The Armani Code (also called the Arman Code or the Armband Code) is a set of standards that dictate how the brand should display its armanic and authentic colours and marks.
The Code states that any brand that displays its products in a way that is perceived to be an imitation of an authentic product, the brand must have a colour that has been registered by the Armenian Council of Designers, a body set up by the government of Armenia.
Armenia’s Code was put in place in 2003 to combat counterfeiters who would steal the authentic Armanis from the countries markets and sell them online.
The Code states: “The Code applies to any brand, if it presents itself in a manner that is intended to mislead consumers or the public, and does not comply with the requirements of the Code.”
The code has been widely criticised by retailers and consumers, as well as the government, who say it is a blatant attempt to control the market and restrict the quality of the products sold by the country’s largest brand.
But Armanic Council of Dictators and Designers chief Nemanja Karabakhanyan has said the Code has been a boon to Armenia’s economy, pointing to the high sales of Armanian brands in the past year.
He told the BBC that while there is no perfect solution to the problem, the Code “is one that will enable us to take the market from a country with a poor quality of goods to one that can compete on a level playing field.”
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, who was recently accused of corruption for allegedly taking bribes, was the last to meet with the president in December.
He has since appointed an expert to look into the issue.
Armani is Armenia’s biggest luxury brand and it has been known for its extravagant and expensive jewellery and fine jewelry that has long been the signature of its designers.
But the brand has also been criticised for selling cheap imitation products, including jewellery made in China, China’s biggest economy.
Ars Technica wrote: “Armeni has been criticised by many for its ‘inventive’ jewellery, as they have not done a very good job with quality.
Its latest attempts to compete with its European rivals have resulted in an expensive and ‘inferior’ product, and a company that’s reputation is tarnished by its poor quality.”