Diesel Bootlegs Itself with DEISEL

Diesel bootlegs itself with this pop up store in NYC’s Chinatown. Little did passers-by know that “DEISEL” was a Diesel brand-strengthening exercise. Via Vogue:

“HANDBAG, handbag, watches, watches.” Down in New York’s Chinatown, sales assistants operate from behind concealed doors and the trunks of cars, plying their luxury knock-offs to fashion fans who want that latest four-figure It bag without the prohibitive price tag. As of today, however, there’s a new sales tactic on the block: Diesel has opened a pop-up store of products based on bootleg designs called ‘DEISEL – For Successfull Living’ [sic].

The pop-up, which is decked out like any other traditional hole-in-the-wall, fake-as-they-come shop space on Canal Street, is part of Diesel’s spring/summer 2018 campaign strategy, Go With The Flaw. Stock comprises a series of denim, sweatshirts, caps and T-shirts, all printed with the misspelt Diesel logo, and is priced at knock-off sums. According to Renzo Rosso, the president of OTB group, which owns Diesel, the venture is aimed at “encouraging fans to feel free to wear whatever they want.”

Being authentically fake is an interesting idea. Bootlegs have historically been viewed as A Bad Thing for fashion, eating into profits and damaging the inherent value of a brand, with the caveat that they will also possibly harm the customer who – wittingly or unwittingly – buys them (those fake Prada sunglasses? No UV protection. And watch out for Cobalt-60, a radioactive isotrope, found in counterfeit metal bag straps). But in recent seasons brands have been keen to embrace the bootleg, with Vetements and Gucci both selling “fake” collections of designs based on counterfeits popular in Korea for the former, and in the Eighties streets of New York for the latter.

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