Lifestyle & Belief

$18 million worth of fake Louboutin shoes seized in LA


LONG BEACH, CA - AUGUST 16: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer Pete Galles displays counterfeit Louboutin pumps and high heels featuring the distinctive red sole of French designer Christian Louboutin at Price Transfer Warehouse on August 16, 2012 in Long Beach, California. Between July 27 and Aug. 14, import specialists and officers assigned to the Los Angeles and Long Beach seaport have seized a total of five shipments from China containing more than 20,000 pairs in vilolation of the French designer's trademark with a potential retail value of $18 million.


Kevork Djansezian

LOS ANGELES -- More than 20,000 pairs of knock-off Christian Louboutin shoes will never walk the streets of Los Angeles after federal customs officials intercepted the shipment from China at the Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex, reports KTLA news.

The shoes are worth a street value of roughly $18 million, according to US border patrol.

The high-end shoes are a visable symbol of luxury with their trademark red lacquered sole. The flash of red was a common sight on the streets of New York in HBO's series Sex and the City. Celebrities from Sarah Jessica Parker to Victoria Beckham are often photographed in the sky-high heels. Even Elton John owns a pair of Louboutin slippers, according to the Guardian newspaper

"The lacquered red sole in women's shoes is a distinctive symbol of famous French designer Christian Louboutin," U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Jaime Ruiz said in a statement to KTLA.

He also noted that the distinctive soles are also "a trademark protected by U.S. law."



KPCC reports that customs agents seized another large shipment of counterfeit women's shoes from China worth about $7 million. Four other shipments were intercepted Tuesday bringing the total number of fake Louboutins to 20,457. Ruiz, of the US border agency, said the counterfeit shoes will likely be destroyed.

According to the Daily Mail, the French shoe designer doesn't only have problems with knockoffs from China. It also encountered copyright problems with rival luxury designers. In 2011, Louboutin filed a trademark infringement against Yves Saint Laurent after the latter sold shoes with the signature red sole. 'It is a red in a specific context. There is Ferrari red [and] Hermès orange,' Louboutin told French newspaper Libération.