Thursday, April 21, 2011

Holograms tell Fakes from Fendi by Christina Passariello

by Gayatri Mittal

Christina Passariello is the European luxury and fashion correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, based in Paris. Some of the terms she uses in the article are encrypted, consumer, authenticity, experts, holograms etc.

Holograms: Holograms have been used for years to ensure authenticity of consumer goods, from tennis rackets to concert tickets. Holograms are difficult, and expensive, to copy. Holograms are made with heavy, expensive machines that create patterns using laser beams. The holograms often include bar codes, images or numbers that are visible only under a special forensic machine.

Over the past few years, as counterfeiters have become more sophisticated, the quality of their products have improved. French fashion house Louis Vuitton, acknowledges that copies of its handbags are sometimes so good that consumers realize they're fake only when they take them into the company's boutiques for repairs. Still, even luxury-goods executives admit holograms aren't foolproof. "Holograms are better than nothing, but they are already being copied."

What effect the holograms will have on consumers? There are people who don’t care and for those who do holograms should allow customers to know whether the product is authentic or not. But it is necessary to know how these holograms work.

Companies like Fendi, where the technology of the hologram is so valuable that it hopes that the complexity of the holograms will help smoke out fakes and is an extra effort against counterfeiting.

It is definitely relevant in the real world. As the counterfeiting business becomes highly complex, the luxury brand companies are doing everything to protect their goods and their customers.

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