Parajumpers, brainchild of the designer Massimo Rossetti, is, despite its name, a 100% Italian fashion brand that takes its name from the Alaska-based 210th Rescue Squadron. The outerwear collections, produced thanks to the partnership with the company Ape & Partners S.p.A., are extremely innovative with highly technological components, designed above all else to be functional. heritage, quality and success.
Founded in 2006, thanks to a focused international expansion and wise commercial strategy, in just a few years this brand has already reached a level of demand and prestige that makes it a target for criminals supplying counterfeit products.
The team at Parajumpers are very much on the front line in the battle to defeat counterfeiting, since fake products are not only damaging for their brand image and company revenues, but also threatening their customer’s safety. Many of the counterfeits are cheaply produced utilizing non-sanitized down which may contain bacteria, fungus, and mildew, fabrics colored with toxic substances and in general do not offer any real protection from cold weather and other elements.
Furthermore, the production of counterfeit goods often supports illegal activities such as child labor, unsafe working conditions and organized crime.
To set up a successful brand protection program, Ape & Partners S.p.A. appointed OpSec Security to develop a multifaceted approach that:
Could be easily verified by all stakeholders but very difficult to be copied by counterfeiters
Would provide conclusive authentication of any suspected counterfeits to authorized staff
Ensure the supply chain remains secure and controlled
The OpSec Solution
To meet these objectives, OpSec used its core strengths in optical and material science, apparel trim solutions and design services.
Optical & Material Science
As a leader in optical security for nearly 40 years, OpSec provides Optically Variable Device (OVD) technology to numerous global high security projects including national banknotes, passports and other government-issued documents.
The same technology was used to originate a highly secure OVD that would secure all Parajumpers products guaranteeing, at the same time, that the design complimented Parajumpers branding and philosophy.
OpSec utilized leading technology to create a security hologram encompassing multiple security features at overt, covert and forensic levels to ensure the label remained uncompromised.
Certificate of Authenticity
The paper label carrying the security OVD is printed with product information and then applied to an OpSec supplied ‘certificate of authenticity’ card. Once attached to the certificate the combination of advanced adhesive and security perforations thwart any attempt to remove or re-use the security label by destroying it and making both the label and certificate void of use.
The ‘certificate of authenticity’ is placed within a protective sleeve and attached to authentic Parajumpers clothing by authorized supply chain members.
The secure certificate not only helps to enhance the perception of value, care and confidence for the brand, but also acts as a physical warranty for the product and guarantee that the customer is buying an authentic Parajumpers product.
Woven Label Security
While the label and certificate provided authenticity and enhancement externally to the product, there was also a requirement to ensure security was embedded within the Parajumpers apparel in a way that would remain for the life of the product.
To meet this objective, OpSec designed a premium brand label that included a covert security feature known only to the Ape & Partners S.p.A. brand protection team.
Key Take Aways
The global fashion and apparel sector is under constant threat of counterfeit and IPR infringements, and this remains one of the most significant threats to brand owners.
Aspirational brands such as Parajumpers are at particular threat, with counterfeiters going to great lengths to emulate authentic products.
For long-term, profitable growth it is vital that brand owners take ongoing action to ensure they remain ‘ahead of the game’ to protect their customers, brand values and revenues.
Parajumpers management took a pro-active stance on this threat, working closely with OpSec to analyse the problems at hand and subsequently review and evaluate all possible solutions.
In being able to provide a full suite of brand protection solutions, OpSec is unique in being able to take a ‘white-board’ approach to projects, seamlessly integrating optical security, trim products (and when required) a full suite of digital solutions including trace and trace, consumer engagement and online brand protection.
The uniqu set of solutions implemented in the Parajumpers case ensures that when suspected counterfeit products are found in the market place or distribution chain, they can now be identified quickly and easily.
All aspects of the project were successfully developed in close partnership, ensuring that an uncompromising level of authentication was delivered, while at the same time providing a set of premium trim products that would help enhance the brand and increase customer confidence