The fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar wants you to know that “fakes are never in fashion.” Valerie Salembier, the senior vice president and publisher of the publication, has emerged as a leading advocate against counterfeiting. And we hope her campaign continues … and keeps fashionistas and wannabe fashionistas aware that counterfeiting has its costs to us all.
Valerie took center stage at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s IP (intellectual property) event in Washington last month (http://www.uschamber.com/content/0905_8b.htm). Emerging from an audience of blue suits in her couture yellow jacket, she proclaimed that buying fakes is hardly harmless. She hit an experienced, been-there-done-that IP crowd from Europe and the United States with powerful news that luxury product companies are starting to do something to combat counterfeiting. Despite carnage to their industry, luxury product manufacturers have done little to fight the proliferation of fakes on city streets. Valerie brilliantly linked the counterfeiting of luxury products to problems in child labor, terrorism and human trafficking. She noted that it’s not just about ripping off high-end French and Italian manufacturers. It’s about honest consumers supporting a wretched, criminal business syndicate that derails economies and ruins lives. Counterfeits come from the underbelly of society, not resourceful creators or entrepreneurs. You can learn more about Harper’s efforts to counter counterfeiting at this Web site: www.fakesareneverinfashion.com.
Vive la Valerie!