Vera Wang, the queen of bridal couture, is abolishing the nearly US$500 fee she charged Chinese brides-to-be to try on a garment at her new Shanghai bridal boutique after the move, meant to deter counterfeiters, set off a global outcry.
Local and global media had criticized the surcharge as being discriminatory because it was applied only in China. A Vera Wang spokeswoman told Reuters that the 3,000 yuan (US$480) charge was being scrapped as of March 27.
A company spokeswoman told local media earlier this year that the charge was imposed to fend off copying of the elaborate dresses.
Despite the move, Vera Wang’s ivory tulle trains and pinched bodice gowns had already found fans in the world of pirates, with knockoffs widely available on Chinese e-commerce sites for a fraction of the price.
Li, one seller of “Vera Wang style” dresses on Taobao Marketplace, China’s largest e-commerce site, says he can achieve up to 90 percent similarity to the namesake garments without even seeing the originals.
“For the experts you don’t need to try on the dress to figure out how to copy it, you just need to see it or feel it at the shop,” said Li.