Taylor Swift takes the fight to Chinese counterfeit market

Taylor Swift Takes On Chinese Counterfeiters for Her Hong Kong Fans

There is no doubt that the value to the name Taylor Swift is constantly rising, with many wins over the years against at least one large company for the rights of creative artists as well as keeping herself engaged with her fans. To add to her high scores, The Daily Mail reported on her latest endeavor by introducing a clothing line at this year’s Fashion Week in Hong Kong.

Taylor Swift has collaborated with the Nashville based company Heritage66 and major distributor of her designs for her new fashion line, in order to offer something to her fan base in China and specifically only for the Hong Kong market.

Taylor Swift's Clothing Line Showcased At Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
This is where Taylor Swift’s clothing line was seen on the catwalk during the recent Hong Kong Fashion Week. [Image via Wikimedia Commons/Baycrest/CC BY-SA 2.5]
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTD) has organized Hong Kong Fashion week for over 40 years. THe annual event takes place in January and reportedly brings out 18,000 buyers.

Of all of the cities in China, Hong Kong is considered to have less restrictions on it from the government, although, citizens recently feared that their freedoms where being threatened, specifically their freedom of speech.

According to Bloomberg, news about Taylor Swift designing a her own line was published in July of last year. The report stated that the clothing line would first be available to purchase online through JD.com‘s U.S. Mall, which specializes in American culture clothing designs for the Chinese market, as Western culture products are always in high demand. This high demand has created a market among counterfeiters who make low quality American inspired products as part of an apparent trillion dollar global industry.

US Magazine shows that some of the prices for the Taylor Swift pieces are currently affordable, coming in under the 50 dollar range.

As the video also shows, the designs have the Taylor Swift name on them but there are no signs of them promoting her ‘1989‘ tour, which some suspect would clue Chinese citizens in on it symbolizing the protests against the Chinese government during Tienanmen Square in that year, which the Chinese government systematically tries to keep all knowledge of away from the Chinese people; even though it’s the year Taylor Swift was born.

As the video above shows, the designs have Taylor Swift all over them, but they, in no way, seem to be promoting her 1989 tour. Some speculate that the year is not included on Swift’s designs because it also happens to be the year that protests against the Chinese government in Tienanmen Square took place – something that the Chinese government allegedly tries to keep on the down-low.

Last year the Wall Street Journal also reported Taylor Swift online sales campaign which, according to Kate Liegey at the time, priced the items differently, along with details as to how they would make sure buyers knew the products were official.

“…with clothing priced from $100 to $120. All products will have antipiracy hanging tags that enable customers to track their authenticity on the Web and offer an alternative to the plethora of fake Taylor Swift products available online…”

Kate Liegey is the chief operating officer of Heritage66 and a designer herself, and has a long record of designing clothes for women.

PR Newswire published an announcement in 2009 of Kate’s then, new design brand called “SLIMINIZER” and touted her as the clothing designer for the stars due to her involvement with such big names as Tyra Banks, Jessica Simpson, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren along with Taylor Swift.

With this joint venture Taylor Swift is robustly, thoroughly and creatively leading to fight counterfeit mock ups. The International Business Times is currently reporting that Italian police have shut down a fake PRADA site by tracing the source of fake products leading straight back to Hong Kong.

The article quotes the Italian police as to the quality of the fakes.

“The products, although very accurate in every detail, were not authentic. They were extremely well-made counterfeits.”

Last November – after the announcement was made for Taylor Swift’s new line, it was said that the products were to be available for online purchase in August – Reuters reported that Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba was at the time, lobbying to stay off of a blacklist made by the U.S. which suspected the company was selling counterfeit products through its site.

The branding company Heritage66 is very much involved with Alibaba as it is one of the largest e-commerce company in the world for Taylor Swift’s line.

In the video provided, Paul Kilmer, an apparent expert in trademark and copyright affairs, states that in a recent lawsuit against Chinese counterfeiters; the involvement of the Bank of China has put increasing pressure on the government to crack down on it’s own counterfeiting problem.

In this case, however, is the extra step of exporting products out globally and not necessarily addressing the issue of counterfeit Taylor Swift products on the streets of China, which most likely has no limit as to how far they travel within the country.

The mentioned blacklisting of Alibaba is similar to a trend where the U.S. companies are strict with Chinese companies much like their treatment of Huawei, which The Inquisitrreferred to with their latest and very popular Android watch.

The official press release page of the Heritage66 site provides details as to the authenticity of the Taylor Swift clothing.

“The U.S. Mall will be JD.com‘s fifth sales channel dedicated to national products, offering ‘authentic imported U.S. products’ for sale to its customers in China, the company said in a press release.”

Aside from such a thorough effort to fight Chinese counterfeiters, the affordability of the products would fit the Taylor Swift philosophy of fan loyalty and philanthropic effort of being an ambassador for a humble cause where everyone should be able to own what they’re passionate about, in this case the Taylor Swift brand.

[Image of Burmese Market Touting Counterfeit Chinese Products by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images]

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