How is the Mafia involved in Italy’s fashion industry? How serious is this issue and what can I do as a consumer? How the Italian Mafia in Milan is involved in Italy’s Fashion business.
Italy is no doubt the Fashion capital of Europe. The reputation of Milan as a top fashion destination did not start the other day. It was already well known for haute couture in the 50s. Famous labels and fashion houses have cropped up since. Lets be honest even our sexy girls who work as VIP escorts near Chelsea in this agency (they even call themselves Haute Modeles) love their Italian fashion houses. Just go ask any of these high class working girls and ask theme for their favorite brands and its usually Italians followed by the French
Many celebrities in the US have always been endeared to Italian fashion and this happened from the last century. When Jacqueline Kennedy was getting married to Onasis, she wore a Valentino dress. Marylin Monroe was known to be particularly fond of Salvatore Ferragamo, and the hat worn by Michael Jackson was a Borsalino.
Italian Fashion Houses
Italian fashion houses have continued to rise with Diesel, Gucci, Fendi, and Dolce & Gabbana, Emilio Pucci, Laura Biagiotti, and Roberto Cavalli. These fashion houses are not mentioned as much in popular culture, but they are still reputable fashion houses, that have produced great designs over the years.
It is easy to see why the Italian Mafia is now targeting the fashion industry. These criminal organizations have been trying to diversify their business, and it is said they are working to get to every level of the economy.
One of the leading mafia organizations is Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta. The group managed to take over the leadership from Costa nostra in the last decade. ‘Ndrangheta, which loosely translates to ‘honor’, has also been trying to invest in public programs, which they use to siphon taxpayers money in Italy.
Their core business has however been cocaine. The group has been supplying it to the rest of Europe. The cocaine business earns the group £30 billion, the mafia also earns more than £60 billion a year, which is about 7% of the country’s GDP.
Even after all these businesses that earn them billions per year, they still are looking to get into the counterfeit fashion business. If you walk through the narrow streets of Venice, you are likely to see bags laid out on the side of the streets. There is no shortage of interested customers, who are looking to buy these products which are clearly counterfeit.
There are many different types of counterfeits; there are imitations that try to pass off as genuine products, while there are others which are clearly just that, imitations. Despite how these imitations are promoted, all of them are simply made in poorly lit workshops. They are products of sweat shops, where workers are mistreated and only earn a minimum wage.
Some of the counterfeits are part of the mafia illegal business empire. The group, which has been trying to make money from illegal DVDs, has discovered that the fashion business is much more lucrative. The terrorist organization has been trying to create knockoffs that look more genuine. These knock offs are not as poorly designed, as they were in the past and are also harder to spot.
The Mafia is not only producing counterfeits, it is also believed that terrorists around the world have been using the proceeds to find their nefarious activities. As a consumer what can you do? Buying counterfeit goods and products is in effect a way of promotion of criminal organizations. However, there are a few things you can do. The first is to learn all about the fashion labels by doing a little bit of research before you make a purchase. Whether the label is from Milan or some other part of the world, make a point of buying a genuine product.