Many a frugal shopper have been lured by the promise of luxury goods at cheap, cheap cheap! prices. What’s not to love about getting something that looks stylish and fashion-forward for the cost of shopping at Goodwill?
But as is all too often the case in life, knockoffs are usually too good to be true. The stitching is horrible, the sizing all wrong, and the fabric low-grade.
And as Dutch photographer Jan Dirk van der Burg discovered on vacation in the Middle East, misspelled brand names are as prevalent as they are hilarious. He noticed a pair of Calvin Klein undies that said “Calven Klain” on the waistband, and a lightbulb went off over his head.
He spent the next three years scouring the planet for Calvin Klein knockoff typos, and now he’s collected them into a book, complete with hunky underwear models shot in the signature CK style.
It’s called Calvin Klein: They Dyslexic Collection, and you can get your very own copy here.
Enjoy this preview, with accompanying information about each pair of faux designer goods:
10 Hryvnia ($0.44)
“Leave the metro station in a northerly direction towards Verbova Street. Turn left just before the DVD section and continue straight ahead for 400 metres. When you see the words Petrovka market in metre-high letters, turn right at the FASHION VIP clothes store. Three stalls along, you’ll find Sasha selling Calven Kliem.”
140,000 Rial ($5.01)
“The entrance to the Grand Bazaar of Isfahan is on the north side of Imam Square, opposite the Jameh Mosque. Ignoring the pushy carpet sellers, walk straight ahead past the souvenir shops. Turn right at the end along the lane with herbs and spices. Turn left at the T junction and you’ll find three underwear stalls at the end. Mohammed sells Calvni Klain.”
5 Lari ($2.29)
“Walk behind the bus station towards the taxi rank. At the end, near to the minibuses to Kutaisi and Batumi, there is a market with two rows of women’s clothing. Georgi’s stall, brimming with underwear and socks, is about 50 meters along. He not only sells Colvin Kloin underwear (featuring the FC Mozdok emblem), but also iPhone underpants and Facebook perfume.”
St. Petersburg, Russia
60 Ruble ($0.96)
“Starting from the main entrance to Udelnaya metro station, take the first left towards the flea market. Turn right into the first lane of the permanent market, just beyond the railway lines. After passing three men’s shoe shops, you will find a small underwear shop where Vasily sells Calven Kiein underpants.”
50,000 Riaal ($ 1.79)
“Leave the motorbike parking area, cross the square, and join the masses heading for the entrance to the Bazaar. Walk past the tourist carriages and clandestine currency brokers, and on the right you’ll see a group of traders on rugs selling just one product. One of them is Reza, who sells black and red Galvin Klain underwear.”
6 Hryvnia ($0.26)
“Go through the main entrance to the Privoz market and cross the food section. You’ll see the clothing department at the end of the meat stalls. Turn right again after the wedding dresses and then take the third left. Sergey running the socks and pants stall on the corner sells Kalvi Klan underwear.”
6 Lira ($2.28)
“If you stand at the canal side, you will see the market stalls on the left bank. Keep left and you’ll find a sock and underwear-stall just before the next crossroads. In addition to a huge range of underpants with English texts such as ‘I LOVE KISS’, Burak also sells yellow and grey Calven Kliem underwear. (only on Tuesdays)”
15 Hryvnia ($0.65)
“Starting at the ‘No photographs’ sign close to the main entrance, take the third lane to the left and walk the length of the street with the pink containers. Turn left into the street with the phone covers until you find a small lane with underwear. In the third container on the left, Kirill is selling Calvin Klain underwear and washing instructions for Hugo Boss, Dolce & Gabbana and Versace.”
6 Hryvnia ($0.26)
“Go through the main entrance to the Privoz market and cross the food section. You’ll see the clothing department at the end of the meat stalls. Turn right again after the wedding dresses and then take the third left. Sergey running the socks and pants stall on the corner sells Calven Klain underwear.”
You can find more on Jan Dirk van der Burg’s website.