China has always been the scapegoat of luxury groups' secret supply chains. "Made in China" is the synonym of counterfeits and bad quality, while anything Parisian or Milano considered artisanal with unrivalled refinement.
Fashion's fairy tales probably ended since Chanel stopped gold plating its hardware. It's all about instant gratification, consumer insights, conversion rate and ROI now. In a few years, maybe Prada will be the new Zara.
It is an unspoken best practice that luxury designers make the bulk of their products in China and ship them to Italy or France to get relabelled. It's more astonishing though, heritage brands such as Louis Vuitton and Chanel are not spared from this game. How do I know it? After entering the field of authentication for more than three years, I started to realize that the products I got from China are actually real. One or two pieces of authentic products managed to leak into the secondary market despite the discreet operations.
No. 1 is this python Alexander McQueen clutch for about $250. Until I saw enough McQueen knuckle clutches, I realized it was actually the real thing.
No.2 - Chanel lion crest embroidered cashmere jacket for....$150. Just look at the tag and Riri zipper...
No. 3 was my holy grail of dumpster diving. Found this Louis Vuitton monogrammed button up for...$10!!
Of course, these are not your everyday finds - otherwise I would be in heaven! But it's just a proof that the line between real and fake is blurred. When the fake is too real, it might be just real. As the Chinese saying goes "既要当婊子又要立牌坊" - how to translate this?