The notorious Chinese obsession with logos and status has extended well beyond products, to shopping bags printed with brand names like Chanel, Gucci, Burberry, Hermes, and Louis Vuitton. Demand is strong enough to spur a market for fake luxury shopping bags.
According to China Daily, there are “more than 80 online stores selling Chanel paper shopping bags. Some 70 are selling Gucci paper shopping bags.” Most are imitations that sell for 5 yuan (US$0.78) to 40 yuan (US$6.30).
One online seller, Wang Xuesheng, sold 600 Louis Vuitton shopping bags within 30 days. He sells fake paper bags, paper boxes and ribbons from luxury brands, the most popular brands in his store are Gucci and Louis Vuitton.
Most people buy the bags only for the logo,” he said. “In fact, if you take a close look at the bag, you will easily discover that the material is different from authentic ones.”
“I used to produce paper bags for people who had created their own brands for online stores but later I noticed an increasing demand for paper bags with logos from high-end goods,” he said. “In the beginning, my clients were mostly people who sell fake handbags. Later, we gradually won more independent customers.” While some people question the appeal of fake shopping bags; apparently, there is a market for them.
“Paper bags with a famous logo are better looking than ordinary ones. I use them to carry things or to contain presents for my friends. They are of good quality and very cheap,” said Yang Xiaoya, an office worker in Shanghai, who buys several paper bags at a time, one Gucci, one Dior and four Louis Vuitton.
And China is not the only Asian country with this demand, Korea has a thriving black market for luxury shopping bags as well.
The no-logo or discreet logo trend has been growing internationally especially in the past two years. Sales of brands such as Bottega Veneta and Loewe, known for their logo less products have been registering double digit growth worldwide. Major luxury brands such as Gucci and Prada have been introducing more ”discreet logo” products.
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