"I've seen the worst of the worst," said Harper’s Bazaar senior vice-president Valerie Salembier at yesterday's AntiCounterfeiting Summit, hosted by Harper’s Bazaar. "Once, someone tried to sell me something labeled 'Prado.' I couldn't believe it." But most shoppers aren't as scrupulous, she says, and she supports France's practice of fining people who purchase fakes. In fact, New York may soon have a similar law: "The mayor wants to pass a bill that fines the buyer of a counterfeit product," she explained, citing a recent article in the Post. "So all of those people from Des Moines who go to Chinatown and are somewhat innocent — or not! — fine them $1,000 [for buying counterfeit goods]."
Salembier isn't the only one from Harper's Bazaar to feel so strongly. Glenda Bailey once shut down a whole store in China when she discovered that fakes were being peddled there. “Glenda was at the Shanghai Museum ... and of course decides to look in the museum shop, and what does she see? A big exhibition of Louis Vuitton handbags. She takes a peek and says to herself, ‘Uh-uh.’ So she picks up the phone and wakes up the CEO of Vuitton, Yves Carcel, and says, 'I think something's off here.' In less than 24 hours, the Chinese government closes down that store in the museum, and they got rid of all the fakes, never to be seen again.”