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.”
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye