Counterfeits as a fashion brand building tool

Gomorrah – A Personal Journey into the Violent International Empire of Naples’ Organized Crime System
By Roberto Saviano

P. 42
. . .
Besides, the clans weren’t ruining the brands’ image, but simply taking advantage of their advertising and symbolic charisma. The garments they turned out were not inferior and didn’t disgrace the brands’ quality or design image. Not only did the clans not create any symbolic competition with the designer labels, they actually helped promote products whose market price made them prohibitive to the general public. In short, the clans were promoting the brand. If hardly anyone wears a label’s clothes, if they’re seen only on live mannequins on the runway, the market. slowly dies and the prestige of the name declines. What’s more, the Neapolitan factories produced counterfeit garments in sizes that the designer labels, for the sake of their image, do not make. But the clans certainly weren’t going to trouble themselves about image when there was a profit to be made. Through the true fake business and income from drug trafficking, the Secondigliano clans acquired stores and shopping centers where genuine articles were increasingly mixed in with the fakes, thus erasing any distinction. In a way the System sustained the legal fashion empire in a moment of crisis; by taking advantage of sharply rising prices, it continued to promote Italian-made goods throughout the world, earning exponential sums.
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Armani billboard – 2011 Number 9

Armani billboard - 2011 Number 9

Installed in New York City on the corner of 14th Street and 9th Avenue.
The image shows a woman in an urban scene. She is holding a fur between her legs and is getting sprayed by rain. As the face is obscured by position, hair and hat, any female observer can imagine herself in the picture.

If the Freudian unconscious does not exist, advertisers waste millions communicating with it.

Armani billboard - 2011 Number 9 building

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Armani billboard – 2011 Number 8

Armani billboard – 2011 Number 8

Installed in New York City on the corner of 9th Avenue and 14th Street.

A theme in some of the other Armani billboards was the live model in a dead landscape. Here, something different is at work. The fencing evokes a spider’s web, with the male model at the center. The current Armani billboard uses the fantasy of Spiderman and the other Marvel comics heroes dominating the urban streetscape.
Armani billboard – 2011 Number 8 building

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Abercrombie & Fitch Meat Packing District billboard – 2011 No. 2

Abercrombie and Fitch Meat Packing District billboard - 2011 No. 2

Installed on the corner of Little West 12th Street and 9th Avenue in New York City

“Are you in?” A double entendre that does not speak softly, but does carry a big stick!

As this large billboard is only a dozen or so feet from street level and is directly across from an outdoor (faux French) cafe, this image of the hands and crotch is — quite literally — in your face.

Abercrombie and Fitch Meat Packing District billboard - 2011 No. 2 - building

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