In China, a course teaches a job that will be increasingly in demand in the future: the luxury expert, capable of unmasking fakes and evaluating a used good. It lasts a week, costs around 2,400 dollars and is promoted by Zhang Chen, founder of the Extraordinary Luxuries Business School in Beijing. The courses have started, and have attracted a very transversal audience of people. For example: the former editor of a fashion magazine, a financial consultant who wants to become an expert on the second hand market, and even a former counterfeiter looking for a legal job.
An expert in luxury
The Chinese prospect of a thriving second hand market led Zhang Chen to organise this course. He learned how to value luxury goods 10 years ago in Japan and, in most cases, it takes him around 10 seconds to figure out if a product is real or a counterfeit. Customers send him photos of watches, sneakers and clothes for an online diagnosis. Many are fooled by “good imitations with little differences,” says Zhang in an article published in the South China Morning Post.
During his lectures, Zhang examines, among others, Chanel accessories: “The lining of one of his black bags must be pink,” he explains. He then invites the students to place the model under a special ultraviolet light. “Two letters will light up, and that’s the secret,” says Zhang, who said knowing which letters in the Chanel logo use a rectangular rather than a square font can “detect a third of the fakes on the market”. What is needed, however, is constant updating, because counterfeiting constantly raises the bar: “The market for identifying luxury products – concludes Zhang – will always exist, but methods will change”.
In the photo, a screenshot from scmp.com
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