Date
20 November 2017
Wait. Is this the real thing? Consumers often cannot tell a fake from the original. Some intentionally go for the knockoff. Photo: Louis Vuitton
Wait. Is this the real thing? Consumers often cannot tell a fake from the original. Some intentionally go for the knockoff. Photo: Louis Vuitton

Counterfeit craftsmanship

There’s a certain finesse to fakery and such craftsmanship is so valued in China people are willing to pay for the perfect fake.

They don’t pay as much for it as they do for the genuine article (they’re only a fifth of the price of the real thing), of course, but that’s not stopping them from driving demand for knockoffs in the mainland, according to 21st Century Business Herald. 

That kind of news naturally inspires comparisons, and sometimes, they’re not always disparaging for the copycats.

“I bought a fake Gucci wallet. I have been using it for two years and it is still very nice. But I also bought an authentic one. The stitching started to come out on that one in less than six months,” a veteran leather trader told the newspaper.

Guangdong province is the hub of fake luxury products in China. Years of counterfeiting have produced a crop of highly skilled craftsmen.

An Italian leatherwear artisan can produce maybe two bags in a week and the pricey item reflects his full dedication and care.

By comparison, a Guangdong master would have a much bigger workload, but practice makes perfect.

And plenty of competition makes perfect fakery a distinguishing mark. “We have to upgrade in order to get better margins,” a factory owner said. Rivalry is driving quality.

In Italy or France, one person is responsible for all the steps in making a bag. In Guangdong, the work is divided into different production lines, according to the business owner.

“If you specialize, in say, stitching for a decade, you will know the relevant skills inside out. Our skill set is not necessarily inferior to those of European professionals.”

One more thing. Outsiders often cannot tell the difference between a genuine article and a knockoff because the latter is served by a complete supply chain.

That means there’s something you need to make the perfect fake that is always available from someone — from raw materials to parts such as buckles and zippers, even the wrapping paper.

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RA

Funny Money.

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