Fake Armani

A discussion of this complaint is going since 2006 and still staying strong. Not only it has such a long history, it has a vast geography. In a way, our correspondents are reporting from all over the world: Luxembourg, Paris, Prague, Dortmund, Bratislava, Brno…doesn’t matter, from everywhere. Multiple locations – same scam; different people, all falling for the same old trick. An exquisitely elegant guy meets you at a train station, or bus station, or gas station… does it matter where? He is nice, polite and trustworthy, he asks you for directions, he shows you his passport, or his business card, or his plane ticket, or train ticket…does not matter what. The important thing – he is charming and you are naïve, and now he offers you Armani jackets "right from the runway" for a bargain price. Why is he doing this? He has his reasons: tariffs, or duties, or taxes, or he just likes you… does not really matter. The important thing: he is enchanting, and you are …well, stupid. Why not to believe him? He has a cute accent, most of the time – Italian (it makes sense to be Italian, when you sell Armani), and you are traveling in Europe (when you meet him in Italy, it makes even more sense). In the beginning people assumed, that’s the same ingenious guy, wandering around Europe. Then his clones started to appear in Canada and all over US. Probably, an organized gang or just independent followers of the same scam. An axiomatic scam, a grandfather of all tricks, swindles, fiddles, stings, cheats, cons, rip-offs… does not matter how you call it. The important thing: it still works. You still buy (first), and feel stupid (later), he still makes his money and probably feels pretty good. Why are we so pissed? He does not steal from us. We pay for some merchandise. Well, not REALLY Armani. But we did not pay enough for the REAL one. Maybe HIS Armani is pretty good for the money (could not avoid the rhyme). Also, HIS Armani can be somewhat REAL. Armani is a popular name. As well as Giorgio. Lot of Italian guys are Armani… Or Versace… Or Cavalli… does not really matter. So, a jacket made by a guy named… are you following me?

Now, let’s check the official definition of Designer clothing:

"Designer clothing is clothing that bears the logo of a recognizable fashion designer".

A LOGO, a symbol, a badge, an emblem… – does not matter how you call it, but so many of us are addicted to genuine LABELs. I was always wondering, why some manufacturers of fake ‘Designer’ goods do not pay proper attention to labels. I understand, they don’t have REAL materials, don’t do good stitching, lining, buttons… does not matter. But for god’s sake, put a correct label!! Cut one of some REAL piece, or make a fair copy! Have some respect for your victims! Many of them will be happy with an adequate label.

Many, but not all. Not the real fashionistas. Can’t scam them! They will not fall for an Armani at a gas station. Or train station. Maybe only at valet parking of the Grand Casino in Monte-Carlo late at night after one too many cocktails and without reading glasses… even now not sure. (But it’s okay, our Armani bootlegger still has an impressive market, without these finicky people.)

By the way, how often the real fashionistas become pissed consumers? Those who stick to "haute couture" house, dressed exclusively in attire, sewn personally for them and personally by a world-famous graduate of the Academy of fine arts? I would guess, they get pissed a lot. I feel for them. There is no limit for better quality.

As for not-so-exclusive fashionistas, they will settle for Ready-to-Wear Designers stuff. Not sewn personally for them, not personally BY Giorgio, or Gianni, or Valentino, or Ralph, or Donna… does not matter… but still FROM these guys, and with their real logo.

As for the rest, if you crave a nicely-looking-hong-kong-made-will-survive-a-season outfit with a loud label, there is always a cute Italian guy at the gas station…