Designer boss admits some counterfeit bags are quite good.
Imitation, it would seem, is the sincerest from of flattery and Patricio Bertelli says that Prada doesn’t want to be a brand that nobody wants to copy.
The CEO of the Italian design house has said that counterfeit goods "aren't totally bad"
Counterfeiting in the fashion industry is the cause of unending court battles and mega-bucks payouts for some of the world's biggest design houses.
In the last two months alone, both Burberry and Hermès have been awarded approximately £63 (€78.8) million each in separate cases against various Chinese counterfeiters, so Bertelli's views are more than a little surprising.
In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Prada's CEO - and the husband of creative director Miuccia Prada - Patricio Bertelli, stated that "Fake goods aren't totally bad, at least it created jobs at some counterfeit factories. We don't want to be a brand that nobody wants to copy."
A representative for Prada later clarified Bertelli's potentially-sensational quotes, claiming: "The quote is part of an extended conversation that underscored how the market of counterfeits is an objective reality for successful brands and how this phenomenon has its own reality, also in terms of manufacturing, that is very structured."
In Jaunary this year both Bertelli and his wife made it onto Forbes' billionaire list, with their fortunes estimated at £2.34 (€2.92) billion and £4.3 (€5.37) billion respectively. Their inclusion - which was the first time they had made the list in six years - was aided by their decision to float Prada on the Hong Kong stock exchange in January 2011. Well, maybe we wouldn't mind a few counterfeiters either if we had billions in the bank.