In my opinion shoe designing is an art form to be treated and respected like any other art form. Which is why I Iove that many museums have taken to shoe exhibits displaying the history of a particular designer or genre of shoes. However, much like popular paintings designer shoes can be replicated. In fact I know of quite a few brands that seem to only “borrow” designs from well-known shoe designers. Now when I say replicate or “borrow” I don’t mean common shoe trends, bootleg shoes from China, or even knockoff shoes purchased on ioffer. I mean other well-known designers who blatantly “borrow” shoe designs to make their own shoes.
Not that long ago well-known shoe designer Christian Louboutin sued YSL for planning to release shoes with red bottoms (Louboutin’s signature sole color). Louboutin lost the case but was he justified? Don’t get me wrong…I get why they do it. They can offer designer looking shoes at a more affordable price and/or they simply want to capitalize on what is working for another designer. But is it okay to blatantly take an artists work slap your label on it and make millions?
So I went on a hunt to find out what the average working woman thought. What I found is that the biggest driver in most women’s shoe selection is comfort and price. Hardly anyone I spoke with cared if Steve Madden’s pumps looked exactly like Jeffrey Campbell or vice versa. However, when I spoke with women a bit more shoe obsessed and fashion forward the ‘name’ of the shoe designer and originality of the design was everything. To them wearing a copycat was like buying a Volvo and gluing the BMW emblem to the hood.
Personally, when it comes to shoes as far as appearance I care about the quality and originality of the shoe, my feet desire a mild amount of comfort, my bank account requires affordability, and my heart is limitless. I would advise any shoe shopper to wear what they feel comfortable and sexy in regardless of who makes it. If you want originality save up, if not just make sure to purchase a quality well constructed shoe (some times when the original gets watered down the quality of the shoe is diminished).