For many years, Western brands have fascinated the country of Russia, but the Soviet Union’s isolation from the rest of the world made it impossible for the goods to ever reach the country, and that can still hold true today.
Products were “made even harder to come by as non-communist media was censored and Russians were fed a diet of anti-capitalist propaganda,” said Alec Leach, Highsnobiety’s fashion editor.
While Russia has opened its market up, heavy import duties have forced the luxury fashion to be 20 to 30 percent more expensive in Russia than it is in Europe. While Russia’s demand for luxury goods is increasing, there is not enough money to go around. Many Russians have resorted to purchasing cheap knock-offs.
In 2016, the country’s apparel and footwear market were worth around 2.8 trillion rubles ($50 billion) and has continued to grow at an annual rate of 7.6 percent. As a result of this, all types of fake luxury goods are available at any of the popular local marketplaces throughout Moscow, as well as on online platforms such as Instagram.
While the fake news being circulated by the Russians may be making the news now, Russia’s big appetite for knockoffs is anything but made up.