Foakley is certainly an accepted word that websites openly sell “Foakley” glasses. For example, Fake Oakleys for Sale claims to be a US company having a US address, and sells Foakley Radarlocks for $13 – it offers the Oakley logo at the top of the homepage but the word “Foakley” is all over the site, and it openly states that the glasses are knock-offs. Needless to say, the web page isn’t really US-based: it ships via EMS, the Chinese state-owned courier firm.
But this can be far from the only website selling Oakley knock-offs. You can find Foakley sellers on Alibaba, DHgate, and other Chinese online merchants. A British cycle industry executive told BikeBiz that all the riders in his cycling club who wore Oakley’s have, in reality, been wearing Foakleys for around the past several years.
Oakley is owned by the $9bn Luxottica Group 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 an excellent 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 it also dominates retail: it owns 7,000 stores all over the world, including Sunglass Hut, the market leader. When pre-takeover, Oakley was starved of usage of Sunglass Hut its stock plummeted making the sale to Luxottica a foregone conclusion.
Mark Ferguson of Melbourne, Australia, is within surgical device sales. He vlogs as “CyclingMaven”. Certainly one of his most widely used videos is on the technical merits of Foakleys. “We pay a premium for many things within australia. My Oakleys, with lenses, were pushing nearly AU$600. I place them over a [bike storage] cage; within several hours, these were gone.To change them was going to 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. And the quality was shocking – I couldn’t believe how good these were. For $30.
“Are they produced in the identical factory as Cheap Real Oakley Sunglasses? I don’t know, but lots of people who purchase these fakes will rationalise it like that. Not everybody feels comfortable buying counterfeit products. “The anti-establishment side of me says, look, here’s a business selling pieces 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 from the face in the earth tomorrow, some other company would replace them, and in all likelihood wouldn’t charge just as much money for their products. These companies bend people over; they take them to get a ride. Because situation I’ve got no difficulties with studying the counterfeit product side of things.
“Whenever I handled Oakley glasses belonging to friends I thought “these are just pieces of plastic with many nice branding on them.” I searched on eBay for “cycling sunglasses” and found a pair that bore a striking resemblance to Oakley Jawbones and the other pair that bore a striking resemblance to Oakley Radarlocks. They were about £8 each, delivered from China. They didn’t possess the Oakley branding on the photos on the eBay listing but when the Jawbones arrived that they had Oakley branding, including “Made in the united states” stamped on the arms, and also the oval Oakley emblem was where you’d expect to see it. These people were indistinguishable from genuine Jawbones. They txkeay well (nevertheless the arm broke after a number of months).
“The “Radarlocks” came with free lenses as well as a case. They fitted really well, and I’m still using them. “I tell other people they’re fake. There’s perverse satisfaction to get something less expensive than someone else. We have no brand loyalty, I didn’t get them for the cachet from the brand, I simply would like them to help keep the bugs out of my eyes, and not be upset once i inevitably lose them.
“Once I see Oakleys in the wild I take a look at them critically. The company is diluted by all the fakes available. “I bought fakes because We have terrible trouble getting sunglasses that suit therefore i didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a experimentation purchase. £8 means they’re throwaway.
“I had a hot debate with a guy who said his optician had said you couldn’t get adequate UV-A and -B protection in every sunglasses for under £20 a lens. I took mine right down to the medical physics lab in my hospital, and also the chap who tests each of the equipment for the dermatology UV labs has the machinery to check UV-A and -B. In addition, i took some expensive and real Ted Baker casual sunglasses, too. All of them passed one hundred percent.
“The lab manager stated it was hard to get polycarbonate plastic that lets UV-A and -B through – he needs it for a few of his applications and requires to buy it coming from a special source. Automatically polycarbonate doesn’t let UV through. When manufacturers say you’ll be blinded if 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, things like spoke keys for pennies. “My buddies are indifferent; they don’t give a great deal of stuff. “There are some chaps inside the club who have to have the newest expensive thing. I haven’t talked to them about fakes, partly because I don’t desire to piss on their parade. “I was able to afford to buy the genuine article. The reason why 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 a thing that does the job to get a reasonable amount of money. And also to me a pair of Fake Oakleys for £100 or more is excessive. “I’m ready to spend large amounts of cash on several things. This is probably not 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 will 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 small Chinese business.
“I never bought any pirated DVDs. I certainly downloaded some stuff from Napster in the day. Now it’s just quicker and simpler to buy from legitimate sources. “I realize the buying price of the plastic in a kind of Oakley’s is simply a small element of their costs, however i don’t want to pay for their marketing along with their sponsorship, I am only willing to pay for the product.”