Foakley is such an accepted word that websites openly sell “Foakley” glasses. For example, Fake Oakley Sunglasses claims to be a US company having a US address, and sells Foakley Radarlocks for $13 – it provides the Oakley logo at the top of the homepage but the word “Foakley” is all over the site, and it also openly states the glasses are knock-offs. Of course, the site isn’t really US-based: it ships via EMS, the Chinese state-owned courier firm.
But this can be not even close to the sole website selling Oakley knock-offs. You will find Foakley sellers on Alibaba, DHgate, and other Chinese online merchants. A British cycle industry executive told BikeBiz that each of the riders in the cycling club who wore Oakley’s have, in fact, been wearing Foakleys for at least the last couple of years.
Oakley is owned by the $9bn Luxottica Number of Italy, the world’s largest eyewear company. 81-year-old Leonardo Del Vecchio, the group’s founder, bestrides the sector like a Ray-Ban-wearing Colossus. (Luxottica also owns Ray-Ban.) The Guardian has a really good long-read on the £74bn specs biz, and Del Vecchio’s dominance.
Luxottica acquired Oakley for $2.1bn in 2007. The group also makes and distributes eyewear brands including Chanel, Prada, Giorgio Armani, Burberry, and Versace. Luxottica doesn’t just dominate manufacturing and distribution in addition, it dominates retail: it owns 7,000 stores around the world, including Sunglass Hut, the market leader. When pre-takeover, Oakley was starved of access to Sunglass Hut its stock plummeted making the sale to Luxottica a foregone conclusion.
Mark Ferguson of Melbourne, Australia, is in surgical device sales. He vlogs as “CyclingMaven”. Among his most popular videos is on the technical merits of Foakleys. “We pay a premium for a lot of things within australia. My Oakleys, with lenses, were pushing nearly AU$600. I stick them on a [bike storage] cage; within a few hours, they were gone.To switch them would be expensive. Somebody sent us a link at Aliexpress. My original thought was “no”; it didn’t feel right. But curiosity got the greater of me, and I bought some. As well as the quality was shocking – I couldn’t believe how good they were. For $30.
“Could they be manufactured in exactly the same factory as Oakley Sunglasses Cheap? I don’t know, but many people who purchase these fakes will rationalise it that way. Not everyone feels comfortable buying counterfeit products. “The anti-establishment side of me says, look, here’s an organization selling bits of plastic for AU$500. Inside my mind, they’re ripping people off. I don’t worry about the study and development. There’s always gonna be somebody innovating. If Oakley would disappear off of the face from the earth tomorrow, some other company would replace them, and possibly wouldn’t charge just as much money for their products. These companies bend people over; they drive them for a ride. In this situation I’ve got no difficulties with exploring the counterfeit product side of things.
“Whenever I handled Oakley glasses owned by friends I thought “these are merely pieces of plastic with a few nice branding upon them.” I searched on eBay for “cycling sunglasses” and located a pair that bore a striking resemblance to Oakley Jawbones and another pair that bore a striking resemblance to Oakley Radarlocks. These people were about £8 each, delivered from China. They didn’t have the Oakley branding on the photos on the eBay listing but when the Jawbones arrived that they had Oakley branding, including “Made in the USA” stamped on the arms, and also the oval Oakley emblem was where you’d expect to see it. These were indistinguishable from genuine Jawbones. They txkeay well (nevertheless the arm broke after a couple of months).
“The “Radarlocks” came with free lenses along with a case. They fitted really well, and I’m still making use of them. “I tell other individuals they’re fake. There’s perverse satisfaction to get something less than another individual. We have no brand loyalty, I didn’t have them for your cachet in the brand, I simply desire them to keep the bugs from my eyes, and not be upset when I inevitably lose them.
“When I see Oakleys in the wild I take a look at them critically. The manufacturer is diluted by all of the fakes on the market. “I purchased fakes because I actually have terrible trouble getting sunglasses that suit and so i didn’t want to spend a lot of funds on a experimentation purchase. £8 means they’re throwaway.
“I needed a hot debate with a guy who said his optician had said you couldn’t get adequate UV-A and -B protection in any sunglasses for less than £20 a lens. I took mine right down to the medical physics lab in my hospital, as well as the chap who tests all the equipment for your dermatology UV labs provides the machinery to test UV-A and -B. I also took some expensive and real Ted Baker casual sunglasses, too. Each of them passed 100 percent.
“The lab manager stated it was challenging to get polycarbonate plastic that lets UV-A and -B through – he needs it for some of his applications and desires to purchase it coming from a special source. Automatically polycarbonate doesn’t let UV through. When manufacturers say you’ll be blinded should you wear cheap sunglasses that’s not really a very strong case whatsoever.
“I wouldn’t buy fake carbon parts. I’ve bought cheap tools from China, such things as spoke keys for pennies. “My friends are indifferent; they don’t give a great deal of stuff. “There are a few chaps in the club who have to have the newest expensive thing. I haven’t talked to them about fakes, partly because I don’t wish to piss on their own parade. “I could manage to buy the genuine article. The reason I don’t always is the same reason I get a £1 loaf of bread in Tescos instead of from an artisan baker and pay £20 for a loaf that’s been brought over from France that morning by private jet.
“You desire something which does the work for any reasonable sum of money. As well as me a couple of Fake Oakley Sunglasses for £100 or even more is excessive. “I’m ready to spend considerable amounts of income on some things. This might not be rational, but it’s the way i view things. “Terrorism, child labour? It hasn’t occurred to me. Not for bike parts. It’s potent food for thought. If it’s true, that would put me right off. “These could be messages put out by large corporations with vested interests when all I’m probably doing is supporting a little Chinese business.
“I never bought any pirated DVDs. I certainly downloaded some stuff from Napster during the day. Now it’s just quicker and easier to get from legitimate sources. “I realize the cost of the plastic in a kind of Oakley’s is just a small a part of their costs, but I don’t want to cover their marketing and their sponsorship, I am just only willing to fund the merchandise.”