Lately, all over the internet, on sites that strive for a good, honest reputation (Luxist and ShoeBlog included) banner ads for shoe sites such as LouboutinMall, LouboutinBox, and other Louboutin url derivatives have been popping up advertising “genuine Christian Louboutin pumps for only $150″. There has been a fair amount of discussion about these sites, including why the advertisements are showing up (for ShoeBlog, we rely on an advertisement network to serve up ads to pay for our costs and have little control on that gets added. We try to take down spammy ads but sometimes, to our chagrin, they pop up faster than we can remove them). The main question all of us have wondered is, are these sites selling authentic Louboutins?
Christian Louboutin as a company is not a publicly traded. So, Mr. Louboutin has full control over the product, marketing, and quality.He graciously turns down investors on a regular basis instead, focusing on sustainable profit, design, craftsmanship and his customer of which he has many loyal. He does not want to answer to investors; he has the luxury of serving his loyal customers, employees and complete design control.
Now, if he has turned investors down regularly because he wants quality control, WHY in the world would he flood the market, charging wholesalers $75, or even $100 for handcrafted high quality shoes? (Remember, wholesalers typically double their cost). We all know these are fakes. Pure and simple. I am not going to go into the moral aspects of the conditions in which these fakes are manufactured. My issue is quality of your purchase.
It cost about $600. It seemed like a fortune to a young mother. I have used the hell out of that bag. It was a diaper bag for 3 children, it was a weekender bag, it is now a carry-on bag when I travel. It has aged reasonably well. Why? It was made with real leather and superior craftmanship and it still looks wonderful. Ten years ago I bought a Louis Vuitton fake for $40. It looked good for about 2 weeks. My granddaughter now plays with it in her dress-up box. When I buy something I always figure, “It takes me X days to pay for this, is it worth it?” So, is it worth 3 or 4 days worth of work to pay for something that will last six months at best? Will you have this fake 20 years later? You will have the real deal 40 years later
Do you want a platform pump for about $150?
Are these exactly like Louboutin shoes. Of course not. Are they quality shoes? I think so. Are they counterfeit? No. I think the most touching posts I have read is by Islingback in ShoeBlog’s forums. After hard financial times, she was able to buy a pair of desinger shoes. Would she be as thrilled with a fake? I don’t think so.
We want Louboutins because he has spent time, energy and money to make a shoe and a reputation as the best. With a fake you will get neither, except pictures which have clearly been stolen from Neiman Marcus, Saks, and Ebay of authentic Louboutins. As consumers, let’s be responsible with whom and how our money is spent. I learned my lesson ten years ago. It cost me $40.