From ‘China Syndrome’: 2

Monday 24th November

Fashion, Fur and Fakery

I don’t know how many people there are in China but I reckon I must have seen all-but three of them. And I haven’t seen a single coolie-hat.

In ‘modern’ China, the younger women wear thigh high leather boots, heavy denier tights and mini-skirts – usually with a tartan pattern. They are currently all the rage. Maybe the Bay City Rollers have come out of retirement and are touring China. The blokes wear fake western-branded T’s and Jeans.

Burberry is also very popular, but I can guarantee that not a single penny of the profit is going back to the mother-company in England.

If they want to ‘rip’ something out here, they just do it. Bollocks to IP law.

Someone told me that even the cars are fake. Fake Audis. I thought the whole point of driving an Audi was so that the ‘look at me’ brigade could satisfy their narcissistic streak. But if everyone knows that it’s a £5k fake, surely that takes the gloss off?

Ironically, the one thing that isn’t fake is the furs. The ladies wear real dead animals, not ones pretending-to-be-dead. If you want ironic, come to China. Alanis Morissette should have come here before she wrote that song. She might have got it right then.

I told a local teacher I wanted to pick up some fake Jack Wills. He said “I will take you down a side street to a tailor, you show him some web images of what you want, and how many, and you will be able to pick them up in a few days time”.

Jack Wills entire corporate image is built on “Britishness”. Their stores and websites are flooded with Union jacks. But you buy one of their expensive shirts from a store in Nottingham, take it home, look inside, and it says…..”made in China”.

So……. a company that pretends to be English (they have a registered Head Office in Devon but they don’t make anything there), charges a fortune for its stuff, and subcontracts it to Chinese sweat shops, is in-itself being shafted by other Chinese sweat shops.

Now that, Alanis, is ironic.

I recently met a Scottish teacher called Alastair (Economics) who is taking home with him a second suitcase full of “Harris Tweed” jackets, complete with an authentic-repro label on the lining.

He said the quality was better than the real thing and they cost 20% of the real-thing price.

If they ever manage to do decent fake Laphroaig, I’m telling you, I’m in trouble.