Manolo Blahnik accused of illegal import
London-based footwear designer Manolo Blahnik has been sued in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, over the attempted import of nearly 300 pairs of shoes made from the skin of a rare species of snake, reported The Fashion Law.
It was over two years ago that Manolo Blahnik tried to import the shoes to the US. Customs officers noticed that the shipment’s bill of lading didn't say where the shoes were produced, or what skin was used. The shoes were seized by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and turned out to have been made out of skin from the dog-faced water snake.
This species has been enlisted since 1973, meaning the Manolos were in violation of the Indian Wildlife Act. In court documents, Assistant U.S. Attorney Karin Orenstein notes that statements that the snakeskins originated in China are inaccurate. “The dog-faced water snake, Cerberus rynchops, is not known to have a wild population in China,” she wrote. The dog-faced water snake is in fact found in Southeast Asia.
A Blahnik spokesperson told Vogue UK that the company is "investigating the matter and cannot make any further comment."
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