Technology and cheap flights today make travelling to new places a breeze. But have you ever thought about those places that you’d like to visit again? This is how I feel about Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Seoul. No matter how many times I’ve set foot there, I always seem to stumble on something magical and over the years it’s been fashion in these countries that have always made me return.

As the real fashion luxury brands have ventured out to Asia for production, using the latest in manufacturing technology. I see a new trend arising in 2018,  regarding the luxury fake fashion industry. Whether it be Gucci trainers, Louis Vuitton sweaters or Dior handbags, I am increasingly intrigued at how brilliant the quality is and the exact copies are hard to distinguish between the real luxury items compared to the fake ones. Those cheap days of buying these fakes are no longer cheap no more.

I compared my luxury trainers to the fake ones recently and I was left pondering, if some how there was an error? Who was wearing the real items and who was wearing the fake? 

The South East Asian countries over the years have never hidden the fact that fake luxury fashion items can be purchased. My first encounter to fake luxury goods was in 1997 in Vietnam. Back then the items were cheaply created, lots of luxury brands were misspelt and mainly printed on t-shirts. The shoes, were an obvious knock off, poorly made and if they lasted a month the buyer was doing well. The luxury fake fashion items, were also dated and way behind the current trends selling on the high street. The fake goods such as handbags were nasty in textile and the skill of imitating the real luxury design, left me feeling embarrassed for the person wearing it.

Enhanced Shopping Experience For Luxury Fake Goods

Luxury shopping in these three cities is outstanding, the shopping malls trend the latest in shopping technology and luxury fashion. Those who can afford the real luxury fashion goods, walk around the malls looking like they have just come off the catwalk. The Asians have a great sense of personal style and are lovers of luxury fashion brands.

For those who support the fake luxury industry, I remember years ago, it was a hard slog under nasty conditions to get a fake luxury items. Also to find the items was normally in open air markets. However in 2018 right next to the luxury shopping malls are newly built malls or refurbished ones dedicated to endless levels of luxury fake goods. No more sweating or getting soaked in the torrential rain, nice air conditioned shopping centres with great food courts. Bangkok, Seoul and Ho Chi Minh City do not hide they are the masters of selling fake luxury fashion.

In Seoul, the eight levels of fake goods sold in a newly built mall was amazing. The presentation in each boutique, illustrated that this market of selling fake goods has never been so strong and that consumer demand is high. The prices were also a reflection that buying cheap luxury items were not so cheap after all.

Fake Fashion Trends On The Asian Streets

So in 2018, the most sought after and popular imitation European luxury brands sold here in South East Asia are Balenciaga, Gucci, Dior, D&G, Chanel, Adidas Yeezy’s, MCM and Prada.

Everywhere I walked in these cities nearly everyone, including tourists on the high street were wearing and trending the latest in luxury fake fashion. It is quiet an experience to see, and therefore the world of luxury in Asia is very diluted because of it. To the expert eye, I certainly can see the fake items, but on some occasions especially when it comes to luxury leather handbags, the fake items look almost like the real thing.

Luxury Fake Goods Are Not Cheap Anymore

There is another game changer I have noticed this year. Good quality fake imitations now are trending at least fifty pounds and above. Anything that is currently hot and trending which in 2018 it seems ,Gucci and D&G items are the most sought after. They are selling fast and can fetch as much as two hundred pounds, especially in the handbag collections. I know this because I listen and see how much is being exchanged.

All the goods here worn are fake.

This lady is wearing a complete fake D&G outfit, including the shoes and handbags. I went to the store where she bought her outfit and went around feeling the fabrics, which were horrible I must say. But this is not deterring anyone willing to pay up to 150 pounds for each outfit. The D&G head pieces were very impressive and could be sold up too a whopping 300 pounds. Wow, that for fake items.

I also noticed that in the shop, selling fake D&G there was a sign saying any customer taking photos will be fined one thousand pounds. Seems very odd message, considering they are the ones selling the fake items.

Fake Eye-Wear Brands

I am a big lover of eyewear and been trending the more crazy outrageous designs since 2011. The design options here are fabulous and endless here in Bangkok. Yes once again all copies of the real thing can be bought too. Can I tell the difference in frame quality? I do class myself as an expert in this field, of course I can. But when buyers can get the latest Gucci imitation for seven pounds, why would they not buy a fake pair. There are some fantastic fakes and the quality is very good.

Gucci 2018 Collection, the real Gucci

Gucci 2016 collection, the real Gucci

The Dilution Of Luxury Fashion

I grew up in an era where luxury brands were only for the rich. The buying experience of luxury fashion generally was exciting, the items were exclusive. I never forget, that feeling and anticipation of saving up and waiting for my favourite item to be launched.  I would only wear them on special occasions. And if I wore a luxury designer, my goodness that was a statement in itself, which can’t be said for today, I am afraid.

The saturated fake fashion industry, has killed my passion for luxury fashion brands, it makes me feel sick. I also can’t stand out from the crowd and therefore I don’t feel exclusive let alone unique.

It is for this reason that in 2018, I will continue to support and work with luxury fashion designers who are brilliant at what they do. They have a niche market and produce in small quantities and create their own fabrics and most of all support the environment.  More on that in another article.

Everything here is real luxury items, including the Bentley.

Metiseko, made in Vietnam, silk clothing

I am wearing recycled fabric and design by couture designer Monique Collignon.