Our Friends over at Le Monde France have written an in interesting article (originally in French) that discusses fashion's new codes and it's reverse take on counterfeiting.
The article, drawing from an extensive report conducted (by the Center for Economic Research and (CEBR)) on the counterfeit market notes that in France - for French businesses; ready-to-wear and accessories - counterfeiting represents 3.5 billion euros of missed sales per year. Against this background, the article then weighs in on the phenomena of trademark counterfeiting and how various brands are no longer hesitating to cash in on this through the producing of their own creations that parody the counterfeit. Using the brand Vetements and their capsule collection called "Official fake" showcased in Seoul - one of the epicentres of the fake, to highlight this shift.
Commenting on luxury's new found Alliance with "street culture. " It notes that: "until now, only the young brands sold (internet) parodies of logos, such as Brian Lichtenberg and his T-shirts Homiés and Féline or Conflict Of Interest with Chapel and Niu Niu. Today, it is the luxury brands themselves that hijack their logo and parody counterfeit," explains Emmanuelle Hoffman, a lawyer specialising in fashion law. With the clear objective of attracting the approval of generation Z that luxury tries to seduce at all costs. Highlighting the more sophisticated move of luxury brands toward the use of parody as a strategy.
On the changing dynamics of the fashion system, (and what designer Raf Simons see as the shift between the Bourgeoisie elite and the street) the article continues that:
"For a long time, luxury brands looked with a certain contempt on street culture, which practiced notably the bootleg [the mixture of the authentic and the fake, and more generally the piracy], but it is today the most consumed culture on social networks. There is significance in brands that hire artistic directors who have grown up with these references [like Central St Martins College of Art graduate and Louis Vuitton Head Artistic Director of Menswear Kim Jones]. Without Jones, Louis Vuitton would never have collaborated with Supreme," says Michael Dupouy, founder of Club 75, brand of streetwear.
The article, discussing fashion's young and connected clientele notes that: by breaking with the classic codes of luxury, fashion wants to show that it is part of reality. "This evolution is linked to the digital world in which there can be no vertical discourse. Therefore, brands must leave their ivory tower. And those who turn themselves into derision are those that work best today, " illicits Benjamin Simmenauer, professor at the French Fashion Institute.
The full version of this article, in French can be found here.