There seems to be a growing number of counterfeit leathers for sale on social media, as well as Gumtree and Ebay. Certainly, people in Australia have been purchasing bargain Dainese and Alpinestars apparel, only to find out that on close inspection, the item is a fake.
Most of these are made in Sialkot, Pakistan, a city known for it's factory complexes that specialise in leather goods of all kinds. When they first appeared around ten years ago, fake branded leathers were obvious to most people who pay attention to the the market, but these days, some of them require a closer look. Many have convincing logos, labels and packaging.
Invariably, leather can be of a lower grade than those used in genuine items. Protectors too are often uncertified, stitching used to be terrible, although it is getting better. We can't usually pull seams apart with our bare hands these days.
Have a look at some pics below, and see if you can spot the fakes (answers below):
Dainese suit. Easy tells are the non-genuine knee sliders and shoulder inserts.
The structure of the knees appears to be quite different to a genuine item although there's no reason to prevent it being copied.
If we were inspecting a suit like this, after looking at the obvious parts, we'd be examining both the lining and the way it's secured, the removable protectors, the zippers and the leather itself. As mentioned previously, cheap leather tends to feel stiff and dry to the touch.
If you're buying over the internet from a questionable source, it would be a good idea to ask for some high resolution pictures. Compare these to pictures of the genuine item which should be easy to track down.
If you can't find an identical item being sold online from genuine dealers, that should definitely set a few alarm bells ringing.
Alpinestars jacket looks worse the closer you get.
How about this Rossi tribute jacket?
Alpinestars jackets, these ones have plastic logo inserts and hangtags.
Another Rossi jacket. It doesn't take an expert to see that the large Dainese logo on the chest isn't quite right.
How about this one?
The truth is that every garment shown here is a fake. Some are obvious, some less so.
Counterfeit leathers are not limited to Dainese and Alpinestars. We've also seen fake Gimoto and Spidi apparel although there's no reason to think that any other brand can't also be copied.
We strongly advise to only buy your apparel from reputable dealers.
If it's a private sale, it's not unreasonable to ask for some high definition pics or a copy of the original purchase receipt. Happy shopping!