Where We Are Going Today: Kees Chic

Updated 11 January 2019

Where We Are Going Today: Kees Chic

  • Kees Chic products are available at the Home Grown store in Jeddah’s Al-Rawdah district

The toxic effects of disposable, single-use plastic items such as grocery bags is becoming an increasing concern around the world, due to the damage they cause to the environment after they are thrown away. Kees Chic is a social enterprise in Jeddah that dedicated to reduce this damage by making beautiful products out of recycled plastic bags, rather than dumping them in landfill sites.
In addition to the obvious environmentally friendly benefits, the products, which are mainly aimed at women, also help to improve the lives, socially and economically, of the disadvantaged local women who make them by hand.
Looking at the stylish handbags created by Kees Chic, you would never imagine they are made of discarded plastic bags. My favorites, and their most popular, are cross-body handbags made using embroidery techniques and traditional patterns from Saudi Arabia, Palestine and the Islamic arts. In addition, their embroidered coasters are very attractive and I found it really hard to pick just one design from their impressive collection.
Kees Chic products are available at the Home Grown store in Jeddah’s Al-Rawdah district, or online at www.keeschic.me and other stores including Souq.com.


Ex-Hermes workers risk prison over fake handbags

Updated 26 June 2020

Ex-Hermes workers risk prison over fake handbags

  • An inquiry uncovered a clandestine operation in which the suspects at their homes allegedly crafted dozens of counterfeit “Birkin” bags
  • Ten people went on trial this week, including seven former Hermes employees

PARIS: Paris prosecutors sought prison terms Friday for the leaders of a ring accused of making and selling fake handbags from iconic French luxury house Hermes, including some former employees.
The network, which targeted Asian tourists in Paris but also clients in Hong Kong in 2013 and 2014, was uncovered when French police wiretapped the home of a man suspected of selling stolen handbags in Asia.
An inquiry uncovered a clandestine operation in which the suspects at their homes allegedly crafted dozens of counterfeit “Birkin” bags, the most coveted — and profitable — item produced by Hermes.
Named for French-British actress Jane Birkin, the bags have long waiting lists for customers ready to pay 40,000 euros ($45,000) or more for versions made with crocodile skin.
Ten people went on trial this week, including seven former Hermes employees.
Prosecutors said they took in around two million euros a year by selling the fakes for 20,000 euros to 30,000 euros each.
The Hermes workers would make the bags with crocodile skins from an Italian supplier, using zippers and other components smuggled out of Hermes workshops.
A woman now aged 52, born in Cambodia but living in France since 1980, was tasked with selling the fake bags as well as genuine “Birkins” resold to clients at a markup.
She told investigators her clients knew that they were buying fakes, the court heard this week.
One of the employees, accused of orchestrating the counterfeiting ring, was just 18 when he began working at Hermes.
“At the time, I didn’t realize the seriousness of this,” the now 45-year-old told the court.
As the trial wound up Friday, prosecutors sought prison terms of up to four years and fines of 100,000 euros to 200,000 euros for the three ringleaders, and suspended sentences and fines for the others.
Hermes lawyers have also asked for two million euros in damages. The court is expected to announce a date for its ruling later Friday.