More than $1m of luxury goods sold at Sydney boutique referred by customers after counterfeit allegations
The value of luxury designer goods sold by a Sydney retailer which are now being investigated after being referred by customers has crossed the $1 million mark.
Over the past month, complaints about fashion store Cosette have flooded the office of NSW Fair Trading after allegations it has been unwittingly selling some high-quality fake designer handbags for thousands of dollars.
Cosette has repeatedly and strenuously denied it has ever sold fake counterfeit goods.
NSW Fair Trading has received 553 complaints about Cosette since 24 July, a spokeswoman for NSW Fair Trading told 9news.com.au, adding that those consumer purchases were valued at more than $1,172,346.
9news.com.au understands NSW Fair Trading is engaging with master brand owners based overseas to determine the authenticity of goods involved, which include some of the most exclusive labels in fashion.
Investigations into suspected fakes are complex and can take months to complete, requiring interviews, gathering of documentation and advice from technical experts.
Cosette, which is located in The Rocks in Sydney’s CBD, an area frequented by tourists and locals, has built a reputation for selling luxury designer goods at discounted prices.
The store, which opened in 2015, has used a network of social media influencers to promote its high-end offering, which includes sought-after labels like Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Chanel.
Cosette also operates a website to sell to customers online.
Attention fell on the boutique last month after A Current Affair and The Sydney Morning Herald reported some customers alleged the handbags they were sold were fake.
Prior to that report, 9news.com.au can confirm only eight complaints had been lodged with NSW Fair Trading the past year.
But in the four weeks after the story broke, NSW Fair Trading was hit with a deluge of more than 550 complaints about the store.
Pierre-Axel Paoli, a French businessman who lives in the Sydney harbourside suburb of Vaucluse, one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods in Australia, is co-founder of My Fashion Republic Group, also known as Cosette.
Cosette did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
In an earlier statement issued to media, the company said “all products sold by Cosette are genuine and subject to quality control and third-party authentication”.
“If Cosette was not satisfied with the genuineness of any product, it would not be sold to customers, the statement said.
Cosette said it “sources all handbags from reputable resellers, retailers, brokers and licensees” in Europe.
NSW Fair Trading works with state and federal agencies, when required, during investigations.
NSW Police declined to comment when approached by 9news.com.au.