I have been buying Stone Island clothing for nearly 20 years now so know exactly what to look for when there are dodgy items knocking about. Here is my easy to use guide on spotting the cheap fake Stone Island clothing that has become such a nuisance on eBay. I've seen fakes change hands for more than £200 before, and only because the buyer doesn't have a clue that it's not real.
Top 7 Things to avoid like the plague
- Anything from China/Hong Kong with the ART No. 4615M440 as fakes go they are pretty convincing but are easily spotted because no matter what is for sale they all use the same art number!
- Yellow stripe raso gomato jackets (Yellow stripe along the zip)
- Anything where there is a photo of the wash label and the Art Number/Country of origin is missing or scrubbed out (unless it is a very old piece that predates art numbers - see last article below)
- T-Shirts made from 100% Polyester or Nylon
- Power Sellers with 50 BNWT Jackets all on at £60 Buy it now
- Stone Island Denims items with the button on arm patch
- Stone Island Denims items with a Stone Island swing tag or vice versa
RULE 1 If it looks too good to be true IT IS!
First thing you have to do is use your brain, it doesn't take a genius to realise that someone listing a brand new with tags Stone Island jacket for a buy it now price of £49.99 isn't selling a genuine item, especially when they have 20 of every size imaginable. As a guide genuine jackets bought from high street retails start from about £250 upwards, Jumpers £100 upwards, T-shirts £60 upwards - these are just guides of what you would expect to pay for brand new genuine items. Also there has been an influx of items bought from the stores such as TK Maxx that have been listed and sold for far cheaper than the guides I have suggested, condition and age vary but these can be bargains if you pick the right ones. Obviously second hand clothes tend to fluctuate in price, the rarer the piece the higher the price again condition and age have a bearing on how much the item is worth.
RULE 2 Always Ask Questions
A typical listing of a fakes would go somethings like this. Genuine stone island jacket, unwanted gift. Followed by a fuzzy far away picture of a jacket. Now they may be telling the truth but 95% of the time they are hiding that fact that it is dodgy. Ask for clear photos of the garment itself, close ups of any swing Tags, the washing label (will explain why later), any buttons, the arm badge (if it has one) and the neck label(s). Ask for the ART (article) number, country of origin. If they shy away or say that they can't provide any information then walk away, spend your money elsewhere.
RULE 3 Stone Island/Stone Island Denims
I've lost count with the number of fakes I have seen that are branded as Stone Island Denims and have Stone Island patches on the arm - just doesn't happen never has and never will. Stone Island and Stone Island Denims are two different labels owned by the same company - think of Volkswagon and Audi same parent company not the same brand! Therefore any characteristics of Stone Island clothes will not be found on Stone Island Denims clothes and vice versa. The denims range never has come with the button on arm patch, it never has had the white STONE ISLAND neck label (these change from season to season) it is always a long thin black label with the logo in the centre. You see this more often on fake T-shirts that have "Stone Island Denims" emblazoned across them then the white "STONE ISLAND" neck label shouting out "I'm a fake, don't buy me!". One last thing on this subject, Denims range swing tags are long and thin, Stone Island swing tags are an elongated square shape.
Fake Stone Island Denims "Jumper" With Stone Island Arm Patch and Stone Island Neck label!!!!!
Examples of a Stone Island Neck Tag (White Stone Island Tag - Never appears on a Denims Piece)
Example of a Stone Island Denims neck tag, notice it's long and thin and BLACK!! Always has the current season's logo on it too (label pictured is from Winter 2003).
RULE 4 Art numbers, country of origin and the washing instructions label.
To the average bloke on the street and to the peddlers/makers of fake rubbish the art number is just a jumble of letters and numbers. To people in the know, the Art number tells them, what year & season the garment is from, the brand i.e. Stone Island, CP Company, SI Denims etc., the type of grament i.e. Jacket, Shirt, Knit etc., the style and manufacturing process. Very early pieces just have limited information and don't show the season/year or brand. The first two digits of the Art number refer to the Season/Year we are currently in S/S (Spring/Summer) 2008 so the code is 48 counting back 47 is A/W 2007 (Autumn/Winter) and 46 is S/S 2007 so on and so forth. The next two digits tells you the brand these are listed below.
13 - CP Under 16
14 - S.I. Denims
15 - Stone Island
16 - Stone Island Junior
18 - CP Company
20 - CP Donna
The next digit is the garment type a list of these is below.
0 - Leather
1 - Shirts
2 - T-Shirts
3 - Trousers
4 - Shoulder Pieces
5 - Knitwear
6 - Sweatshirts
7 - Long Coats
8 - Suit
9 - Bags/Hats/Accessories
A - Jacket/Blazer
B - Swimming Trunks
G - Waistcoat
L - Bermuda Shorts
M - Jacket
S - Shoes
The last 3 digits refer to the garment manufacture and dying processes. So using this guide if you are looking at a brand new Stone Island t-shirt that has an Art number of 39184231 you know to leave well alone as the Art refers to an A/W 2003 CP Company Shoulder Piece (Jacket) Always check that the Art number on the washing label is the same as the Art number on the swing tag, if it isn't something is not right! Recently Stone Island have been reissueing past season items these are identified by the ART No. starting with 1015
The Washing Label - By far the easiest way to spot a fake. There have been many incarnations of the washing label over the years, Up to early 90's the garments had CP Company labels (even Stone Island pieces had these), then came Gruppo GFT labels and finally the Sportswear SPA labels from around 1994 onwards. The latter ALWAYS has the Art number and country of origin on them if yours doesn't you can say to 99.99% acuracy that it's dodgy. There are tell tale pointers that you pick up by seeing fake and genuine labels these you pick up over the years by experience, the main difference is the font used, this is pretty hard to explain but you will get to know what is real and what isn't with the more genuine items that you buy.
Examples of fake wash labels (All taken from ebay auctions that sold for over £100 each!!!)
If you have any jacket with wash labels that look like this they ARE fake, no ifs no buts, get it back to where you got it from for a refund.
Examples of real wash labels
Current Style Label - Has Country of origin, SPW address and the Information in Korean
Old CP Company label (Pre 1991) Even Stone Island items had these so don't get confused.
Older SPW labels (Around 1997-2001)