Coucou Suzette vs. la contrefaçon

Coucou Suzette vs. counterfeits

Since Coucou Suzette was founded in 2016, we've lost count of the number of accessory designs & photos from our photoshoots that have been stolen and exploited on e-commerce platforms. Each time a collection is released, the culmination of several months' work is stolen in a fraction of a second.

The birth of our creations

While this work is the result of a hard-working team making the brand blossom a little bit more everyday, it begins with one and only person: Juliette, founder of the brand.

She grew up in a family of artists, reading comics for kids, watching French classic films over and over again and singing the soundtracks of her favorite musicals at the top of her lungs, all in between ballet classes.

In short, a child surrounded by art who quickly revealed herself to be an infinite source of creativity, and who later studied illustration at the Arts Déco of Paris and in Japan, as well as jewelry at the École Boulle.

Ever since she founded Coucou Suzette, Juliette has designed each creation of the brand herself! She creates all the collections spontaneously, sketching them in the little notebooks she carries everywhere. On the train, at a café terrace, in front of the fireplace in her family home in Normandy... Any moment is a good time to put her sketches down on paper.

She then scans them and reworks them on the computer, carefully choosing colors, shapes and materials. There's nothing more exhilarating for the team than when she proudly announces the completion of a new collection in the office. We collectively discover her sketches and tell her about our favorite ones.

Afterward, Juliette produces the technical sheets sent to our manufacturers, and supervises production with the rest of the team.

This is when the development phase begins: several come-and-goes are necessary to adjust the size, type of claws, colors and other finishes, in order to arrive at the perfect final accessory. It therefore takes many months to go from an idea to a finished product.

Recuperation by counterfeiters

But while our creations are very popular with our wonderful customers, they also attract the attention of malicious people. From the very beginnings of Coucou Suzette, many of our products have fallen victim to counterfeiting.

Number 1 on the podium of most copied creations: our hair claw clips. Blue eye, dachshund, bulldog, cat, daisy, tulip... These are just some of the classics created between 2020 and 2021 that have spread to all e-commerce platforms.

This was a very daunting problem for the team at the time, only comprised of Juliette and Clotilde (now Managing Director), who found themselves at a loss when faced with hundreds of copies.

Several actions were taken to fight counterfeiting: copyrighting each of our designs, protecting our brand name internationally, taking legal action to assert our rights, and a major lawsuit (won!) against a well-known fast-fashion brand.

But despite what has been put in place over the years, the fact remains the same, and any brand that has fallen victim to copying can say the same: it is impossible to prevent counterfeiting.

As our acetate hair clips are made in China, as soon as a design becomes popular, competing Chinese manufacturers seize on it to reproduce it and offer it for sale at a very small price in an poor-quality version.

So you might ask: why not manufacture them in France to avoid the problem? Firstly, because China has exceptional know-how in cellulose acetate, which we can't do without. Secondly, because manufacturing in France would force us to drastically increase our prices (find out more on the page dedicated to our choice of manufacturing in China).

Finally, even if our accessories were made in France, there's no guarantee that counterfeiting would stop.

Acetate specialists in China don't need any special instructions to make a product; they've mastered the art of reproduction. All they have to do is order the creations on our website and copy them.

In addition to offering counterfeit products, some manufacturers even indulge in fantasies based on our designs, developing their own versions of our creations.

On the left hand side you can see Coucou Suzette creations, counterfeits on the right hand side.

But if they know how to copy, many manufacturers are not capable of making accessories with the same quality as ours.

Some will use traditional plastic rather than cellulose acetate to cut costs. The result is a product of inferior quality, less aesthetic, with a shoddy finish, and which will break much more easily.

Other manufacturers will change the type of claws, to avoid the complexities of the original creations: where we've developed and improved our accessories over many years to get the best possible hold on the hair, the counterfeit will hold poorly and be able to catch only a few strands.

So there are plenty of surprises if you venture to order counterfeit products online: sellers may use advantageous photos, or even steal Coucou Suzette promotional photos, but the product you receive is likely to be quite different, as we've seen for ourselves when ordering copies


In addition to being a victim of counterfeiting, Coucou Suzette has also been wrongly accused of dropshipping on several occasions.

What is dropshipping? A relatively recent practice, which exploded in the 2010s, consisting of selling products from a third-party supplier. In practice, dropshippers buy low-cost products on e-commerce platforms and sell them at full price on independent sites.

With copies of our products appearing on these platforms, some people see the problem in the wrong way: instead of supporting our brand and defending our intellectual property, they accuse us of dropshipping.

In short, we're accused of making a profit from these counterfeit accessories, when in fact we're the first victims.

Asserting our rights

Despite all of this, we're not giving up.

Even though we know that it is a never ending battle, because every collection is automatically copied, put on sale on the Internet, then bought by independent boutiques around the world... We fight back in every way we can.

We systematically report infringements via intellectual property platforms, contact boutiques one by one, protect our designs in France and abroad, and take legal action when necessary.

In short, we enforce our copyright by every possible means.

All these steps are as costly as they are time-consuming, which is why counterfeiters often target small businesses, considering them vulnerable and lacking the financial means to defend themselves.

In this race against counterfeiting, the help of our customers is invaluable, and we've lost count of the number of cases we've been able to solve thanks to their watchful eyes.

A big thank you to all those who have already shown their support by sending us an e-mail, a comment, a DM or a story on social networks reporting the copies.

For our part, we'll stand by our beloved creations, made with care and love, and we'll never stop reminding the world that Coucou Suzette is the originator of all these morale-boosting designs!

Back to blog