It’s a sad fact of life that when there are sought-after products on the market there will be imitations made by those looking to make a quick profit. Many designer brands on sale at Zee & Co are the target of con artists attempting to sell fake items. This is a testament to the respected reputation of the designers but is also a real pain for the customer, especially if you’re caught out by a forgery. Here we have assembled a guide of easy ways to spot counterfeit garments and key things to look out for if you suspect an imitation. Zee & Co is an authorised and genuine reseller of each brand and can therefore guarantee the authenticity of each item.
Brands are known to use different labels for different collections though these will always be consistent. One of the easiest ways to tell whether an item is counterfeit is to look at the label. Often these will be made cheaply and will not be stitched in the same font as that which the company usually uses. Be sure to check the details of the label too, sometimes imitations will reuse genuine labels from previous collections. When in doubt about the authenticity of an item, check the label for correct spelling, well produced stitching as well as a consistent font style and size.
If you suspect an item may be counterfeit, it is important that you scrutinise the logo. Often this can be aligned incorrectly, miss out key detail or be poorly stitched. The key thing to look out for when studying the logo is the consistency it holds with other genuine products from the brand. Part of what makes designer clothing so prestigious is the faultless quality of the finished item, brands are very specific and exact about how their logo is portrayed.
Button and Zip Detail
When you buy cheap clothing, there is naturally less care given to the details of a garment. Typically buttons on genuine items will feature the brand name scribed onto it or will alternatively feel like it is of substantially better quality than that which is found on high street clothing. Zips will also usually be from reputable manufacturers or will alternatively feature the company’s name and logo scribed onto it. If your purchase appears to feature a poor quality zip then it is possible that it is not legitimate.
The stitching seen on designer clothing is usually rather intricate and is not easily copied. Most designer labels will use a specific style of stitching with a consistent size, shape and length. Often when cheap imitations are made, this is not replicated well. If you come across an item with imperfect or frayed stitching, there is a strong chance it is a forgery.
This sounds obvious but you will be surprised how easily it can be overlooked. The quality of any materials used is one of the clearest indicators as to whether an item is real or not. Designer brands only use the very best quality materials and fabrics.
The quality that you get when buying from designer brands does not only end with the product itself. The packaging is often given a great deal of care and attention too. When buying shoes or bags, you will often receive a branded dust bag too. Designer garments are usually packaged in a way that resembles their high price tag. Forgers tend not to give as much care to packaging as genuine sellers do.
It may be a cliché but if it looks too good to be true then it probably is. Every retailer and designer brand will occasionally discount their clothing yet these will always be realistic discounts. Forged items can be found for outrageously low prices to lure in potential customers. Always be reasonable when looking at discounted or cut-price advertisements, if the price tag is unrealistic then it is best not to take the chance unless using a reputable retailer.
Most brands are aware of how regularly their products are copied. This is why authenticity labels and tags are so common. When buying from a designer brand, keep an eye out for a specific label, sticker or card that comes with the item to prove is legitimate.
UGG Counterfeit Guide
Ugg is one of the most commonly counterfeited brands on the market. The designer is also one of the most vocal about how to spot fake products. Ugg have acted against 60,000 websites that have been found to sell fake products and have had over 1 million items seized globally between 2011 and 2014.
Ugg is a brand that takes key measures to help customers easily identify whether a product is counterfeit. Every authentic product will include a reflective security label sewn-into the left shoe and/or stuck onto the shoebox. Each label will present a QR code which, when scanned by your smart phone, will take you to the Ugg landing page.
Here are a number of key indicators to tell whether an Ugg product is genuine:
• The internal lining of Ugg boots are sheepskin, any merchandise with synthetic lining is counterfeit.
• Counterfeit items often are designed with a double lining, this is not found in genuine Ugg goods.
• Imitation boots often have a rigid sole which does not offer the flexibility of the real item, this makes walking very difficult and uncomfortable.
Stone Island Counterfeit Guide
Stone Island is another brand that is frequently the subject of cheap imitations. Thankfully there are some very clear things to look out for when attempting to spot a forgery. Here is a guide to assist you in spotting a fake item:
Stone Island was one of the first Italian companies in the 90s to fit its garments with a unique serial code to verify the authenticity. Today the brand makes use of Certilogo technology so that customers can use a smart phone to read the QR code on the label stitched into the garment. This means that an item of clothing can be verified any place, at any time.
The Art Number
The most important thing to look for when determining the authenticity of a product is the ART number. This is a unique code that each Stone Island garment is given. There is a methodical approach to the makeup of this code which many forgeries miss.
• The first two numbers of this code correlate to the year and season of production (odd numbers correspond to Autumn/Winter while even are for the Spring/Summer collection).
• The second two numbers relate to the brand that has made the garment. Both Stone Island and C.P. Company use the ART number so this section differentiates where the item originates from (C.P. Undersixteen – 13, Stone Island Denims – 14, Stone Island – 15, Stone Island Junior – 16, C.P. Company – 18).
• The next number concerns the type of product itself (shirts – 1, t-shirts – 2, trousers – 3, jackets – 4, knitwear – 5, sweatshirts – 6, accessories – 9, etc).
• Then the code reveals the specific fabric and treatment that has been used on the item.
• Any numbers or letters following this relate to specific models and designs.
Other Signs of a Forgery
• Poor quality compass logo badge. Sometimes imitations will reuse old but genuine badges while others will attempt to replicate it themselves. Either way, if the badge isn’t perfect then the item should be investigated.
• The garment should most definitely be scrutinised if the badge is not positioned onto the left sleeve. Sometimes there are unique items where the badge is elsewhere on the garment though this is not common.
• Look for the country of origin label, this will usually say Italy though Stone Island also manufacture clothing in Turkey, Romania, Tunisia and Indonesia (among other places). If there is no country of origin then the product is counterfeit.
• The buttons on the sleeve of the item that fastens the logo badge onto it are always consistent in size and shape. These will be black with the name scribed onto it with a cross bar design. Anything else is not likely to be genuine.
• Due to the unique fabric and garment dye procedures Stone Island clothing is not cheap. When buying an item from this brand you are buying the quality, research and craftsmanship that comes with it. If you find a product that is abhorrently cheap then be very cautious about its authenticity.
Polo Ralph Lauren Counterfeit Guide
Polo Ralph Lauren is one of the most famous designer brands on the market. This means that there will subsequently be many attempted forgeries. It is fortunate though that there are many ways to spot an imitation:
• On the collar label of the product there should be a very clear and distinct space between the words ‘Ralph Lauren’.
• The reverse of the collar label has a distinctive stitch style design which is very difficult to copy. If this is not visible then the garment needs greater scrutiny.
• The brand logo is always situated on the left side of the chest with the rider clearly identifiable from the horse. The horse’s reins, tail and ears are all visible on the logo. If this is not the case then the item is an imitation.
• The logo is always positioned perfectly upright and straight at a height that sits just below the placket.
• When you turn your garment inside out you should be able to see that the logo is neatly finished with no excessive amount of loose threads or ink spillages.
• The care label inside this piece will feature evenly spaced, correctly spelt lettering as well as a small trademark ‘R’ logo.