Since ancient times, fashion has been the fascination of all people, especially in the Western World. People’s desire to wear trending outfits and to look gorgeous has been ever prevalent. This has paved the way for constant experimentation on clothing (which accounts for 90% of the current look) by the creative designers who are the driving force of the Fashion industry.
Russia is one of the countries that gives prime importance to fashion. So what does it take to look fashionable in Russia?
You would know if you visited St. Petersburg, the fashion capital and the Red Square in Moscow. Apart from their architectural elegance, you can catch a glimpse of the elegant Russian fashion in the cities. Fashionistas pull up their high boots, don stylish hats and outfits that are luxury fashion house branded either by Russia itself or imported from other countries.
These Branded Companies were in their heydays in Russia due to popular demand for their products.
But things are not the same in Russia anymore. After the 2014 financial crisis in Russia, the Fashion industry in Russia is facing its worst nightmare till date. With the Ruble losing half of its value, this is led to Russians being unable to purchase expensive branded clothes and as a result, opened the doors wide for Counterfeit Fashion.
The demand for counterfeit fashion has increased in Russia since 2014. Counterfeit products of brands such as Adidas and luxury brands such as Gucci or even Louis Vuitton have flooded the Russian market. These counterfeit products are priced at 10% of the original product and they look the same as the original products from luxury brands. They possess the logos and the names of the luxury brands, however, they do not possess the qualities that are trademarks of these luxury brands. As you can imagine, the common people are attracted to these counterfeit products and this has created a market for entrepreneurs who are investing in the counterfeit fashion business. As more and more Russians are opting for cheap fake products, these entrepreneurs are catering to a growing business and making fast money. There are even online shopping websites for counterfeit products.
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As cool and tempting as it sounds, counterfeiting is still an illegitimate activity. Those who engage in counterfeits and forgeries are basically copying a designer’s dream product to line up their pockets.
So, what is the current state of fashion in Russia?
Are luxury brands losing their value in Moscow?
Or has the ever existing demand for Louis Vuitton bags, Gucci dresses and Adidas shoes declined?
Are Russians opting for fakes over their usual must buy luxury products?
Is it true that counterfeits have overtaken the well-established luxury brands?
Well, the answer is YES and NO at the same time.
YES, because these counterfeit products, while bearing luxury brand logos and names, are much cheaper than its original counterpart and as a result, many of these counterfeit products are ending up in the wardrobe of most middle-class Russians inevitably.
NO, because there still exists the upper-class Russians who are rich and ostentatious. They still purchase the expensive and original products of luxury brands that have been ruling the Fashion industry all over the world. However, this class accounts for only a small part of the larger population hence reducing the demand for high profile brands.
At this point, it is important for us to realize that Counterfeit Fashion in Russia is not Fashion but a compromise made by people for obvious reasons. Everyone desires to dress up in luxury brands, however, not everyone can afford to buy these expensive products. I leave it up to you to decide whether this shift in fashion is good or bad.
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However, this shift proves without a doubt that, the demand for fashion in Russia, no matter what path it takes, ever prevails and ever lives.