The Rip Off Artists

Manolo says, the Manolo has long and loudly campaigned against the phoney-baloney fake shoes (even those produced by supposedly reputable companies), but recently the brazenness of the counterfeit shoe crooks has been too much.

Thankfully, the word is getting around, and today there is the article in the New York Daily News about this very topic.

Killer Louboutin heels with that signature red sole for just $177, delivered to your door at 80% less than the $860 retail price.

Strappy Jimmy Choo sandals at $143.99, 64% less than the $395.99 value at the label’s Fifth Ave. store.
How to Spot the Fake Designer Shoe

Such are the boasts of flashy Web sites featuring red-carpet shots of J.Lo, Sarah Jessica Parker and Cameron Diaz in the wildly glamorous shoes. […]

It seems too good to be true – and it is.

Tens of thousands of online shoppers are falling for the latest variety of fakes flooding the Internet.

Despite ultra-convincing pictures and claims that the Web sites are run directly by the designers and the footwear is individually crafted in Europe, it’s a scam.

The goods are neither handmade nor exclusive. They are mass-produced in China.

The “leather” often smells of toxic chemicals, the “hand-stitching” is replicated by sewing machine, and the sizing is inaccurate.

Return the purchase and, on top of the cost of shipping, customers are subject to a “restocking” fee of up to 20%. Little wonder most swallow the disappointment and don’t bother to send them back.

If disappointment were the only result of the fraud, it wouldn’t make headlines. Who really cares about image-obsessed fashionistas being ripped off?

On closer examination, however, this international con has a devastating and far-reaching effect.

Child labor, money laundering, prostitution and terrorist activity go hand in hand with the counterfeit trade managed by criminal gangs.

For several months now, the Manolo has been waging the war against these evil people both in his comment section (where they spam the comments with their links) and in his banner ads (where their ads are delivered to his websites by Google Adsense). With effort, he has been able to keep them at bay.

Remember, when buying the luxury good, only do business with the reputable companies, either those with whom you are already familiar, or those who have been recommended to you by people you trust.

P.S. Thanks to the Manolo’s internet friend the Susan at the always informative Counterfeit Chic.


The Blogroll of the Manolo

Manolo says, the Manolo is updating his blogroll!

If you have the real life fashion blog and consider yourself the internet friend of the Manolo and would like to exchange links with him please leave the message in the comments.


Manolo the Columnist

Manolo says, here is the Manolo latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

I am a lonely writer, and day after day I get nothing but rejections in the mail. It is extremely discouraging, and today’s boatload of rejections make me so sad I’m just sitting around, eating a stale muffin in my jammies. My shoe wardrobe consists of sensible pumps, sensible flats, and sensible kicks. Take me on a much needed flight of fancy. Get me out of my rut.


Manolo says, everyone imagines that the life of the freelance writer is muy romantico. You wake up late, do thirty or forty minutes of typing, dress in your comfortably artistic clothing (perhaps with the leather elbow patches) your hair charmingly disheveled above your high-tech retro eyewear. Then, it is the late lunch with your agent, followed by the series of readings in quaint bookshops, given to throngs of adoring fans, all of whom have named at least one child after the hero of your first novel.

Sadly, if you are the average freelancer, you wake up early each morning worried about paying the bills and the decline of the American reading public, and then spend hours slaving away at the computer. Worse, none of your old artistically comfortable clothing fits because you work in the kitchen, only two steps from the refrigerator, and so naturally, you would be embarrassed to meet any of your fans, hypothetical though they may be.

For fancy-flying and rut-busting, the Manolo recommends the always amusing L.A.M.B. by Gwen Steafani, perhaps the Ladonna, the strappy, stiletto-heeled sandals in red patent.

Ladonna by L.A.M.B.    Manolo Likes!  Click!