Counterfeit goods are a major industry issue, impacting brands and customers alike. Burberry vigorously protects its intellectual property rights. While we have seen significant success to date, we will continue to take action against, and press for the maximum penalties to be imposed on, those engaged in this criminal activity."

Guy Salter, deputy chairman of Walpole, which represents British luxury industries, said the group is continually working to pursue counterfeiters through the courts. "We cannot relax our vigilance for a moment."

But some are more relaxed about the issue. David Wall, professor of criminology at Durham University, said a distinction should be made between people selling "real genuine fakes", where no one is under the impression that they are buying an authentic luxury product, and those who sell highly deceptive products, which truly rip people off.

And the chief executive of Prada, Patrizio Bertelli, said recently: "Fake goods aren't totally bad; at least [the trade in them] created jobs at some counterfeit factories. We don't want to be a brand that nobody wants to copy."

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Life and Style
tech... and together they're worth at least £100 million
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig is believed to be donning skies as 007 for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
Life and Style
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
tech(but you can't escape: Bono is always on your iPhone)
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Programme Test Manager

    £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...

    Secondary supply teachers needed in Peterborough

    £21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Secondary supply teac...

    Modern Foreign Languages Teacher

    £100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Full time German Supply Teacher...

    Project Manager with some Agile experience

    £45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsf...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week