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You can find counterfeit streetwear all over the globe these days. Previously, we’ve reported on fake gear from Thailand, Jamaica and Nigeria. Next up in our reporting is Russia, where the guys behind Moscow-based magazine and creative agency, SLOWW, hit up Sadovod, a market on the city’s outskirts, to give us a glimpse at some of the unofficial “replicas” that can be found in the Russian capital.

Here’s what SLOWW co-founder, and Russian streetwear veteran, Kirill Astrakhantsev, had to say from the market:

“Sadovod (in English “the gardener”) is a huge market overloaded with fake goods, situated in suburban territory of Moscow. Years back the Russian government decided to close several counterfeit markets — the most famous was Cherkizovsky, which was founded in the early ’90s and closed in 2009. People still remember how they went there as a teenager with their parents to buy some Nike Cortez, adidas Country or Lacoste polos. After closing, most of Cherkizovsky moved to the new area: Sadovod.”

“Sadovod is like another world with its own rules, infrastructure and inhabitants. It seems that 99.9 percent of the place’s business is illegal. Moscow’s mayor already tried to close the market in 2013, and on in its place he wanted to built a huge shopping center. But Sadovod still exists and is ready to offer the customers fresh releases from the fashion industry. As well as pavilions filled with fake Air Maxes and hilarious collaborations like Supreme x Thrasher x Vetements x Antisocial Social Club, you can find stores that sell copies of 424, Off-White, Vetements x Champion, Balenciaga, Rick Owens and Gosha Rubchinskiy. Almost everything you see on famous rappers and pop stars is under the radar of Sadovod’s ‘design team’.”

“The best way to take photos of the garments is to pretend that you want to see how it looks on you or you want to show it your friend. Otherwise the sellers can get very angry and ask you to delete your photos, speaking to you in very bad Russian. Employees told us that recently some guys from official brand offices came and grabbed all the fake stuff. You have to be very careful taking photos here — you never know what can happen in the place with its own rules.”

For further reading, dive into our report on why people buy fake streetwear.

Words by Alec Leach
Freelance Writer/Editor/Consultant

Alec Leach grew up in Brighton, England, but now lives in Berlin