As my college graduation rapidly approaches, so did my likelihood of owning a pair of my very first Christian Louboutin pumps. I’ve lusted over these patent leather beauties since before I could drive and I vividly remember getting nearly chased out of a high-end department store for trying them on and being so young. Since the day I started the journey of college, I made it my goal to own a pair of these red soles by the time I graduate. With less than a couple months to go, I pull the trigger only to be shot down with disappointment – high quality replicas. I was beyond disappointment and filled with despair, I had been tricked.
But let me start from the beginning. Being on a budget, I buy most of my designer goods from luxury consignment stores or sites like Ebay, priding myself on my keen eye to easily spot fakes. Well, these coveted classic ‘So Kate’ pumps retail at about $675. Not cheap but in my eyes a worthy investment. But trying to say savvy, I turned to a resale app. The woman claimed they were new and only had been tried on and they were a gift and simply didn’t fit her. This made sense to me because the sizing was Italian and can be very confusing. I had her sent me pictures (that were not the actual shoes I received, I’m guessing she pulled the pictures from another listing) and guarantee that they were 100% authentic. Everything checked out and I was about to score my dream shoes at $500.
After three weeks of patiently waiting, they finally arrived. I squealed as I opened up the branded box and held them in my hands. My heart sank, I knew instantly without even having to put them on that they were not the real deal. I actually started crying to be honest, six years of waiting for a moment of unparalleled feelings of helplessness, frustration and anger consumed me. Luckily enough, Zach just told me everything was going to be ok, we would get our money back and serve justice.
Long story short, we were lucky enough to be reimbursed. This is by no means a typical ending to a circumstance like this. So please, read these tips and use them as protective knowledge so you don’t get tricked the way I was.
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1. Look at the sole. Christian Louboutin red sole is undoubtably his signature, which can also be the easiest way to spot a replica. Authentic ones will be a vibrant and glossy red, which will actually scratch off relatively easily during use because it is red painted leather (good thing to know if you are buying pre-owned). Most replicas are a bit darker in color and have a plastic or low gloss finish, which won’t be as “slick” to walk in and won’t scuff as easily. Almost all shoes will say “Made in Italy,” but how its presented can be a giveaway. Many replicas will say ‘MADEINITALY’ but authentic pairs will say “Made in Italy.” When it comes to sizing, half sizes will be displayed as 1/2 rather than .5.
2. Authenticity card in box. If you find a little card claiming the authenticity of your shoes, this is a huge clue that they are fake. True Louboutins do not give away nor make these cards. Many designers do this, but Christian Louboutin is the exception.
3. The Box. The box the shoes come in can be a clue in determining authenticity of the shoes inside it. This may seem like a mundane clue but it is what validated that I had been scammed. Fake boxes will be not sturdy and even pliable – see how destroyed the corner of my box was upon arrival? Also, the word “Paris” should be located slightly closer to the logo rather than in the very bottom right corner (as you can see with my box). Boxes should also have a white sticker on the side disclosing the size, style and color. Mine did not come with one of these stickers. Also check the color, most fake boxes are slightly lighter, like mine was. But do keep in mind, some high-quality replicas are sold in authentic boxes to trick the customer.
4. Inside the box. Authentic Louboutins should come with one large or two smaller dust bags, depending on which style you are buying. I happen to know that So Kate’s come with one larger dust bag rather than two smaller ones, which is what I ended up getting (another clue). They should be a vibrant red, not faded and a cotton material (not cheap felt). This one is important, they should come with a very little red bag, made of the same material, not plastic, that contains heel taps. I did not receive any which was my final clue in knowing that I had been scammed.
5. The Stitching. Christian Louboutin are impeccable quality and the stitching should be completely even and straight. The stitching should be very neat, close together and with no thread loose. This applies to both interior and exterior stitches.
6. Inside the shoe. Look at the fonts and the spacing of the letters. There shouldn’t be any overlapping and shouldn’t be thick. With fake pumps, the “Paris” should be lower down and not close to the Christian Louboutin logo. Also, many times, the word “Paris” is too large or a font that looks all capitalized, rather than only a capital P. This was my case.
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7. Overall Quality. Examine your shoes with a critical eye. Look at leather quality, if you are in person, a weird or chemical-like smell, peeling, red scuffs where it doesn’t belong or uneven edges. This can be very obvious in some replicas, but unfortunately, some make very high quality replicas in the same factories where the authentic are made in what they call Third Shift Factories, but with lower standards.
8. Overall shape of the shoe. You can tell the dramatic arch of a Louboutin from a mile away, or at least I can. See the difference in the difference of shape between the ‘So Kate’ style found at Nordstrom versus the squared off arch I ended up with.
Shop my favorite, authentic Christian Louboutin shoes here:
Or 100% authentic guaranteed, pre-owned styles here:
I hope this is helpful for anyone who is buying or is considering buying Christian Louboutin shoes.
As always, thank you for reading.