As the popularity of sneakers continues to surge, counterfeit manufacturers are taking note and finding new ways to perfect their methods. Just weeks ago, a group was charged with smuggling fake footwear from China into the tri-state area in a complex operation which included adding logos to the shoes once they'd arrived stateside. In response, Vice News did some investigating on-site in Putian, China, a city which has become notorious for its fake goods.
In the clip, Vice catches up with Chan, a Chinese seller who specializes in acquiring fakes that look extremely close to the real deal. Chan runs his business from a small apartment stacked wall-to-wall with bootlegs. His stash includes Off-White x Nikes, Yeezys, Balenciagas, and nearly every other in-demand sneaker of the moment. By using Reddit, he's able to keep track of what his customers want and relay any noticeable flaws to the local factories.
At one point, Chan's business was booming to the extent that he was moving as many as 120 pairs of shoes daily while living in the U.K., bringing in an average of $100,000 per month. But that apparently wasn't enough, and he soon relocated to Putian to be even closer to the product.
The documentary goes on to explore some of the more brazen examples of fake peddling throughout China, including storefronts that go as far as to use actual brand names.
Find out more about Chan's "profession"—including whether or not he feels remorse for seemingly duping his customers—in the clip above.