20,000 Fake Louboutins Seized, Will Be Burned

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20,000 Fake Louboutins Seized, Will Be Burned
Christian Louboutin has been having a tough year. First, he lost a court case to Zara trying to prove that his trademark red soles were in fact a legal trademark in France.

He’s also still in the middle of a case against YSL, where he’s accusing the house of plagiarizing his red soles. And now, in the largest bust of fake shoes ever, Los Angeles customs agents seized $18 million worth of fake Louboutins (about 20,000 pairs) from China in 5 shipments.

In a display of how much of a difference a red heel makes, ladies in the UK have been enjoying lavish compliments on their footwear after painting the soles of their $30 pairs with Louboutin red. According to WWD, the sales of two red hues, Flame and Showstopper by Duracoat, have gone up 40% in the past year.

A company called Archtags sells ready-made Louboutin sole stickers (and a bunch of rhinestone ones too), for women who don’t want to get their hands dirty.

Officials believe that the Chinese fakes were headed for one of the many online distributors that sell counterfeit designer shoes in the U.S. The sites usually sell the fakes as highly discounted—but real—pairs.

On close inspection, it’s easy to tell that they’re fake—most are not stamped with the Louboutin seal on the arch, are made out of cheapo material and don’t fit well. That doesn’t stop people from buying them in bulk, though: while real Louboutin’s run from $800 and up, the fakes cost around $160.

The fakes were caught so quickly because they were shipped directly from China (real Louboutins come from Italy), a testament to how brazen counterfeiters are getting. Customs said they'll be burning the crappy plastic shoes, and releasing lots and lots of carcinogenic gas in to the air in the process. What a win, all around!
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