Burberry is a remarkable British success story, especially as the tale possesses all the elements of a true drama: Fallen from grace, only to then re-emerge stronger like a phoenix out of the ashes:
In the early 2000s, Burberry’s image started to rapidly fall due to a lower price strategy, counterfeit goods and it’s association with hooligan and “chav”, low class culture.
New CEO Angela Ahrend and Christopher bailey, Chief creative officer, were appointed in 2006 to turn around Britain’s most recognisable, ailing brand. They re-invented the brand by concentrating on the core strengh: The outerwear, including the iconic trench coat. By shaking up the company through a new vision, leadership changes and factory closures, Angela faced a lot of adversity but stood by her vision and managed to turn the company’s fortunes around.
After living in the UK for more than 11 years, I decided that its time to treat myself to one of Burberry’s iconic basics: The checked scarf. Rebel invested in a trench coat and scarf back in 1998 (!!!!), and she still wears both today as they are in mint condition!
After spotting the GORGEOUS giant check scarfs with adorable heart design, I knew I had to have one! It’s basically a Romantique version of the classic tartan scarf. The price tag of 395 GBP seemed prohibitive so I had the ingenious idea to browse Ebay and scout myself a bargain. After some searching and bidding, I was thrilled to win an auction for the scarf for half of the retail price.
After a few days, I received the scarf (see below) and whilst I was ecstatic at first, I noticed a few irregularities which raised doubts in mind as to whether this was a genuine Burberry article. Making the most of my lunch break, I trapsed over to Burberry’s flagship store in Regent Street, London, where to my horror, my doubts where confirmed; the manager telling me that despite it being one of the best replicas she’s yet seen, that the scarf was indeed a counterfeit. I have to say that the professionalism shown by this lady impressed me; she took the time to point out the main differences between my replica scarf and the real deal:
- Material:All Burberry scarves are made of 100% Cashmere. My ebay scarf was soft, it was almost too soft, and it was pilling noticeably, despite being ostensibly brand new. My black skirt was littered with white fuzzy bits. Did this scarf skip quality control? No of course it didn’t. The material is the tell tale sign of authenticity. It has to be of the highest quality. No pilling, no fuzzy graphics, no flimsyness.
- Packaging:The scarf came in a cardboard roll, embossed with the Burberry knight and adorned by a bow. Whilst this was an elaborate attempt to duplicate the Burberry packaging, the bow wasn’t made of gerbadine (like all Burberry bows) and the two parts of the roll didn’t seem to fit. Again, would Burberry really sell a 400£ scarf and then skimp on ill-fitting packaging with non perfect design? No!
- Label:When you look online for help on how to spot a replica Burberry product, you will find many tips pointing to the clue which lies in the “R” in “Burberry”. Apparently it has a “rats tail” at the end. I’m not really a caligrapher and didn’t see a difference when I compared the label of my ebay scarf and the real logo. However, if you put the labels side by side, you will see that the genuine label is made of a high quality, textured label. Unlike the replica, it also contains the subline “100% Cashmere” and “made in Scotland”.
- Hearts: The hearts on my ebay scarf were printed onto the original check design. Holding the scarf against the light, you can see the check pattern shining through the scarf. On the original scarf, the hearts are woven into the fibres of the scarf. They are part of the check design.
These are just a few of the differences but they are the most glaring ones which hopefully will help my beloved followers spot a counterfeit. My advice is to look at the real thing in the shop, compare and listen to your gut feel. If you are unhappy with the quality of your purchase, more often than not it’s dodgy copy.