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Hermes employees implicated in French counterfeit ring bust


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Jun 19, 2012, 9:03am   #1
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PurseBlog.com
In and of itself, news of police busting up a counterfeit handbag ring is not exactly breaking news. Enormous luxury brands put pressure on authorities in Europe and America to stanch the flow of fake bags into their markets, usually from Asian manufacturers and distributors unaffiliated with the mainstream luxury industry in any way. Police bust the rings fairly regularly, proudly displaying crates of confiscated goods on the news, only to have more sprout up in the defunct rings’ places. If you’re interested in high-end handbags, you probably know this narrative well by now.

When I heard about a counterfeit Hermes ring recently raided in France, which was first reported in Women’s Wear Daily last week, I expected the story to be much the same. What I didn’t expect was that Hermes employees would also be implicated. So far two have been dismissed, although it’s not clear if they were also among the dozen arrested, and the company thinks that several more employees might be involved. Care to guess what they were doing?



The details aren’t entirely clear from Women’s Wear Daily‘s reporting (They apparently didn’t think the inside job angle was that interesting; I think it’s the real story here.), but the article mentions that as a part of the crime ring, clandestine French workshops full of luxury leathers and materials were busted. I can only conjecture, but stealing your company’s raw materials and trafficking them to counterfeiters seems like just the thing to get you both fired and arrested.

And then, of course, someone had to be making the bags, so it’s possible that all or some of the people implicated were artisans, who could have been doing anything from supplying patterns (propriety materials, for sure) for outside workers to follow to taking part in actual assembly. Again, WWD provided precious few details on the crimes of the Hermes employees arrested, their involvement with the counterfeiters or their positions within the French luxury house. With Hermes employees involved (and according to the Daily Mail, actually running the operation) and company materials seemingly used, though, one can’t help but wonder – what exactly makes an Hermes bag an Hermes bag?

The bags were manufactured in France and apparently disseminated through distribution channels in the US, Europe and Asia, with one branch of the ring’s sales estimated to be worth $22 million alone. If more details about the Hermes employees’ involvement with the ring become public, we’ll be sure to update you.



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Jun 19, 2012, 11:18am   #2
h
Member
Sad scenario for Hermes as the fakes that are in the marketplace look so good that

even Taylor from RHOBH had a few in her possession....the level of greed

is overwhelming....
Jun 19, 2012, 9:22pm   #3
gacats's Avatar
love me some bags!
If this story is true, that Hermes employees have been cheating their own employer, Hermes will need to become proactive regarding security. They will need to be extremely strict. To the point that employees will be very unhappy in their jobs.
Sad.
Jun 20, 2012, 6:38am   #4
H
Member
As an employer myself I am horrified that their employees would do this- BUT it also shows a lot about Hermes as a company. Its a proven fact of life that happy and well compensated employees do not stab you in the back- clearly working at Hermes is not the fairy tale a lot would love to believe.
Jun 20, 2012, 8:35am   #5
amag520's Avatar
Nerdy Fashionista
Originally Posted by Hugs4LV
As an employer myself I am horrified that their employees would do this- BUT it also shows a lot about Hermes as a company. Its a proven fact of life that happy and well compensated employees do not stab you in the back- clearly working at Hermes is not the fairy tale a lot would love to believe.
Very good point!
Jun 20, 2012, 9:57am   #6
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✿ Happy Tot ✿
What scares me about this situation is the fact they could have been SA's switching out real bags for fakes in the back and giving those to customers thinking they were purchasing an authentic bag from the boutique. They really need to release more info on this and what type of employees these were exactly.
Jun 20, 2012, 10:44am   #7
denton's Avatar
a guy
I don't think the happy and well compensated applies here. They see the incredible wealth around them and the mark-ups on these bags, and make their own justifications. Not right, but I get it.
Jun 20, 2012, 12:09pm   #8
BgaHolic's Avatar
Emma 4ever in my <3
Originally Posted by tatertot
What scares me about this situation is the fact they could have been SA's switching out real bags for fakes in the back and giving those to customers thinking they were purchasing an authentic bag from the boutique. They really need to release more info on this and what type of employees these were exactly.
That went thru my mind too. I haven't had the chance to read the details about this story but that would be horrific!
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