As an avid Westwood collector, I am extremely offended by this! I thought I'd try and share a few tips to try and stop more buyers being ripped off. Afterall, if you're paying upwards of £200 you probably think you're getting the real thing, right? Sadly no.
Soles. On the leather versions of the boots, these should be a pale, creamy beige nubuck. NOT shiny, tan coloured soles. Here is a picture of my (worn) real boots to give you an idea. The word 'handmade' should be all together. On fake boots, it usually says 'hand made' with a space between the words. The gold writing and logo on the sole should be embossed, not printed. In other words, you can feel it when you run your fingers over it.
- Below is a picture of a sole on a fake boot;
- Heels. The underside of the heel part should not be textured as it is on the fake above.
- Straps. The straps are made from untreated leather which will oxidise and darken with wear. When the boots are new, the straps should be a pale, almost pinky beige, like flesh colour. The texture of the leather is matt. On the fake boots, the straps are a deeper colour (a bit like those bars of 'Caramac' you used to get in your Christmas selection box). Again, compare the colour of my real boots, top picture, and the fake ones above. The fake straps often look like a coated leather with a sheen to it.
- Dustbag. Boots bought from Hervia, Coggles, Westwood boutique etc are supplied with ONE dustbag which is thick, white or blush felt with gold writing on it. Beware any boots being supplied with 2 dustbags, beige or other coloured bags, or a thin mesh like bag. Below is a REAL dustbag;
- Box. My genuine VW leather Pirate boots came in a small, white, matt box with gold writing. My genuine VW suede Pirate boots came in a long, silver box with gold writing. Both had Vivienne Westwood Orb tissue paper, NOT plain white tissue. See pictures below of genuine packaging, along with box ends so you can see the labelling.
- Boot Spine. At the time of writing, the authentic leather boots do NOT have Vivienne Westwood written down the back 'spine' of the boots. The authentic new black suede boots however DO have Vivienne Westwood on the spine. Again, see my pics of genuine boots below;
- Materials. As far as I'm aware, Westwood do not make Pirate boots in Ponyskin - the fakers however, DO. The new Squiggle boots are also being faked. Here are some more pictures of COUNTERFEIT boots;
So how do you buy safely on Ebay?
- Ask if the seller has the receipt.
- Ask for close up pictures of the box, box end, dustbag, sole, heel and straps.
- Remember, just because they're expensive, it doesn't make them real!
- Check feedback. There are lots of new sellers with low feedback offering counterfeit goods.
- Shipping by EMS? That means China. Make your own mind up!
I hope this guide is helpful - it's my first one!
Thanks for reading!