There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.——apocraphally attributed to Benjamin Disreali
Whoever first said it, they left out one factoid: The worst lies are the ones we tell ourselves.
In the last few weeks, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Fox News have featured in-depth articles about The Honest Truth about Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone—Especially Ourselves, the latest book by Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions. The title of Dr. Keith Ablow’s Fox News article is “Are Women Who Carry Fake Designer Handbags Liars?” The (patently obvious) answer is, yes.
Christian Louboutin Marcia Balla Nude Parent Pump at Neiman-Marcus
I have admired Christian Louboutin’s signature lipstick red soles since I first started seeing them in magazines and on movie stars. I’ve spent the last few decades not spending more than the minimum necessary to keep myself decently covered, though, so I admired them in theory and from afar. But every time I caught a glimpse of that flirtatious flash of scarlet, I paid mental homage to Monsieur Louboutin’s brilliance.
And then I had a (reasonably) legitimate excuse to buy a pair. I’ll be promoting a book next fall and making personal appearances. I should look my very best, right?
So I Googled Christian Louboutin and went to his website to look for a pair of nude pumps that didn’t have a sky-high heel I could never successfully walk in. (NOTE: I’m not providing links to M. Louboutin’s website in this blog post because it loads p-a-i-n-f-u-l-l-y … s-l-o-o-o-o-o-w-l-y). Imagine my delight when I discovered the Marcia Balla shown above. Not only not too high a heel but a deliciously adorable kitten heel! The grosgrain ribbon trim and braided bow were icing on the cake and would perfectly complement the ladylike pink suit I would be wearing with them. Eyes determinedly skimming past the eye-popping price tag, I moved my cursor to choose my size and add a pair to my shopping cart. Sold out.
Ditto at Neiman-Marcus and Bergdorf-Goodman. So I Googled Christian Louboutin Marcia Balla to see if any other retailer carried them and received a plethora of results and two online vendors that had them in stock had them on sale for $125-$150!
I giddily placed my order and then eagerly waited for my dream shoes to arrive, taking a moment every hour or so to pat myself on the back for being such a price-savvy shopper. This is what FedEx delivered. From China.
(Very bad) Chinese fakes
Another view of the (very bad) Chinese fakes
Fortunately, I had paid with a Bank of America Visa, and Bank of America reversed the charge when I filed a dispute. The only bad news is that I have to keep the shoes for 45 days to give the merchant time to answer the dispute. Not only are the fakes ugly and poorly made, they reek.
Now, please bear with me while I climb up on my soapbox.
Friends, before you buy that fake Louis Vuitton bag, that fake Cartier watch or those fake Kate Spade sunglasses, ask yourself these questions:
- What if YOU created something wonderful, then people ripped it off and sold it as their own, taking money out of YOUR pocket? Puts a different spin on it, doesn’t it?
- Do you want to buy a fake because you think the real thing is ridiculously overpriced and a waste of money? So…it’s okay to wear something that makes it look like you wasted your money?
- Are you not buying the real thing because you can’t afford the real thing? Calling Dave Ramsey! And have you tried shopping at Target or Talbots or—filtered by price & whatever style your heart desires—at Zappos?
So what did I do for nude, mid-height heeled pumps? Well, when I contacted Stop Fake - Christian Louboutin via email to report the counterfeit vendor, I learned that the Marcia Balla is a CL staple and that the Madison Avenue flagship store in New York should have it in stock. But then I couldn’t get the Madison Avenue store to return voicemail messages or emails. So I hit the nearest Nordstrom, met a delightful young man named Ed Prence, and fell in love with the Jimmy Choo Vega which even saved me a few bucks. Relatively speaking. See factoid above.
Jimmy Choo Vega at Nordstrom
Another happy ending!
In faith, hope & love,