The Yi Sen Wholesale Market in Guangzhou is several stories tall and stretches for blocks. It’s not too far from the old train station. As you approach on the street, your nostrils begin to detect the smell of leather. There are other smells mingled in. I guess it’s only fitting that a leather alternative be called PU.
I love wandering around this market. Actually, I love wandering around most of Guangzhou’s wholesale markets. And there’s a ton of them. The Yi Sen Wholesale Market and the Baiyun World Leather Wholesale Market are pretty much across the street from each other. Here you can find bags, belts, shoes and leather accessories. You can also get a real education in the art of knock-off.
Yes, you’ll see fake Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Coach, Chanel, Juicy Couture, you name it. Some of it is good – very good. Any wonder then, why most (not all) designer labels have moved their manufacturing to China? Which brings up the question: When does a “designer label” become “not a designer label?”