Meet the Woman Who Brought a Counterfeit Industry to Its Knees | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Betina OlivaresWriter Bambina Olivares has had many career milestones, including, but not limited to profiling The Sartorialist blogger Scott Schuman for WWD, and interviewing Emilio Pucci during his heyday. “Early in my career, I profiled Emilio Pucci, whom I met in 1991, at the height of Pucci’s brand renaissance,” she tells Red Magazine. Next February her novel Making Love in Spanish is slated for release in Manila, but her bravest accomplishment might be taking down a massive counterfeit operation in Mauritius.

“For WWD, I once wrote, after exhaustive research and interviews, a report on the massive counterfeit Polo Ralph Lauren manufacturing industry in Mauritius. I was warned by my contacts that I was treading into controversial and dangerous territory, as this was a lucrative business that fed an entire ecosystem, but I persevered,” she reveals to Red. “The story marked a turning point for the industry: Ralph Lauren sued the Mauritian manufacturers and eventually, international intellectual property law was upheld when a judge ruled that after a grace period, existing counterfeit stock would have to be destroyed.”

However, not all memories of Mauritius are of life-threatening journalistic digging. “I used to teach calligraphy to schoolchildren when I lived in Jordan and Mauritius—I miss those days of ink-stained fingers!”

Photo by Artu Nepomuceno

Source: Meg Manzano for Red Magazine, “Novel Eyes,” October 2014

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