Spotting “Abibas” shoes or the “Skay Bags” with street sellers leaves a lousy smirk on your face. But did you ever imagine that these knockoffs cost the fashion industry a whooping estimated loss of $98 billion annually?
Our beloved open-jawed Crocodile has also been a victim of these dreaded copycats. As a luxury brand, Lacoste is obviously prone to counterfeits despite its various efforts toward brand building and quality control.
This narrative delves into a dark world of counterfeits of the Lacoste fashion label.
Over the years, Lacoste was characterized as elegant and sporty sophistication in the fashion world. The trademarked Crocodile logo became synonymous with quality, refinement, and innovation. Further, it elevated its position as a status symbol worn by celebrities, athletes, and fashion enthusiasts alike. The Lacoste polo shirt marked the arrival of a new era of refined and effortlessly stylish casualwear.
As it expanded into selling footwear, accessories, and fragrances, it became an endearing influence in the Styleverse.
Emergence of Counterfeit Apparel
Like any other luxury brand, Lacoste couldn’t escape the shadows created by the counterfeit world. Zooba Ajaz Butt and Babar Shafique Ahmad Butt in Southgate Road, Sunny Bank, have been accused of selling massive batches of Lacoste’s counterfeit apparel. Lacoste filed a copyright infringement case against the two Manchester men. Lacoste revealed to the court: “Once affixed to clothing, such counterfeit clothing would cause many millions of pounds of damage to Lacoste.”
Its iconic polo shirts were sold at a fraction of its original price on multiple e-commerce sites like eBay.
Their fragrances have indistinguishable mimics. On December 3, 2010, the Customs Sector of the Indirect Taxation Authority of Bosnia informed the customs authorities seized 1,128 counterfeit Lacoste perfumes.
The company’s line of footwear and other popular items also have been alleged to have been duped on a massive scale.
Impact on the company
Despite the known fact of sites like eBay being infiltrated with knockoff products, the reviews associated their disappointment with the original brand. This might be because they believe they are buying the real thing and are disappointed when it doesn’t meet their expectations. This situation highlights the challenge of distinguishing between authentic products and replicas in online marketplaces, leading to misconceptions and frustration among buyers.
As fashion becomes increasingly digital, established fashion brands must innovate to stay caught up. In those attempts, the company spent $7.5 million on advertising in 2010, according to the Kantar Media unit of WPP. It included quality control tips with comprehensive indications of its original features in the hope of reducing dupes. However, the Crocodile has many prey it has to hunt.
The existence of counterfeits undermines any brand’s efforts to stand out and make an identity. Counterfeit apparel doesn’t just harm brands; it has broader economic repercussions. Legitimate businesses suffer financial losses as counterfeit products eat into their market share.
Taking Precautionary Measures
When buying a luxury item, if you believe you have purchased a counterfeit product, report it to the manufacturer, or to a consumer protection agency.
We can contribute to preserving the integrity and legacy of brands like Lacoste by making mindful choices. As consumers, you have the right to make sure that brands are just as committed to safeguarding you by using trustworthy anti-counterfeit solutions.
Luxury brands must take an active step adapting anti-counterfeit technology so as to protect their products from cloning and false reputation. This allows them to enable authentication for anyone within the supply chain, including the customer or user.
International Trademark Association (INTA) – “The Economic Impacts of Counterfeiting and Piracy” – 2020.