Fashion Law: Manolo Blahnik Snakeskin Debate
Luxury shoe brand, Manolo Blahnik, is being targeted in a lawsuit that accuses the London-based shoe label of importing shoes made of snakeskin into America. The brand, most famously depicted in HBO’s series Sex and the City, had 300 pairs of shoes confiscated by the US Fish & Wildlife Services more than two years ago on the basis that the material used for the footwear violated federal laws.
The material in question was created from the skin of a “dog-faced water snake,” a snake that happened to be listed as endangered in 1973. The use of this skin is in direct violation of the Indian Wildlife Act. After noticing a discrepancy in the items’ description, the shoes were seized at JFK International Airport for further investigation.
Documents filed in New York court last week indicated that the documentation alongside the shoe shipment was faulty—the statement that the snakeskins originated in China was false. The particular breed of snake, the dog-faced water snake or Cerberus rynchops, resides in Southeast Asia.
The company is said to be investigating the matter further and cannot make any comment at this time.