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France’s Comité Colbert Sends an Important Message About Buying Knockoffs

comite-colbert-unesco-against-knockoff-industryYou may be dying for that designer bag, but there are countless good reasons never to even consider settling for a knockoff. For one, you’re fooling no one—or no one who loves fashion, anyway. And then there are all those nasty legal implications that no sane person would ever want to countenance, like intellectual property theft and the money laundering and child labor that go into the good’s production. All that in one bag, scarf, or shoe? Sadly, yes. Still, the number of counterfeit goods in existence is massive: In France alone, approximately 9 million fake pieces were seized in 2014.

And yet, the Comité Colbert, guardian of France’s rich heritage of luxury and craftsmanship, and UNESCO, which works on a governmental level to fight illicit trafficking of art and artifacts, have teamed up to focus on the positive. Their new campaign, above, that was revealed this morning in Paris centers on embracing the human aspect of art and design, thus ensuring jobs and the future of luxury. “Art, creativity, and intellectual property are man’s only inalienable possession,” noted Sidney Toledano, the president of Christian Dior who also heads up the public authority commission of the Comité Colbert. “Instead of saying, ‘Don’t buy this,’ we want to address the human face of creativity. When you protect creative minds against illicit trafficking, artists can live off their creations and companies can invest.”

The new visual, featuring a figure reaching out from an empty frame as if to embrace the viewer, will roll out in France this summer, eventually spreading to UNESCO’s 195 member states.
—Tina Isaac-Goizé,

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