Martha Stewart buys fake designer bags in Istanbul

Hours after lecturing Turks on the importance of brands and ‘lovemarks,’ US TV personality and lifestyle icon Martha Stewart bought fake designer bags in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar American TV personality and lifestyle icon Martha Stewart has raised eyebrows in Turkey after buying fake designer bags from the historic Grand Bazaar following her lecture during Brand Week Istanbul.

“Stewart visited the Grand Bazaar and shopped at now globally-known fraudulent designer bag stores. She bought five fake bags,” Hürriyet columnist Cengiz Semercioğlu wrote on Nov. 17.

After describing this shopping session as a “comedy,” Semercioğlu stressed the discrepancy between Stewart’s fortune and the cheapness of the fake bags she bought.

“I wonder how Martha, whose name is being used as a brand in the decoration, beauty, food and entertainment sectors, would react if her products could be bootlegged and sold in the United States,” he noted.

Semercioğlu also wrote that Carlos Dunga, the coach of Brazil’s national football team, was another famous customer of fraudulent designer bag stores at the Grand Bazaar.

Stewart, who in 2004 spent time in prison on felony charges, was the keynote speaker of Brand Week Istanbul, organized Nov. 3-8. As the founder of Omnimedia, Stewart was praised in the Turkish event’s press release as “the genius of content marketing.” Her speech on Nov. 4 was titled “How to Become a Lovemark.”

“Traffic is awful, but the city is wonderful. It is so beautiful that I may move to Istanbul one day,” Stewart had told Hürriyet writer Saffet Emre Tonguç after admiring the view on the roof of the 559-year-old Grand Bazaar that houses over 3,000...

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