Copycats are on the rise, and according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, footwear is amongst the top five industries targeted by counterfeiters. In 2019, international trade in counterfeit and pirated products amounted to as much as $464 billion, and the coronavirus pandemic is only exacerbating current trends.
So what are the most popular brands for knock-offs?
In a recent study by Uswitch and SEO analysis company Ahrefs, Gucci is one of the most in-demand knocked-off designer labels. The July report found that “fake Gucci” has been searched 87,600 time annually, with the label’s belt and slides as the most-wanted counterfeit products. Top searches also included Gucci shirt and Gucci t-shirt.
Coming in at No. 1, however, was Rolex with more than a quarter of a million online searches made each year, followed by Louis Vuitton. Yeezy and Crocs also made the list, with “fake Crocs” searched for 25,000 times.
Last month, Crocs, which continues to surge in popularity, filed lawsuits against 21 companies for allegedly infringing on its trademarks, seeking monetary damages for alleged infringements on the three-dimensional design of its recognizable shoes. The defendants included Walmart Inc., Loeffler Randall Inc. and Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. as well as many lesser-known companies that sell online — or wholesale to retailers such as Walmart. The complaint could also stop the offending footwear from entering the country and being sold by various companies.
More knock-off shoe products with high searches included “fake Yeezy Boost 350,” at 12,000, and “Fake Balenciaga Triple S” sneakers, at 7,200.
To find the data, Uswitch used the top brands listed on luxury e-commerce sites Flannels and Net-a-Porter, to create data sets, which were then paired with the word “fake.” Ahrefs’ search tool gathered the number of annual global searches for each search term.