Counterfeit sneakers are dime a dozen nowadays, but every now and then there comes a pair that immediately stands out. Sometimes because of how bad the quality is, others because it's a replica of one of the hottest collaborations of the year. The fake Air Jordan 1 x Dior you see here is the perfect combination of that: it's a terrible version of a super hyped shoe. This week, U.S Customs and Border Protection officers at the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas port of entry revealed they seized a shipment of counterfeit sneakers valued at more than $4.3 million, including 1,800 pairs of the Dior AJ1 Low, which retailed at $2,000 and resells for upwards of $6,500.
Mexico-bound — The CBP said it targeted 60 boxes from Hong Kong which were labeled as "Ball Golf," and destined for Mexico. Upon inspection, the officers found "several styles of footwear" from Nike and Adidas that they were immediately suspicious about. In addition to the thousands of pairs of Dior x Jordan 1s, CBP agents discovered fakes of Nike's Joyride and Adidas' Yeezy. "Due to the poor quality of workmanship, incorrect packaging, and previous experience with similar products, officers determined the footwear were not authentic items," said the CBP.
Altogether, the agency estimates the entire shipment is worth over $4.3 million, of which about $3.6 million alone are from the highly coveted, limited-edition Air Jordan 1 x Dior collaboration. "Counterfeiters trafficking in phony merchandise are not concerned about the American consumer or the damage their fake goods can do to our economy," CBP Port Director Timothy Lemaux said in a statement ."CBP will continue to take every opportunity to intercept illegitimate goods and disrupt transnational criminal enterprises seeking to fund criminal activities with counterfeit or pirated merchandise."
A growing concern — Jesus Haynes, a supervisory customs and border protection officer, told Input that after the original inspection the CBP worked with Christian Dior's criminal enforcement and intellectual property team to confirm that the shoes were indeed counterfeits. "The items were not made by an authorized manufacturer, lack the quality controls that would otherwise be provided by the manufacturer, and are likely made with inferior materials," he said. "Therefore, the items seized will be destroyed."
The latest haul of counterfeit sneakers is great news for both consumers and the companies that make the real version, but the fakes industry isn't slowing down anytime soon. "In fiscal year 2019, Department of Homeland Security agencies seized counterfeit footwear for intellectual property rights that recorded an MSRP of more than $37 million," the CBP added. And while these particular Dior x Air Jordan 1 Lows were poor quality (just look at how bad that "premium" leather looks), some counterfeit pairs are almost 1:1 clones of the authentic products from Nike, Adidas, and other sportswear brands.