Besides plenty of celebrity models, this year’s New York Fashion Week shows have featured lots of high fashion, along with dogs, babies, and robots on the runway. At the same time, on a lower Manhattan street known for selling counterfeit merchandise, you can find some garments bearing the label “Deisel.” That brand name might look like a misspelling of “Diesel,” but believe it or not, the letter mix-up is intentional.
Instead of putting on a show during Fashion Week, the Italian brand Diesel opened a pop-up shop on Canal Street using the brand name “Deisel.” The company’s founder, Renzo Rosso told AFP: “…we created a fake product, a fake name, and we came to the counterfeit district.”
Rosso told AFP that more than a million counterfeit Diesel products are sold annually. And, according to The New York Times, Diesel shut down more than 80 website selling counterfeit products last year. Rosso said: "We have so many counterfeit products all over the world I thought, 'Why can't we play with this problem that we have?'"
Diesel isn’t the only brand to jump on the knock-off knock-offs market. Gucci collaborated with artist GucciGhost (aka Trevor Andrew) in 2016, adding logo-graffiti prints to Gucci clothing and accessories. And Valentino ran a video campaign last year showing street shoppers buying what they think are counterfeit Valentino handbags, when they were actually authentic Valentino.
To read about more examples of the fashion industry’s fight against counterfeits using fake counterfeits, head over to The Fashion Law’s “Brands Can’t Beat Counterfeiters, So They Are Joining Them.”