“If I like something, I take it for using”

How often do you come across fakes?

How often do you come across fakes?


The annual turnover of the counterfeit luxury goods market in Russia exceeded the legal one by almost 30 billion rubles. Analysts believe that in the context of the continuing decline in household incomes, sales of fashion brand replicas are going to grow. The Kommersant newspaper asked businessmen and cultural figures whether they bought fakes.

Alexey Kortnev, leader of the band named Neschastny Sluchai:


"Yes, the 90s were the time when almost everybody wore fakes, which were openly sold in all stores and stalls, and there was almost no alternative. Some fakes did not differ from the originals in quality, while others tore apart almost immediately. I am sure that even today no one is safe from buying a fake. But for the purpose like saving money only, I do not buy fakes. I prefer to purchase a true original product, even if it is one only. This applies to clothing, shoes and watches. But there are practically no such thing as fake guitars, they exist, but not in Russia. Buying a guitar from a famous brand, you can be 99% sure that you are buying the original. Counterfeit luxury brands should be sought among everyday goods, household appliances, clothing, footwear, and some accessories.”

Lydia Alexandrova, fashion director of Catcher Concept Store:


"I have never bought and will not buy a fake. I have great respect for manufacturers of famous brands. That's because I work directly with them, and because I know well and see how much time, effort, money is invested in creating a brand, its promotion, advertising, marketing. I think every person had such situations in their lives when they come up with the idea of saving on the purchase of a well-known brand. It was the same with me, but every time after thinking it through and considering everything, I refused. I'd rather not buy something expensive but cheaper but genuine and original. When brand manufacturers began to transport their products to Asian countries, product quality slightly declined, but it seems to me that now everything has changed for the better. Some even began to return the production to Europe”.

Andrei Dellos, restaurateur:


"I sure did. But my purchases could hardly be attributed to the luxury category. I am well versed in antiques and deliberately acquired fakes of antique masterpieces, I knew what I was buying. For once it was a couple of fake icons. I did it guided by the words of some art historian who said that, for example, Aivazovsky who would see the pieces of work, created at the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century, which were not drawn by him but sold for his signature, would admire them, and would not be ashamed for them. In some areas, the fake market has reached such a level that it no longer simply argues with the originals, but sometimes it is even more awesome. And I am glad of it. If we talk about luxury goods, then the blame for the fact that there are too many fakes and they often surpass the originals lies with the original manufacturers themselves. After all, it was the cost reductions in the pursuit of which they began to transfer their production to the East, China, Malaysia, Thailand, and Arab countries. They have created a market for luxury items that can be easily forged in large quantities, and by applying effort and skill, one can do even better. The important thing is that after the cost reductions, manufacturers did not reduce the prices for their goods, their super-profits became even greater. This applies to monsters, but small companies of old veterans who continued to fight for quality by making products in Europe with European hands simply kicked the bucket and went bankrupt.”

Natalia Agra, president of the public organization “Movement without danger”:


"I don’t know, I probably have but never thought about it. If I like something, find it convenient, I take it and use it with pleasure, regardless of whether it is fake or not. And in some way I save myself from deception buying goods only in trusted stores, and I do not use the services of online platforms at all.

Valdis Pelsh, actor, anchorman, musician:


"I have, but only in terms of collecting. I collect uniforms, orders, and anything alike, and the collection market is 40% fake. Sometimes you buy something, carry it to an expert, and they say it is a forgery. I managed to achieve justice and return even a skilfully forged thing, though true masters work in this business. But in terms of clothing, shoes, accessories used in everyday life and at work, I do not recall such incidents.”

Vlad Lisovets, stylist:


"In adolescence, 15–20 years ago, I had something fake, either a strap or something else, I don’t remember. But it was done with a good quality and was costly. The fact is that I could not find that thing, as they were released in a limited edition, therefore this thing could not be bought in original, and I really liked it. And now I do not buy fake items, and this is a crucial moment. Spending money on a fake is not the right decision because it diminishes a person, and it’s better to buy one thing but understand that you wear a true product, that you paid money for it - and these are sensations of a different kind. I often see in Moscow and in tours across Russia I come across the fact that people do not even bother - they buy terribly made sneakers, shirts and sweatshirts with the same label. And sometimes clothes that were not in the collections at all. Today, like 20–30 years ago, to assert yourself with the help of clothes is the easiest way to show everyone that you are supposedly cool.”

Olga Sviblova, director of Multimedia Art Museum:


"I don't think so, I just don’t buy so much, don't have time for it. In fact, this is a problem of the world in which we live as collective animals, being completely smitten with the brand. If a person buys something that they like as a brand, and this turns out to be a fake, that's a disappointment. On the other hand, if a fake is not different from the original, then it is a question of what we want - quality, product or brand. I used to choose what I like and what suits me, what it is called and what brand it is under does not matter to me.”

Sergey Andriyaka, watercolor painter and teacher:


“I almost haven't come across fakes in everyday life, except in terms of luxury furniture. I often go to Italy and I love to go to antique shops looking for beautiful furniture. So, among the one that is sold in a set, one item can really be old, usually a small one, but the rest are complete modern replicas that are artfully aged. There are entire villages that are inhabited by "masters" doing such things. Lately, a friend of mine bought for some serious money a furniture set which only had small carved sculptures adorning it, genuine and old, and everything else has been made recently. And regarding arts, the problem of fakes is pretty often. I remember my going to the Ministry of Culture long ago, when a man entered the office of one of the officials and emptied his bag by dumping a pile of the beautiful “Dutch” - small, artfully painted pictures. To my amazement at the barbaric treatment of masterpieces, he calmly replied: "Everything is fake!" In Austria, when we collected watercolors for the museum, I very often came across beautiful expensive paintings which upon closer inspection turned out printed, with minimal paint use.”