Prada CEO Says Counterfeit Fashion Isn't A Bad Thing

As they say, "Imitation is the best form of flattery."

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We know the routine — brands sue counterfeiters for imitating and reselling their original designs. But it looks like Prada may not be against counterfeit fashion.

The brand's CEO, and husband to Miuccia Prada, Patrizio Bertelli appeared on Bloomberg Television the other day and spoke about the company's plans to open 260 stores by 2014 and the pricing differences between goods sold in China and Europe.

Perhaps more exciting, though, were his thoughts on counterfeit fashion.

When asked what Prada will do about counterfeiters in China:

“I always say counterfeits, we’re happier to have them than not have them. Don’t you think it’s sad for a brand that no one wants to copy them? So there would be the first serious answer on counterfeits. And something else about counterfeits is that they provide a source of labor and income for lots of other people. So, maybe they’re not totally bad. So, in other words, we have a dual function. We want to penetrate the markets, we want to become successful and sell a lot in new markets. And we end up creating a lot of jobs and counterfeit factories, so that’s very good. And of course, we engage in all possible lawsuits and everything we can do to protect our products, which is very challenging. And also, our industry doesn’t lend itself very well to patent protection. It’s not like the high-tech industry where patents are a lot more effective."

A spokesperson for the fashion house replied to WWD's request for comment about Bertelli's statement and said, "The quote is part of an extended conversation that underscored how the market of counterfeits is an objective reality for successful brands and how this phenomenon has its own reality, also in terms of manufacturing, that is very structured.”


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