Payless Prank: Company Opens Fake Luxury Store “Palessi’, Fools Fashion Influencers

How mad would a person be if they got all dressed up and rode through Los Angeles traffic only to find out the high-end shoe store opening they were attending was actually a Payless party? About 80 social media influencers found out when the budget-brand shoe store created a fake luxury storefront and stocked it with wildly overpriced Payless shoes.

The Payless prank saw the company holding a grand opening event for fashion influencers at its new Palessi store. A series of videos released by the retailer showed their guests waxing lyrical over the “sophisticated” footwear, which they could tell was “made with high-quality materials.”

Some even paid $200, $400, and even $600 for shoes that are normally sold for $19.99-$39.99.

According to the brand, plenty of the ritzy folks who attended the opening of “Palessi” gave their shoes high marks. In a new series of ads, people can be seen calling the shoes elegant, sophisticated, and classy before being told that the shoes are from Payless.

One ad shows the reaction of a woman who said she would have no problem dropping $500 on a pair of their shoes before being informed of the set-up.

Payless says that they took in about $3000 over two nights, including selling a $640 pair of boots. The brand gave the influencers their money back after informing them of the ruse, however.