Cosette Luxury Boutique Faces Allegations of Selling Counterfeit Handbags

NSW Fair Trading has received numerous complaints against Australian luxury boutique Cosette, with customers alleging that some of the handbags sold by the retailer are fakes. However, Cosette denies these claims and maintains that all their products are genuine.

Cosette is owned by Pierre-Axel Paoli, a French businessman residing in Sydney’s affluent Vaucluse suburb. Paoli is also a co-founder of My Fashion Republic Group, which operates under the name Cosette. His wife, Felicie, runs an interior design studio that recently renovated Cosette’s head office and flagship boutique.

Before starting Cosette, Paoli was involved in another fashion venture called MyNetSale, a high-end fashion site offering luxury brands at discounted prices. However, MyNetSale faced controversy when British label Burberry sued them for selling counterfeit goods. The case was eventually settled, but MyNetSale went bankrupt, leaving behind significant debts.

In addition to Cosette, Paoli’s group also acquired Luxify, an Asian online luxury marketplace. Despite these developments, Cosette has been embroiled in ongoing disputes, including cases in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. One case involved a Celine bag that was deemed fake by the tribunal.

Moreover, a Dubai supplier claimed that Cosette owed them over $200,000 for goods and alleged receiving counterfeit products in return. A user claiming to represent Cosette posted a letter from the Australian Border Force to combat the backlash, stating that the company’s stock enters Australia under the agency’s surveillance. However, the Australian Border Force has confirmed that this is not true and is currently investigating Cosette for potential trademark infringement.

Following a joint investigation by The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, and others, NSW Fair Trading has received 373 complaints concerning Cosette, with a total value of $778,969. Collaborating businesses, such as Qantas and Zip Pay, have suspended their partnership with Cosette pending further investigation.

Many influencers have previously endorsed Cosette, believing their products to be authentic. However, some influencers, like PR guru Roxy Jacenko, have deleted their posts. Melbourne woman Mel, who frequently promoted Cosette on social media, acknowledged customers’ concerns in 2020 and highlighted that Cosette is no longer verified by Entrupy, a product authentication service.

As allegations of selling counterfeit goods continue to surface, more alleged victims are conducting their own research and comparing their purchases with authentic products. Cosette’s Google reviews have dropped to 3.7 stars, and several reviews have vanished. Customers have expressed their frustration, with one previous reviewer stating that they were sold a counterfeit bag and received no response from Cosette when seeking a refund.

Cosette maintains that all their products undergo quality control and third-party authentication, and they source handbags from reputable resellers, retailers, brokers, and licensees in Europe. The company is cooperating with NSW Fair Trading to address consumer concerns and media reports.

The future of Cosette remains uncertain as the investigation into these counterfeit allegations continues, and disgruntled customers seek answers.

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