Counterfeiting is big business, according to Forbes, in 2018 counterfeiting was the largest criminal enterprise in the world. Sales of counterfeit and pirated goods totals $1.7 trillion per year, which is more than drugs and human trafficking and that figure is expected to grow to $2.8 trillion by 2022.
Brands like Rolex, Louis Vuitton and Nike are some of the most counterfeited brands in the world because of their popularity, exclusivity and demand.
Below is a list of 12 most counterfeited brands in the world
Nike is the undisputed most counterfeited brand in the world. Despite several intricate design inputs that might seem impossible to copy, fakers still do an almost impeccable job counterfeiting them. The imitations are so good that it is sometimes impossible to distinguish the fake from the original.
2. Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton is considered the world’s most counterfeited luxury brand. This title has been attributed to the fact that the company has not changed a lot for years, and have mostly used the same styles and materials, making it easy to be counterfeited. However, to fight these fakes, the company spends $18.5 million a year and this has yielded results, with only 10% of Louis Vuitton products being fake in 2019.
Rayban sunglasses are the most counterfeited shades in the world. They have been counterfeited so much so that an ordinary buyer cannot differentiate the bootlegs from the fakes. The internet however is filled with countless videos and tutorials about how to spot a fake.
Rolex is one of the most important and most popular watches in the world, and with this popularity comes high demand. However, Rolex is a premium brand, and only a handful can actually purchase a real one. Yet, demand has to be met, and what better way to do this than to manufacture bogus Rolex and fill the market with them so that the average person can walk into any store and instantly own a piece.
5. Michael Kors
At one point, with the rate at which everyone carried a Michael Kors product, whether purse or bags, one could have easily forgotten that it was a premium brand. Just like Rolex, there was a high demand, and counterfeiters took the initiative.
Everyone wants to wear a Gucci sweatshirt or loafers, but not everyone can afford them. With the rate of fakes, Gucci has adapted the counterfeit culture into its designs, changing the spelling of Gucci to Guccy for its spring summer 2018 collection and painting REAL all over the bags.
Virtually every product from Channel is counterfeited, from bags to perfumes. Between October 2017 and January 2018, a staggering 475,056 bottles of fake perfume, including Chanel, were seized at Los Angeles and Long Beach ports.
MAC Cosmetics is the world’s most counterfeited make-up brand. In 2015, a woman in the U.S. was ordered to pay MAC just under $1 million for selling $1 million-worth of fake make-up. Counterfeit make-up products are a concern because they can contain anything from cyanide and lead to mercury which are dangerous to humans.
Adidas is one of the most popular sportswear companies with an array of products, from clothing to footwear. Their most counterfeited product is probably Kanye West’s Yeezy shoes for Adidas Originals X, which are mainly sold online or on street shops.
The iconic check design has so much been imitated and copied, and not only by fakers, but also by other respectable fashion brands like J.C. Penney with which they settled a lawsuit over an alleged counterfeit plaid pattern.
11. Polo Ralph Lauren
Polo Ralph Lauren counterfeits are often easy to spot because of the hilarious disparities in the brand’s iconic logo that usually exist in the fakes. That is not to say you won’t find Ralph Lauren products that are almost perfectly imitated because the truth is, there are levels to counterfeiting.
The denim giant also struggles to deal with fake versions of its products scattered all over. Its classic and vintage brands, especially pre-1970 are its most pirated.