Buying counterfeit designer clothes is obviously never a great idea, not only does it make you look like a penny pinching fool when you get caught out (honestly though, this is the least of your worries because the majority of fashionistas don’t know what the hell they’re talking about anyway), but they could either be financing organised crime and may be made in a super grim way like the fake Uggs that recently made the news after horrific footage of raccoon dogs being beaten up and skinned alive to make the fake sheepskin came to light. Also if caught selling fakes, you can be imprisoned or fined under the Trade Marks act, which is definitely not what you want.
Sad news for all you cheapskates out there – a Japanese company are currently working on a new app for smartphones that can spot whether the designer clothes you’re wearing are fake or not. Branded luxury goods tend to have a distinguishable texture that might not be immediately noticeable compared to the knock-offs but the app being produced by NEC Corporation acts as a database full of legitimate designer goods that have been photographed using a magnifying lens.
Although the app is aimed more towards retailers than individuals, accessing the high-res images in the database would be an invaluable resource if you’re prone to accidentally shelling out nearly full price for what you believe are genuine designer items, much like a certain incident involving purchasing fake boots in Camden Town from one of those generic stores that sell ashtrays and the usual tourist crap. An ageing punk who worked for Dr Martens dragged me into the actual store and had me compare my crummy boots to the higher quality originals in front of all the staff and customers, needless to say I was pretty pissed off and embarrassed.
According to NEC, various companies have already expressed their interest in joining the service and further they believe that someday the setup will allow retailers to remove product tags completely in order to protect expensive gear from piercing damage. Fingers crossed that discarding all the fiddly bits from the products will slightly reduce the price of our favourite designer garb, although it probably won’t.
Luckily you have a bit of time to destroy all evidence of your fake designer scraps before your tech-savvy mates download the app and find out for themselves – it won’t be launched until after April. That’s still plenty of time for you to analyse your Christmas presents for weirdly spelt brand names and other odd manufacturing errors. Until then, keep buying your branded stuff straight from the retailer or face looking like a silly tightwad.