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Can't Tell a Fake Luxury Bag? Look at the Zips!

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By Jaden Francis - - 5 Mins Read
Close up shot of a woman holding a luxury black leather handbag
Featured Photo | Shutterstock

Even the tiniest details count at the crux of the fashion industry, like the zips on your stylish handbag.


Let's look at a company called Riri from Switzerland, which makes zips that tell you if your bag is the real deal or a cheap copy.


Riri's Journey into the fashion world started in 1923 when a Swiss entrepreneur named Martin Othmar Winterhalter purchased a zipper patent from the Swedish-American engineer Gideon Sundback.


Fast forward to 1936, Winterhalter faced political challenges, prompting him to relocate his zipper-making machines to an old pasta factory in Ticino, Italy. This move marked the establishment of the Riri brand. Riri distinguishes itself in the zipper business by more than just functionality.


The company collaborates with fashion professionals and brands to design zippers with vibrant, colorful teeth forming stylish patterns and sliders that resemble elegant jewelry.


A luxury fashion bag shelf in a fashion store
Luxury bags in a fashion store | Shutterstock


Don't be surprised; Riri supplies the biggest French and Italian fashion houses your favorite celebrities love, including Fendi, Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Amiri, Chanel, and Balenciaga, with exquisite designer zippers.


But it's not all about looks; these zippers undergo strict machine testing to ensure they are tough and durable, resisting wear and retaining their logos and designs over time.


The price range of Riri's zippers is noteworthy, spanning from two euros to 20,000 euros for a gold-plated one. This substantial difference in cost sets them apart from zippers produced in Asia.


Riri's journey is said to be a testament to innovation, and a commitment to excellence. These qualities have become a hallmark of authenticity in the realm of luxury fashion. As Riri continues to collaborate with renowned designers and push the boundaries of zipper technology, the company remains a symbol of sophistication and quality in the ever-evolving fashion landscape.


Oerlikon, a Swiss company established in 1906, recognized the potential for a steady income in the luxury market. Despite challenges in understanding the fashion industry's unique language, Oerlikon acquired Coeurdor in 2021 and Riri in March 2023.


This move into luxury, though a small part of their business, contributed 5.7 per cent of their total earnings, providing stability during economic fluctuations.


Viktor Vekselberg's ownership raised eyebrows amid the Ukraine conflict. Despite a 25.8 per cent drop in orders in 2023, Oerlikon's luxury venture is seen as a strategic move to navigate challenging times, emphasizing the blend of tradition and innovation in the ever-evolving fashion world.


Oerlikon and Riri, a symbiotic influence in the growth of fashion, seamlessly blend industrial prowess with creative elegance. Oerlikon, a Swiss giant since 1906, strategically embraced luxury through acquisitions like Coeurdor and Riri, diversifying its portfolio.


While the luxury division contributes 5.7 per cent to Oerlikon's earnings, it acts as a stabilizing force in economic fluctuations.


With its storied journey since 1923, Riri redefines the zipper as a symbol of luxury and quality. Oerlikon and Riri epitomize the delicate dance between tradition and innovation, shaping the narrative of sophistication in the ever-changing World of Fashion. 


The collaboration of Oerlikon and Riri is not merely a partnership; it's a choreographed symphony, a cooperative fusion of heritage and forward-looking creativity, crafting a distinctive narrative in the ever-evolving realm of fashion.


Oerlikon and Riri are the dynamic duo in fashion's evolution. Oerlikon, a Swiss powerhouse since 1906, strategically embraced opulence by acquiring Coeur D'or and Riri, infusing their portfolio with artistic flair.


While the luxury division contributes a modest 5.7 per cent to Oerlikon's earnings, it is a stabilizing beacon amidst economic shifts. Riri, weaving tales since 1923, outshines the mundane, transforming zippers into exquisite emblems of luxury and resilience.


If you want to tell an authentic luxury bag from a fake, check the zips—it carries more profound clues than you expected!