Russian fashion addicts waste their money on Chinese fakes

42293.jpegExpensive boutiques with their bright and stylish shop windows attract many people. Who doesn't want to have their wardrobe filled with haute couture clothes? If you have such a dream, Moscow is not a place where it could come true. There are many various boutiques in Moscow, of course, but there is hardly any chance that you will be able to find "Made in Italy" or "Made in France" garments there. Instead, you will be offered to spend your money on very expensive, yet bad quality "Made in China" clothing.

It goes without saying that the people, who prefer to wear the clothes by inexpensive, yet very popular brands, do not hope at all that their new pair of jeans worth $50 has been imported from Spain or England. However, if a customer enters a Prada boutique, they hope that their expensive garments were made somewhere near Milan. However, a closer look at the tabs will become a disappointment in 70 percent of cases: as it turns out, Prada, too, is made in China.

The sales logic in Moscow is very simple: people's well-being is growing, they want to wear expensive clothes, but they are too naïve to believe that 'expensive' implies 'high quality.' The owners of Moscow boutiques derive profit from such primitive beliefs: why would they pay more for the foods if Russian fashion addicts, both males and females, can hardly distinguish between fake and authentic things?

Here is what a salesgirl of an expensive Moscow boutique told the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper:

"There is very little clothes in this elite store that come from high profile European brands. All the rest here is Chinese fake stuff. We have our supplier - a woman, who has close contacts with Chinese factories. The boutique owners would send her a catalogue with new collections, and the Chinese would make clothes in a week or two. Outwardly, these clothes look very nice, but the quality is much worse. These are the clothes that our boutique sells as European high-fashion brands. The price on such clothes in the store is the same as it is on authentic stuff. The markup would reach 5,000 percent at times. For example, the wholesale price for a pair of trousers by a well-known Italian designer is nearly $20 if purchased in China. Here, the same pair of trousers would be sold at $1,000. Speaking of those trousers, we had 40 pairs, and we sold all of them in only one day! We were supposed to tell all customers that those were the last pair of trousers left in the store. That Chinese supplier works with many other boutiques in Moscow, so many Russian women should think twice about their Gucci bags and Prada shoes."

If truth be told it stands to mention that China can produce high-quality goods. Many designers have moved their productions to Asia, but they still make high European quality garments in China.

Why do we have so many bad quality fakes in Russia?

"I've been living in China for more than ten years already, and I've met many Russian people representing large, medium and small companies, who come to China to sound out their opportunities. They all have one and the same story. They come to Chinese factories and want low costs rather than high quality. Many of them said to me: "Our market will eat up everything." Many Russian entrepreneurs told me directly that elderly and poor people in Russia do not choose - they buy what is cheapest. I ask them about other categories of customers, but they say that one could raise the quality level for other categories a little, so that the things that they buy would last at least for some time. Russia has so much oil and gas, so many riches are out there, but the country buys low quality goods from China," Yevgeny Kolesov, the director of Optim Consult (China) told

"The answer is simple: many Russian businessmen and companies deliberately produce bad quality goods to make more money. We in China help them with that, because if there's demand, there's supply," the businessman added.

It is worthy of note that well-to-do Chinese nationals prefer to buy clothes at European stores. The Chinese spend hundreds of millions of dollars at Milan, Paris and London boutiques. Unlike the Russians, the Chinese know the price of money - they see good quality, they know how to find it, and they invest in it.

Ksenia Obraztsova

Read the original in Russian

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov