Deisel's authentic knock-off store on Canal Street.

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it’s been a scourge for fashion brands.

That is, until now. Diesel on Thursday revealed it has secretly opened an “authentic knock-off” store called Deisel on New York’s Canal Street, far from tony Madison Avenue, the Shops at Columbus Circle and SoHo, where the brand’s three Manhattan stores are located.

For a knock-off store, Diesel fittingly chose Canal Street, known for its jumble of crowded shops selling counterfeit and fake luxury labels such as Gucci and Prada, designer fragrances and Rolex watches.

Here’s where it gets pretty interesting. “The unsuspecting shoppers probably did not realize then, but the items they bought at the Deisel store were actually one-of-a kind pieces specially crafted by the Diesel design team disguised with fake Deisel branding,” the company said.

Operating in the same style as its Canal Street neighbors, the store’s interiors and selling experience played out authentically, Diesel said, adding that the brand filmed the experiment for posterity and to prove that  “those who are brave enough to venture off the beaten path to find their own unique style are rewarded.”

Diesel is riding the logo-mania trend at a time when shoppers are embracing heavily branded items as symbols of status. It wasn’t always this way, and anyone who knows fashion, knows that the cyclical nature of consumer preferences will deal a blow to logos again.

Diesel said “it plays with its fans and encourages them to feel free to wear whatever they want, even something seemingly flawed, as the ultimate expression of confidence and individuality.”

The Diesel capsule collection features a playful – some might say perverse – version of Diesel’s red box logo printed on T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats. A limited edition collection of the brand’s denim and lifestyle products will also be available at the Canal Street location.

Starting tomorrow and for the next three days, Diesel’s store at 419 Broadway, at the corner of Canal Street will be selling any remaining stock. For those not lucky enough to snag a real fake, the company recommended checking online. It even went so far as to suggest that some of the shoppers who bought items at knock-off prices may decide to sell them, presumably for a profit. Otherwise, the collection will be available in “very limited edition on Deis… no sorry, on Diesel.com starting Feb. 13.”

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