Rimowa Replicas: Are Lookalikes Worth It? (Full Guide)
The exterior design is the only similarity between a replica and an original Rimowa. Most copycats offer poor performance, such as being fragile and easy to break into by nefarious actors. This poor performance is because they’re made with inferior materials.
Rimowa luggage and products are renowned for their excellent aesthetics, durability, lightweight quality, and overall class. The company also offers impeccable customer service and after-care service.
Rimowas are high-demand products, especially for the frequent flier community, despite their high price point. That’s why you can observe multiple travelers carrying a product from the brand through airports around the world.
Demand for great products typically leads to knockoffs. From clothing to shoes, it’s almost a given to find fakes and replicas. The same theory applies to Rimowa products.
And to be fair, not everyone can shell out over $1,000 on a Rimowa luggage or suitcase. But are fake Rimowa products comparable to the real deal in any way?
In this article, I examine if a replica has the same quality as the real Rimowa. I’ll also discuss if replicas are easy to spot, if they’re worth buying, and much more.
Are Rimowa replicas the same quality as the original?
Replicas are often inferiorly made and manufactured with cheaper materials and lesser attention to detail, despite having the same design as the original. That’s one reason their price points are lower than the original. They may look the same, but the user experience is rarely the same.
The difference in quality between a replica and an authentic product depends on the makers of the former.
Some replica makers go above and beyond to create a product very similar to the original. Other creators just can’t be bothered. The quality mostly boils down to material quality, attention to detail during construction, and prioritizing user experience.
You may struggle to move a fully stocked Rimowa replica across the airport. On the other hand, a child may be able to push a loaded authentic Rimowa without help, thanks to the patented Multiwheel system. You can’t quantify some of these added values.
Additionally, the replicas may not be able to withstand the pressure the original does due to the lower-quality materials they’re made with. Knockoffs also rarely undergo testing like the originals do to ensure they meet a minimum standard.
There’s also the experience and ability to hire skilled craftsmen that Rimowa has over most trying to recreate a lookalike.
For example, Rimowa uses “an additional high-end anodization layering procedure,” which makes the products more durable and able to absorb impacts.
What materials are Rimowa replicas made of?
Original Rimowa suitcases are made of aluminum alloys or polycarbonate. Many replicas try to use the same materials but with lesser quality. Some knockoffs simply settle for plastics.
Rimowa uses 100% aluminum-magnesium alloy hard shells for some products. Replica makers may use the same alloy but one with lesser quality than the one used by Rimowa.
The magnesium component of aluminum-magnesium alloys ranges from 0.5 to 12-13%. A replica creator may limit the magnesium component to 0.5% to save costs, even though that’s probably not the proportion Rimowa uses.
Companies like Rimowa keep these proportions a well-guarded secret for competitive advantage.
Some replica makers also use plastic different from polycarbonate, thus making the luggage susceptible to destruction from minimal contact.
Are Rimowa replicas easy to spot?
You can spot Rimowa replicas from their groove design, lock system, and serial numbers. By tapping the exterior, you can also tell the difference between an original and a fake, as the latter will likely sound hollow due to poor material quality.
The answer to this question depends on who you ask and the quality of the replica. Some replicas are so close to the original that they can even fool some of the biggest Rimowa fans.
But as with most replicas or knockoffs, they are never perfect. There’s always one or more tell-tale signs that differentiate the imitation from the genuine product. There are other ways to authenticate a Rimowa product. We’ll briefly examine them below.
1. Proprietary groove design
The difference in groove design is perhaps the quickest way to identify a counterfeit Rimowa. Rimowa owns a patent on its groove design. Hence, other companies can’t copy the design without facing a lawsuit.
The peculiarities in Rimowa’s design include the spacing and texture. The spacing should be uniform around the whole Rimowa suitcase. In terms of texture, the groove should be smooth. The knockoffs are not allowed to replicate this design, hence have unevenly spaced groove designs.
2. The Lock
Sophisticated replicas have similar locks to the real Rimowa, but one of the few differences include:
- The keyhole is in a different direction from the original. If the original has its keyhole vertical, the counterfeit will have its keyhole horizontal.
- The keyhole for replicas is also typically smaller than that of the original.
- Original locks have “TSA006” on them, while knockoffs typically feature something different.
- Original Rimowas have the “TSA006” engraved on the keyhole metal. For replicas, the letters are engraved on the black casing around the keyhole.
3. Serial number
All Rimowas have a serial number engraved or printed on the side of the suitcase. The serial number can be registered on the Rimowa website. This is the real proof in the pudding. Only by registering you can be sure it’s an authentic one.
What countries are you most likely to find Rimowa replicas?
You’re more likely to find Rimowa replicas in Asia, particularly China, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan. The primary reason is that these countries have an advanced industrial base and cheap labor.
The advanced industrial base in these countries provides access to raw materials and the availability of skilled labor to produce the suitcases as close as possible to the original design.
Additionally, cheap labor means the overall cost of production remains low. As such, replica manufacturers can sell them at affordable prices.
Also, you’ll readily see these replicas in luggage shops in Asia because of lax laws and regulatory oversight.
The suitcases below are replicated Rimowa suitcases. One is an Essential and the other one is a Rimowa x Dior. If you look at the pictures the execution is on point. Even the details of the suitcase are very well replicated and it’s very hard to distinguish between a real and a fake one.
What is the price difference between an original Rimowa and a replica?
The price difference between an original Rimowa and a replica is always huge. Most replicas I’ve seen recently range from $100-250. Some replicas go for as low as less than 10% of the price of an original. That’s a price difference of over $1,000 in most cases.
The high price difference is the main selling point of most fake Rimowas. If the price is similar, people would rather buy the original.
Are Rimowa replicas worth it?
Replicas are never worth it doesn’t matter how well they are made. It’s fake it’s not the original. Simple as that. Besides that the quality is not the same as the original.
With replicas, there’s no guarantee of what kind of experience you’ll get. If you’re traveling, you want to ensure the contents of your bags remain safe and secure. Many replicas are made with inferior materials that make them fragile and easy to penetrate for thieves.
No matter how well-intentioned the designers of replicas are, they can’t replicate Rimowa’s wheel system that glides across the ground. With many copycats, you have to exert force to move the suitcase. Again, if you rarely fly, this may not be an issue.
Then there’s the little matter of the lifetime guarantee that Rimowa offers that replicas don’t. You can take your luggage to any Rimowa store for repairs. The company also partners with some hotels to help customers repair their Rimowas.
What is often overlooked is the buying experience. Rimowa stores are located in the most beautiful locations and the interior of the stores are an architectural work of art. It’s an unforgettable experience when buying in such a location. This is something which is priceless and you won’t experience that from buying a replica in a shady shop in some shopping mall.
Rimowa luggage is more than a luxury product. They’re not just pretty but functional. Rimowas are designed well to get you through your travels, which they’ll do for many years.
No matter how close replicas look to the original, they rarely offer this assurance. Most replicas simply don’t have the same quality as the real deal.
Many replicas look very close to the original. As such, you must be eagle-eyed when you shop and search for a Rimowa. Fortunately, carefully looking at the groove design, locks, and serial numbers can help you distinguish the original from replicas.
Are you wary of buying fake Rimowas or replicas positioned as the original? Check our How to Buy a Rimowa (Everything You Need to Know) guide to buy original Rimowas and save money.