If you know a Customs Agent in the L.A. area who suddenly starts tottering around on a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes, you may want to take a closer look at the agent’s footwear. More than 20,000 fake pairs of Louboutins were snagged last week a the L.A./Long Beach seaport, according to ABC News.
The shoes, which were valued at about $3 a pair but could have made somebody about $18 million at retail, are scheduled to be destroyed, probably by burning, the site notes. The shoes entered the country from three different importers from China on two different dates.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports that the seizure of counterfeit and pirated goods is growing. Last year, 24,792 such seizures took place in the L.A. area alone, an 18 percent increase over 2010.
One of the issues, according to Reuters, is that Louboutin hasn’t been as active in pursuing trademark infringements while it waits for the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to rule in its trademark court fight with Yves Saint Laurent. Arguments were held in January and Louboutin expected an announcement by now, the news service notes. Louboutin doesn’t want YSL to be able to sell red-soled shoes, something it unsuccessfully attempted to prevent Zara from doing.
"We've been on the head of a pin, fearful this was going to take place, and it has," Louboutin’s lawyer, Harley Lewin, told Reuters. YSL, of course, isn’t so worried and has been turning out red-soled shoes to satisfy the masses.
Meanwhile, Louboutin has partnered with Walt Disney to create a Cinderella glass slipper that will be given to 20 lucky winners this fall, according to USA Today. The slippers will feature the trademarked red Louboutin bottom and is inspired by Cinderella’s release on Blu-ray in early October.
Louboutin didn’t go all-glass on the slipper, instead using lace "to give the illusion of transparency, paired with a glittering, Swarovski-crystal-covered heel,” the paper notes. The designer's use of butterflies conjures "a modern-day Cinderella tending to her chores and the delicate creature landing on her.”
The Disney partnership gives the designer something to dance about as he nurses his feelings about the trademark case. All he can do now is wait and watch as the faux Louboutins roll in.