23 December, 2006


I just got back from shopping for some clothes for myself and I have always noticed something strange about a few designer shops in Dubai. Daniel Hechter, Ted Lapidus, Pierre Cardin and Guy Laroche are all very famous designer labels that have retail outlets all over Dubai. Let me just explain why it all seems so fishy!

1) I noticed that they ALWAYS ( and i mean 365 days a year) have some sort of sale going on. Their prices are ASTONISHINGLY low for a top end designer label. Ever heard of AED 60 Pierre Cardin business shirt or AED 500 Laroche Business Suit?

2) Their quality is ridiculously poor. Massimo Dutti and Zara shops have better quality clothing and they are not considered designer clothing lines.

3) They have shops every where! how can this be? in almost every shopping mall?!? EVEN IN SATWA! I saw a Pierre Cardin shop in satwa! that like expecting rolex watches sold in the street stalls of shanghai to be original!

4) I have found out that all these brands are operated by the same agent. Lets just say that I know this for a fact!

5) I had a look at their websites and guess what, NO MENTION OF OUTLETS IN DUBAI! Guy Laroche and Daniel Hechter website are the ones i check out and no word at all
have a look yourself

So now tell me is this not a scam? isn't something strange? or is it just me?

I'm expecting Luis Vuitton shops to be opening up with AED 100 handbags and AED 200 Suitcases!


Anonymous said...

it all depends where do you buy it from... Ted Lapidus, Pierre Cardin & Guy Laroche are the most immitated brands here (my point of view) ..

1. thats why they are on discount all the time.. talk about inventory management...

2. Zara & Massimo Dutti arent immitated.. thats why quality is better..you'd find them in other places for cheaper prices because they'd be selling the stocks not an immitation of it.. Massimo Dutti btw is considered a "designer clothing line"

3. "EVEN IN SATWA" .. there u go.. you just said it..

4. Am sure you know better when it comes to marketing :)

N btw .. you can find the LVs worth a bit more than a 100 if its from Satwa or unoriginal...

The trick is you just have to be smarter and know where to buy from and which brands to buy.. ;)

Enjoy you shopping..

Anonymous said...

yea I always kinda wondered too. Why would Pierre Cardin have a sale all year 'round?

Anonymous said...

I share your cynicism. Not just a sale; 80% off! Year round! It's part of their business model (as otherwise the Economic Dept has restrictions on length and frequency of sale).

As you said, the agent is the same. They admitted themselves (to me, when I mentioned an item I'd purchased at a Satwa outlet, the salesperson said something like, "Which store? We have stores all over the place.").

With regard to quality, I found the quality to be acceptable, indeed good. I have purchased items from these people: A Pierre Cardin trouser for Dh 85...both material and finish to my discerning eye far superior to any branded item I can get on the market for a similar or slightly higher price...a Ted Lapidus tie for which I paid Dh 25; again, impossible to get anything remotely comparable for even Dh 85. (And a few other items which compare extremely well with similarly priced or slightly higher priced brands.) On the other hand I went to a "Brands" store after one of their advertising onslaughts...suffice it to say I will not pay even a tenth of the price for the stuff there...uniformly atrocious quality, extremely poor production/cut/workmanship, absurdly poor materials...I really don't know how they get away with this.

Qualitywise, the best way to compare would be to get a genuine Pierre Cardin trouser, shirt or suit and compare it minutely against the "fakes" being sold. You may find a veil dropping from your eyes.

archer14 said...

Could these be the rejected ones doing the rounds here? Almost all Indian brands sold here are rejects, at most of those 'hypermarkets'. Retail outlets also play around although the ratio of 'seconds' to QC'd ones are pretty low.

LocalExpat said...

it still doesn't explain why the laroche and hechter website mention all their retail outlets around the world but nothing about dubai?

Anonymous said...

Archer, I considered that as well (since it was the only possibility I could think of for the "heavily discounted" prices). But try as I might, I couldn't find any defects in the stuff I purchased.

On the other hand, I'm highly sceptical of garments in Carrefour; after buying (a few years ago) a pretty neat looking "Big Bird" embroidered pink denim jacket for my daughter for just Dh 20, we took it home to find a couple of buttons missing. On returning to the shop, we found that every one of those jackets had something wrong with it (it had a "Made in UAE" label--I'm sure they were all factory rejects).

moryarti said...

The owner of this chain of shops is a Syrian/German doctor who has garment factories all over the place..

And believe it or not, he is licensed to use those brand names. You wouldn't find any mention to these shops on the brand's official websites for many reasons.. Mainly because the operation you are referring to is retail one, not a distribution operation.

And his all-year-round discount thing is only a marketing gimmick that seems to be working quite well for him.

I bought a couple of ties from one of their shops in Mall of the Emirates.. very decent collection and extremely reasonable prices.. didn’t find anything wrong with them.

trailingspouse said...

Clothing can be rejected without anything much being "wrong" with it. I have a friend back in Canada who owns a small garment factory manufacturing for companies such as Nike. Stuff gets rejected because the hemline is 1/4" too long, the colour is not spot on, or in some other way doesn't EXACTLY meet their specification. It's a bit of a ploy, as at first they (the clients) refuse to take the goods at all and demand that they are destroyed (because they all have logos on). They finally negotiate to purchase them at a much reduced price and they are sold at "seconds". Maybe that's what's happening here.

Slagothor said...

Local Expat:

The Hechter and Laroche websites do not mention all the stores in the world except the UAE.

The Hechter one only mentions the stores in the UK, because it is a website of the UK retailer. The Laroche sites lists the four company-owned boutiques, but not retail outlets not owned by the company.

And let's not kid ourselves: Pierre Cardin and Daniel Hechter are hardly upscale brands - you can get their stuff at similar prices in the US. The stuff being sold here isn't "fake" in that it is not unlicensed. If it was the French trade reps would be suing the big malls in about 5 minutes. Actual fake stuff is sold in no-name shops in back alleys, not shops in MoE, City Center and the AD Mall.

I've bought plenty of stuff at these shops, and the quality is fine. The suits and shirts have held their colour and shape, the seams are holding up and the buttons are staying on. What more do you want?

The stuff sold at Brands is real Chinese-made crap, to be true.

Alexandros Raskolnick said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alexandros Raskolnick said...

My wife, who is familiar with fabrics says that the quality of the stuff I have purchased is well above average. If I then can have cotton shirts of good quality, for $20-$35 why should I care if portion of such amounts go to the pockets of Ted Lapidus, Pierre Cardin or Daniel Hechter's, shareholders or not?

Seabee said...

I buy stuff from them and have no problem. These shops have a mixture of cheap stuff and high quality stuff, you just need to do what you do with any purchase of clothing - ignore the label, look at the quality of the material and manufacture and decide whether it's good value for money.

Anonymous said...

Agreed with most of the last comments. The products are not fake and the quality is good. I've seen Pierre Cardin & CO products in North America and the there is no compare, definitelly BETTER here.

Don't forget that what Pierre Cardin is MOST famous for, is that he was the FIRST designer to put his products in department stores shelfs.

BTW I've bought $20 genuine Calvin Klein products in USA, that here you pay much more3 for. Were they fake? NO.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to localexpat for:


Now sales at these shops is set to rise...

Anonymous said...

I also agree. Overall, the quality is good, although they have some horrible stuff also...I mean who will buy a shirt with 60% Polyester in the desert heat? Some of the stuff just does not look right. Another thing, I did not like, are the socks claim to be 100% cotton and u can definitely feel some polyester in it...

inmotion said...

moryarti is right ..

Anonymous said...

3 months ago I bought several cotton suits at Dhs 100-200 (superb bargain find) - I had to go around their various stores to pick up the last of what they had, but no doubt, had I actually asked the sales staff - they would have done that on my behalf.

Excellent service and attention to detail, matched a few ties for me (I am a sucker!), but I left feeling I had the better deal. And these days, how often can you say that!!

I didn't buy oj the brand name, but the selection and service

Anonymous said...

Still, why would one have to lie about manufacturing place? All of them are marked as "Made in Germany", "Made in Italy", etc.

It is definitely time for Dubai to crack down on these crooks which are playing with the reputation of its marketplace.

Anonymous said...

Does Anyone know the name of the Owner? or how to contact him?

Anonymous said...

I just dont understand why some people criticize pierre cardin so much, I mean, I have never seen a brand that is more value for money than this brand. Their quality is superlative in comparison to other retailers in the same product line. Also, their staff or employees are well trained unlike other retailers where their staff are rude and not trained.

Anonymous said...

I have made a few purchases there. I have found the quality to be much better than the stuff you will get for the same price in the market. Its value for money and that is what I care about. Well the brands would not have stayed quiet for a long period if the products here were genuinely counterfeit. Moreover, the government would not have missed such an offense for a long period.

Anonymous said...

Guys........let me make the entire mystery disappear for all you people. Unfortunately I never reached this blog before otherwise I would have revealed the truth before.

Here you go.... The three brands you mentioned all have been franchised by a Syrian family here in Dubai. The family is called Sankari Family and the company is called PARIS GROUP. Fortunately or unfortunately long time back when fashion was not understandable in the middle east, PARIS GROUP somehow not only acquired the franchise of Pierre Cardin, Daniel Hacther, Guy Laroche but also got the production license for these brands. And finally PARIS GROUP opened its own garment factory in China.
So the garments are produced in China in bulk without specification of a particular brand. And then depending on the inventory situation of each of these brands, PARIS GROUP labels them accordingly. That is the reason these brands all over in UAE are on sale for 365 days a year and are so cheap because, YES no matter what people assume or observe the quality is cheap compared to the one you find else where in the world for the same brand.
Any more info... feel free....
And yes this is authentic and correct info as I got a chance to work for PARIS GROUP but when saw their total unprofessionalism in operations, I decided to leave.

Hope this helps you in your quest of knowing the truth.

Anonymous said...

Yes all major so called French/ Italian designer brands are run by PARIS Group in Middle East. (www.parisgroup.ae).

The fact is no matter where u take PC,TED, Verri etc. all shirt/pant/blazers look similar. AS one of the comments told, all manufactured in common location and labled depending on the inventory position.

BUT the price and quality is much better than ARROW, Allen Solley, Van Hausen etc for the same price.

Anonymous said...

I have bought 4 Pierre Cardin shirts in Burgis Singapore. When I came back to Vietnam, people there said those were fake, not authentic. I am so confused as the rules are very strict in Singapore and could never allow fake products in such a big stores like that.
The reasons people tell me those are not authentic because the logo on chest is the whole word Pierre Cardin, not just letter P, as well as the buttons do not have Pierre Cardin embedded on.
Please help to clarify. Many thanks.

Anonymous said...

Pierre Cardin suits which we happen to buy from the uptown mall in Mirdif, are well stitched and the colours are fabulous and the staff was very helpful.
The quality of the stitching is perfect and it's not fake.And even if it were, I must say good job, its better than the Hong Kong and Thai Tailoring jobs.

Abdul said...

In all menner i want to ask you in this much chip price are you expecting genuine brands european made is available paris group gives a good quality products in economic price & it's worth for all rich & commen man.they not say same like others that this is made in italy or france the sales staff have strict information from managment to say made in china to customer.

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