WASHINGTON — Federal authorities announced a pair of counterfeit busts this week, including one deemed the largest in port history in Laredo, Tex., that snagged thousands of bogus watches.
The second counterfeit seizure involved hundreds of units of designer apparel and accessories from 17 retailers in Puerto Rico.
In the first operation, U.S. Customs & Border Protections’ Import Specialist Enforcement Team seized a commercial shipment containing 7,800 counterfeit Audemars Piguet trademark watches in Laredo. Customs official said the seizure, which had a retail value of $83 million, was the second significant one involving the Piguet trademark this year. RELATED STORY: Feds Nab International Cyber Crime Ring >>
A Customs official at the World Trade Bridge selected a shipment of watches arriving via express consignment truck and discovered the watches in October. The watches were sent to CBP headquarters for additional review and later confirmed by the trademark holder, Audemars Piguet.
“This seizure of $83 million in counterfeit watches is now the largest in port history and is the second multimillion-dollar seizure involving the same Audemars Piguet design trademark in less than six months,” said Sidney Aki, CBP port director at the Laredo Port of Entry. “As we approach the Christmas holidays, seizures like these help reassure both the trade community and the public that CBP remains committed to ensuring that recorded trademarks are protected and the American consumer is protected from counterfeit merchandise.”
U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations announced the second bust of more than $2 million in counterfeit designer merchandise from retailers in Puerto Rico. Working with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, ICE officials made the seizures at the stores in prominent locations in Puerto Rico on Monday and Tuesday in an operation dubbed “Forged Dreams.” The stores were located in the Puerto Rican municipalities of Bayamón, Caguas, Canóvanas, Ponce and San Juan.
Officials seized 4,749 counterfeit items infringing on the trademarks of 38 brands, including Adidas, Armani, Audemars Piguet, Bulgari, Calvin Klein, Carolina Herrera, Cartier, Hermès, Gucci and Louis Vuitton.
“The illegal importation and sale of counterfeit goods is a significant problem that affects our economy, impacts American jobs and innovation, puts the public’s health and safety at risk and at times threatens our national security,” said Angel Melendez, acting special agent in charge for HSI San Juan. “Consumers should know that if they buy pirated, counterfeit and/or unlicensed products, they are hurting legitimate businesses and they may also be facilitating criminal activity.”
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews