Head to any city and you can find an area devoted to fake fashion, with vendors hawking everything from watches purporting to be Rolexes to handbags passed off as Louis Vuitton Neverfull Totes.
In New York, that place is Chinatown’s Canal Street.
Despite apparel and accessories brands’ continued efforts to lobby officials to crack down on these illegal goods, there seems to be an endless supply. And it’s just one small part of what the U.S. Trade Representative estimates to be a $500 billion market in the U.S.
Diesel has decided to get creative in its fight.
The denim brand opened a tongue-in-cheek temporary store nestled between the low-rent hawkers on the city’s famous knockoff strip. The shop name, Deisel, was an intentional send up of the many ways brands and their logos are misprinted on counterfeits. It is the latest activation in the company’s Go With the Flaw campaign, which it dubbed Go With the Fake.
“We’re thinking why we cannot take and work with this irony? [If] we can create from a problem, maybe we can create something good,” Diesel’s CEO Renzo Rosso is quoted as saying.
Anyone looking for knockoffs in this store would have been disappointed however. Everything was real—and limited edition, a fact that helped the shop sell out. The collection’s items included patchwork bomber jackets and logo tees, hoodies and hats.
Russo estimates that more than a million Diesel counterfeits are sold each year.