Christian Louboutin is the latest high fashion designer to fall victim to Chinese counterfeiters as millions of pounds worth of fake Louboutins are seized by US customs.
|Customs and immigration officals display the seized counterfeit Louboutin items Photo: GETTY|
More than 20,000 pairs of counterfeit Christian Louboutin shoes have been seized by customs at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport complex. It is thought that the shoes were destined for sale through one of the many websites that sell fake designer goods.
The haul, which arrived in the US from China, was split into five separate shipments - four of which were seized on Tuesday, with the fifth being seized late last month, revealed Jaime Ruiz, spokesman for US Customs and Border Protection, in a statement regarding the situation.
Mr Ruiz stated that the 20,457 pairs of shoes, all of which bared Louboutin's trademark red sole, had an "estimated manufacturer's suggested retail price" of $18 million.
|A pair of counterfeit shoes seized. PHOTO: Getty|
"Worn by celebrities and royalty in the fashion world, the lacquered red sole in (the) shoes is a distinctive symbol of the famous French designer Christian Louboutin," he commented further. "However, US Customs and Border Protection specialists have a different view of the lacquered red sole. They see a trademark protected by US law."
The shoes, which are said to be "very good counterfeits", will most likely be destroyed.
The shoe brand is just one of many high-fashion brands that suffer from widespread counterfeiting. Earlier this year, Hermès and Burberry were both awarded £63 million in damages in separate cases against websites selling counterfeit goods illegally bearing their brand names.
|French designer Christian Louboutin, holding an original pair of Louboutins. PHOTO: Reuters|
Christian Louboutin is also currently embroiled in two separate legal battles with Yves Saint Laurent and high-street store Zara , both of whom sold shoes featuring a red sole. Louboutin argue that the use of a red sole could cause confusion, mistake and deception among the relevant purchasing public as to the origin of the infringing footwear.