Can the fashion industry appropriate the strategies of the counterfeit* subculture (ie, Dapper Dan’s Boutique designing for Gucci since 2018 or Knock-Off-Brand Deisel by Diesel)? Can Counterfeit indeed ensure the future prosperity of global fashion?

* Counterfeit industry is the name for the business of reproducing, imitating and copying existing goods and brands, also known as piracy, knock offs or fakes. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) puts the value of imported fake goods worldwide based on 2016 customs seizure data at USD 509 billion, up from USD 461 billion in 2013, what is 2.5% of world trade. And according to a new report of 2019 by the OECD and the EU’s Intellectual Property Office now stands at 3.3% of global trade. These statistics highlight the growing importance of counterfeit goods on the global economy.

One could say that the counterfeiting industry is based on an identification with consumed goods but through a much more flexible, adaptable, boundless and innovative system based on the equal rights of public ownership. Meanwhile, the counterfeit industry is also recognised as a serious threat to the economy, because counterfeit products cover the needs created by the corporations through the methods of marketing, advertising and public relations. If Edward Bernays, the father of public relations, was still alive he would probably admire the counterfeit-industry and encourage re-appropriating strategies to maintain the strength of the economy.

Evita Rigert’s master’s project proposes a world in which corporations have to be creative and feed each other, collaborate and merge into a global conglomerate to maintain quality consumption. In it, the strategy of capitalist corporations has to take on new forms, become the pirate itself and provide ‘an epic and intense’ experience to survive till the end. She proposes to design ‘an experience of capitalism without regulations’. Through this, she implements strategies of the counterfeit industry as valuable for fashion brands future prosperity and existence.

Using the Design of Experiences as an acceleration to infiltrate and manipulate the consumer society through the direct interaction with the faked and pirated goods as products of the corporations itself. She imagines a diverse range of corporations collaborating and creating new products that one can not only consume but also experience for themselves: ie; Branded Nature, Personalised Goods, Photorealistic Animation of Archetypes for Advertising.