eBay is a place where you can purchase items from the Giorgio Armani lines of clothing at bargain prices (and no one has to know). Over the past 7 years, I have found some wonderful bargains on Armani clothing on eBay. I try to give every seller the benefit of the doubt but there are some sellers out there that knowingly try to defraud buyers. I have been taken twice in 7 years with fake Armani clothing. Both sellers have been suspended by eBay since then.
The first time, I bought an Armani t-shirt that looked like the ones you frequently see in Emporio Armani boutiques or the A/X Exchange stores. The way she was able to pull it off, was she did not show a photo of the tag inside the collar of the shirt. When I received the shirt, the tag said, "Hecho en Mexico." Translated, it means Made in Mexico. Clearly it was a fake Armani t-shirt. The seller received numerous complaints from other buyers including myself and was suspended. She even gave me negative feedback because I left her negative feedback. The second time I was scammed by a guy who showed a nice photo lay out of an Armani Black Label suit including the labels. The suit was real but what I received was a cheap wool/polyester suit with a real Armani Black Label tag glued where it would normally be in the suit!
Most of the Armani counterfeit suits and dress shirts are made in China and distributed through a network website called TradeKey.com. On this site is an extensive list of manufacturers of counterfeit merchandise including Armani, Hugo Boss, Gianni Versace, Prada and others. The website offers people the opportunity to sell these counterfeit suits and other merchandise with drop-shipping. So there is no inventory to carry. Once the auction is over, the "Armani" suit is shipped directly from Asia to you. You as the auction winner thought you got a bargain and what you get is a poor quality counterfeit Armani suit.
There are a lot of Armani fakes listed on a daily basis and I wanted to create a guide to help fellow eBayers from getting duped. I will breakdown the various lines for Giorgio Armani:
A/X Armani Exchange
Mani (Sportswear line)
Mani (Suits, dress shirts)
Giorgio Armani Neve (very rare)
Giorgio Armani Golf (very rare)
Giorgio Armani (Black Label)
Giorgio Armani Classico (Blue Label)
A/X Armani Exchange is a line that was created by Armani, which competes against Gap/Old Navy, FCUK, RL Jeans, Guess, Benetton, Club Monaco, Sisley, Diesel, and DKNY Jeans and is marketed to urban youth. It is very reasonably priced. It is sold in A/X Armani Exchange stores. The line is actually has a seperate office in New York, totally different from other Armani lines. It's basically a licensed-suit retail operation, so Mr. Armani gets compensated for having his name connected to the brand and is probably some kind of creative consultant, but do not believe he actually designs anything for the line. In fact, I hear that he hates it and all it stands for, but he signed his name to it.
A/X Armani Exchange is probably the most commonly listed line of fakes on eBay. I would say that a very large percentage of NWT A/X Armani Exchange items on eBay are fake. Most of the A/X Armani Exchange is manufactured various countries such as China, Hong Kong, Macau and Peru; however, some pieces are made in the US or in Italy. Always be cautious of any seller who lists multiples of the same items, chances are they are fake. If you notice multiple listings of the same item from sellers in Hong Kong, Thailand or Singapore, they are more than likely to be fakes. I notice a lot of multiple listings of Armani jeans. Most of them have those wild designs, which are not Armani styled. A/X Armani Exchange is known for having logos on the clothing, however, the sellers of the counterfeit A/X Armani Exchange take it too far with ridiculously large logoed items. Also, be careful of the wild Armani t-shirt designs listed. Many of those wild designs have the Armani eagle logo that is so large that it covers half the shirt. Always remember, that A/X Armani Exchange does not use the Armani eagle logo on its clothing. Real A/X Armani Exchange clothing uses logos that only say "Armani Exchange", "A/X" or a combination of both. There are some A/X shirts that have a photo of an eagle in a landing position, those shirts are real. The large number Eagle logo shirts listed on eBay are fake, most of them coming out of Asia and now a lot from the United Kingdom. The sellers present them very professionally with nice fixtures from men's stores. But use caution when dealing with them.
Armani Jeans is a jeans line that is usually sold in the Emporio Armani boutiques or the Giorgio Armani boutiques. Most of the items are manufactured in Italy. The label is blue with white lettering that says, "AJ/Armani Jeans." The manufacturer is usually Simin T S.p.A. I frequently see fakes of this line from the United Kingdom, Canada and Asia.
Mani (Suits, dress shirts) is the entry level of Armani clothing. It is usually sold in upscale department stores such as Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Barney’s or Bloomingdale’s. The suits are usually made in Italy, but occasionally you will see some made in Spain or the US. Currently, many Mani suits are made in Mexico. A factory called Gruppo GFT was the manufacturer of older models through the mid-1990s. The Mani label has changed a few times over the years. Presently, it is a black label that simply says,"Mani" in white letters. The older labels were a white label that says,"Mani," and a white label that says,"Mani by Giorgio Armani Made in Italy."
Mani (Sportswear line) is a newer line for Armani. It is a dressy and casual lower priced line. It is usually found in Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Barney’s. Most of the items are manufactured in Hong Kong. The label is black that says, "Mani". I rarely see items from this line listed on eBay.
Emporio Armani is a line of dressy to casual fashion forward sportswear and suits aimed at younger buyers. It tends to be the most trendy of all of the Armani lines. It is usually sold in Emporio Armani boutiques. Simin T S.p.A., Sicem Industraile S.p.A. and Antinea SRL manufactures most of the items in Italy. Most of the fakes I see under this line are for t-shirts and polo-style shirts. While the Emporio Armani line does sell some t-shirts, most of them sold in Emporio Armani boutiques are actually from the Armani Jeans line. I frequently see fakes of Emporio Armani dress shirts from Asia and some in the US with multiple listings at very low starting bids. The label is white with black lettering that says, "Emporio Armani." In new suits, the hangtags will have an eagle symbol on it. However, fakes will put this tag on the other Armani lines. Most of the Emporio Armani fakes are coming out of Asia, Australia and the United Kingdom.
Giorgio Armani Neve is a rare and seldom seen skiwear and ski casualwear started in 1995. The word neve means snow. I have rarely seen this line on eBay. I owned a couple of the jackets at one time.
Giorgio Armani Golf is another rare but casual line designed for golfers. I have seen polo-style shirts from this line listed a few times. It's also very rare. In fact, I'm not sure if this line is still manufactured.
Armani Collezioni is the most common line of clothing found on eBay. It is usually found in the same previously mentioned department stores and some of the Giorgio Armani boutiques. The label has been changed in the last few years. It is a white square label that says,"Armani Collezioni, Made in Italy." The older labels are white rectangular labels that say, "Giorgio Armani Collezioni, Made in Italy" and a white rectangular label that says, "Giorgio Armani, Made in Italy." An Armani garment normally has a tab indicating the country of origin, which usually will be "Made in Italy". These days it can be Made in Hong Kong (on some shirts and sweaters). The country of origin tab is normally found under the size label or under the washing instruction label. Most fakes normally do not bother to include an extra tab stating the country of origin.
I will first address the suits. Conf. di Matelica S.p.A. manufactures the suits, jackets and pants in Italy and with a rare exception Portugal, Turkey and Spain. Gruppo GFT manufactured them until the late 1990's in Italy. The suits rarely have polyester in them, not more than 5% will be in the fabric. Sometimes there may be some nylon in the suits to add strength to the fabric. Some fradulent sellers list suits made in Hong Kong and refuse to show the label. If their listing does not show a label, a red flag should go up in your mind immediately. Some phony labels are black and will show an Eagle's emblem on the label and on the hangtags of a suit listed as new with tags. Most of these wanna-be Armani suits actually have the phony label on the wrong side of the inside part of the jacket! The Armani label is always on the right side of the inside of the jacket. Look for the lining inside suit jackets and sport coats. The lining NEVER has Armani eagle logos or anything else on it. The linings are always clean rayon or silk with no pattern. The buttons on the suits and sport jackets never have a logo or the words "Armani" on them. I see fakes from the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada that show the inside tag from the suit coat/sport coat that says manufactured by Vestimenta. Vestimenta manufactures the Black Label line. Many of these sellers have multiple listings. There are sellers who list Armani suits where the opening photo is a model guy wearing a suit from an ad that resembles a professional magazine ad, I talk more about these ads below, under the Giorgio Armani (Black Label and Classico) lines.
Most of the dress shirts under this label are manufactured in Italy. But some of them are actually manufactured in Hong Kong. Most of the worst fake dress shirts have an eagle logo on the pocket. There are fraudulent sellers who sell lots of 3 or 4 fake shirts for about $45 for all of them. The white shirt listed below on the right is what they look like. Real Armani Collezioni dress shirts do not have eagle logos on the pockets. Many of these fake dress shirts are listed from sellers in China and Thailand.
Most of the Armani Collezioni sweaters are manufactured by Industriale S.p.A. in Italy. Occasionally, some sweaters are manufactured in Hong Kong.
Avoid the "RGA/Armani Reportage" suede and leather jackets and other clothing, they are not real and are of poor quality. Armani does not have such a line of clothing! You would be better off buying a leather jacket from a flea market/swap meet or from Wal-Mart. The sellers of "RGA/Armani Reportage" often list "genuine Armani" which should translate to "genuine imitation."
Another common fake I see is multi-colored polo-styled shirts from listed from sellers in Asia (Hong Kong, China, Malaysia and Thailand are the most common). Again, they are displayed very professionally and they usually don't show the shipping charges unless you open up the ad, then you'll notice the seller's country of origin. Armani polo-style shirts are always solid colored, made in Italy.