NEW YORK — Canal Street’s famous row of counterfeit handbag dealers seems to have gone more contemporary. The onetime go-to for fake Louis Vuitton bags is now more flush than ever with knockoffs of contemporary-priced designs from Michael Michael Kors and Tory Burch. WWD observed the counterfeit styles sold by sidewalk hawkers for about $65. By contrast, their authentic counterparts hover between $150 and $300 each.The sidewalk salesmen represent the new shopping structure on Canal Street. Following police crackdowns on fakes, the street’s once-illicit stalls — which, for the last few decades, had served as faux handbag havens to tourists — have transformed themselves into tchotchke dealerships that sell the same “I Love New York” T-shirts and Statue of Liberty figurines as those sold on sidewalks in Times Square. Upon asking one stall’s clerk if he had any “Louis Vuitton” bags in stock, he replied, “No, but you can probably get them on Fifth Avenue.”To obtain a fake, one must now consult sidewalk salespeople who whisper “handbag, handbag” under their breaths to draw in the street’s slow-walking window shoppers. They do not have bags in tow, but will show a slideshow of merchandise to interested parties on their high-resolution smartphones.Others escort shoppers a few blocks away to a small side street where they can view paper catalogues that depict copies of designs by Michael Michael Kors and Tory Burch — who just last week, was awarded $41.2 million in a counterfeit case — as well as older designs, some of which have been discontinued, by Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Goyard and Versace. While viewing the catalogue, WWD was told to do so facing away from the street, “in case of police.”Once shoppers decide on a style, negotiate a price for the bag — and, most importantly, pay — the salespeople then take them to another location where the merchandise is held.Despite the laborious process to obtain a bag, the Canal Street area is not lacking in those eager to buy counterfeit luxury goods. WWD observed travelers from Europe, South America and elsewhere in the U.S. willfully participating in the illicit trade.In New York City, there is presently no consequence for purchasing counterfeit goods, but dealers of fake luxury products can be arrested and prosecuted.In 2011, New York City councilwoman Margaret Chin introduced legislation that would allow police to fine purchasers of counterfeit pieces by up to $1,000. There was a hearing for the bill in 2013, but it never came under vote. Chin has said she would like for the bill to be reapproached before the end of the current council’s term, which concludes in 2017.
To celebrate Pride 2018, @themarcjacobs released the #GratefulNotHateful campaign, a social media initiative aimed at extending Pride beyond the parade. Inspired by Jacobs’ everyday outlook, the campaign features Jacobs along with a group of models and social media stars who are members and supporters of the LGBT community, all seen wearing @marcbeauty’s Highliner Gel Eye Crayons in colors of the rainbow. Head to our Instagram stories to see close-ups of the liner. #wwdbeauty
Virgil Abloh’s dad Nee and Don Crawley, cofounder of RSVP Gallery, were some of the hometown crew at the Chicago-born designer’s debut show for Louis Vuitton. (📸: @jdiderich ) #wwdmens #louisvuitton #virgilabloh
About last night: @marycharteris and @adwoaaboah hit up Hyde Park for the Serpentine Galleries’ annual summer party held in partnership with @chanelofficial. Head to WWD.com to see more photos. #wwdfashion
“This is Paris, my first show. I’m all about democracy. If some kid shows up, flew from New Jersey to just be around, let’s get him a seat.” — @virgilabloh tells WWD’s @jdiderich ahead of his first show for @louisvuitton men’s. (📸: @alfredo_piola ) #wwdmens #virgilabloh #louisvuitton
“Kate Spade was a true fashion icon who brought joy to the lives of women around the world, and inspired women to live life to the fullest. We are dedicated to carrying on her legacy,” said Anna Bakst, brand president and chief executive officer of @katespadeny. The Kate Spade Foundation announced that it will be donating $1 million to suicide prevention and mental health awareness in tribute to the recent death of Kate Spade. Read more on WWD.com. #wwdnews (📷: @chinseephoto)
A first look at @virgilabloh’s sneakers for @louisvuitton. Abloh spoke to WWD about his debut collection for Louis Vuitton, creating @kendalljenner’s #metgala outfit and redefining the heritage brand. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion 📷: @alfredo_piola)
The world’s largest producer of denim @iskodenim is sharing the strategy behind its product development process. Read our full interview with ISKO’s product development manager Baris Ozden on the company’s extensive research practices, upcoming denim trends and the latest material innovations on WWD.com. #iskodenim