The counterfeit fashion industry is booming. A recent report claims that the business is stealing $28 billion—yes, billion with a 'b'—away from legitimate brands. The brands that people are going after when knockoff hunting are no longer the priciest items, though, according to WWD.
Contemporary brands, like Michael Kors and Tory Burch, have taken the top spot over luxury ones, such as Louis Vuitton, Hermès, and Gucci. The rising popularity of brands like MK and TB is strange considering that a fake, priced at $65, according to WWD, is only a hundred or so dollars less than the real thing. Whereas buying counterfeit LV or Hermès would save customers thousands of dollars—not to mention a ton of legwork if they were opting for a fake Birkin or Kelly bag from the latter.
In other counterfeit fashion developments, the process of buying the knock offs has become much more sophisticated, according to the field research done by WWD. Instead of letting customers ask for the fake items, they must now find a sidewalk salesperson whispering "handbag, handbag," engage them, and look at styles from an iPad or sometimes a physical catalog at another location. Only once customers have selected and paid for a bag are they taken to ANOTHER location where the fakes are kept. If that laborious process doesn't make you thankful for online shopping, we don't know what will.