Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Louboutins: fakes vs. real

My wedding shoes

Imagine this nightmare scenario: you decide to buy the dream shoes of Christian Louboutin, you pay full price for it and afterwards you find out that those overpriced shoes are no more than 10 euros worth! You’ve purchased ‘Made in China’ quality instead of Italian handmade shoes.

The Chinese counterfeiting industry dominates not just the online stores. Today you can find the fakes even in the actual shops. And to avoid being a victim you need to become an expert. You have to be able to smell them from distance. (Which is not very difficult anyway, because they smell pretty nasty). And you have to recognize the imperfections. (Which is also quite easy, because Loubis are the perfect shoes).

I will not discuss the online products, as most sites are selling fakes anyway. Ordering shoes online is not really my thing. I believe you should take a good look at the shoe and fit it first before you buy it. Without literary being able to hold the shoe in my hands I lose control of my purchase. When it comes to buying shoes I'm very skeptical. 
But there is at least one very important rule for Louboutin shoes. When the price is relatively low, then it is too good to be true. Or you really necessarily need that red sole whether it’s real of fake. But for me it's not worth it. After all you pay for quality and not for a cheap look.

But it must be said that these copies are pretty well made. The shoes are precisely replicated. The differences between real and fake are subtle, but still quite visible.

Here are some observations I've recorded.

Bags
There is a very clear difference between the original and fake bags. First is the color. The real has a deep red color and the fake has a bright pink hue in the red processed. The logo on the real is very tight while the fake one is blurry. The quality of fabric is also quite different. The real thing is very solid and tight and straight while the fake is very fluffy and the sides are not all equal.



Stitching
While the seams of the real Louboutin are perfect and consistent, the fake one is sometimes very close to the edge. In some places the wire protrudes and feels very hard and spiny.


Inside the shoe there must be a double seam. Instead of a single one.


And then a very classic example: the seam behind above the heel is held up on top by a crazy tab. 


But I believe that nowadays not all fakes are recognizable by that tab.

Leather quality
The leather is very soft. So soft that it will quickly deform. It is also possible that the edges are already bending outwards even before the wearing. And the smell is unpleasant, while the real smell very good.




The red sole
And last but nut least – the famous sole. The color differences are very subtle. Although fakes have a different hue. Orange-like, instead of deep red. And without the beautifully gloss.
The bow under the heel is full of coarse wrinkles. The real bow is very smooth though.
The logo on the sole has deep differences. Some letters are printed deeper than the other.



And if you look closely, the logo is not completely identical to the original. Look at that B and especially on the N on the end. That is totally not how the logo looks like in real life!?



Quite a lot of imperfections! And therefore the Chinese shoes will never come close to the real Loubis.


I would like to thank my girlfriend Nanda for letting me borrow her shoes for this research. That was a learning experience.


Happy women's day everybody!

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