Which brands are in the crosshairs of a $10 billion legal action over counterfeit clothing?
Retailers are being sued by fashion designers and brands who allege that they’ve been duped into selling counterfeit products.
Fashionvibed founder and CEO Ben Garant has been a leading figure in the fashion industry and he says the suit is a result of a long battle with the counterfeit industry.
“We’re fighting to make counterfeit products harder to find and harder to counterfeit,” Garant said.
“It’s not an industry where you can just take your product and make it look like it’s legitimate.”
The suit alleges that fashion brands including Calvin Klein, Prada, Burberry and Hugo Boss were duped by a “fraudster” who stole designer goods and used them as his own, which included fake products for a range of brands.
Garant says he has been working to expose the counterfeiters and get their names and faces off the street.
“The counterfeiters were basically taking clothes that were made by some of the most prestigious fashion brands and they made them into what they were selling as authentic fashion,” Gant said.
“They were making the garments for themselves.
And they used the same brands and the same designers.
It was very, very lucrative.”
He says the counterfeit brands were able to hide behind the guise of legitimate retailers, and so were able find the counterfeit products for sale in the retail stores.
“If you have to sell clothes for $10 a piece, you are making $100 a piece,” Gardarant said, adding that he’s also working to get the names of the counterfeit designers off the streets.
“It’s been very frustrating to work with some of these people because they’ve stolen my reputation, my name and my identity, and they’ve taken my livelihood and have taken a huge chunk of my money and my reputation and stolen my business,” he said.
But he says he’s not out of the woods yet.
“There are still plenty of counterfeiters out there, I think there are still some of them out there that are still active, and we are still going to fight,” he added.
“And if the courts find in my favor, and the counterfeit companies have been caught, I’m hoping that the companies that are involved in that will be caught as well.
But at the end of the day, we will be able to continue to fight.”
Garant says the suits against brands are being filed in California and New York, and he plans to file a motion to dismiss them if he wins.
Garant’s suit also names retailers such as Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, Target, Victoria’s Secret and H&M.
The suit also includes a list of more than 10,000 brands including the iconic Calvin Klein.