Wednesday, April 25, 2012

People I Do Not Covet: Design Stealers

All right, let me apologize from the outset: I did not start this month intending to write a People I Do Not Covet post. This is a spur-of-the-moment Bloggy Cate Special inspired by some upsetting things I've seen recently. Please, allow me to share them with you.

Look at this picture:

Now look at this one:

Look at this picture:

Now look at this one:

Look at this picture:

Now look at this one:

Look at this picture:

And finally at this one:

The more sharp-eyed of you will have noticed something in looking at these eight shoes: the top in each series differs only slightly from the bottom. In the first series, it's a color and height change. In the second series, it's a color change, along with a minute buckle change. In the third, it's a color, buckle, proportion, and sole-incline change. In the last, it's a color, stitching, and sole-incline change. In each case, there is also a difference in the quality of the materials. However, each design is similar enough (and, in the case of the second set, so subtly different as to make finding a change difficult) that I experienced a strong sense of déjà vu.

These, ladies and gentlemen, are cases of design stealing.

Here's some background information for each set:

1) Top shoe: the DeTamble by ALDO (still available for purchase but not for the faint of heart; the heel is 5.75 inches). Bottom shoe: the Peep-Toe Platform Dress Heel from ELLE (also available, with a lower heel, though I of course refuse to link to the imposters).

2) Top shoe: the Maleena Wedge by Coach (sold last year and no longer available for retail purchase). Bottom shoe: the Matisse Joss Wedge Sandal by Matisse (available this year).

3) Top shoe: the Straratata by Christian Louboutin (sold in 2010 and no longer available for retail purchase). Bottom shoe: the Evangel Platform by Jessica Simpson (available this year).

4) Top shoe: the Two-Tone Elastic Espadrille Wedge by Tory Burch (sold last year and no longer available for retail purchase). Bottom shoe: the Ravishing Platform by MIA (available this year).

In the case of the first, second, and fourth shoes, I noticed the copies in the course of my blogging research because I lusted after the Coach Maleena and even tried them on but couldn't walk well in them, ordered the ALDO DeTamble (in a different color) and sent them back because the heel was too tall, and ordered the Tory Burch Two-Tone but returned them because they didn't fit quite right in the heel (a tragedy, I tell you). The third shoe--the Loub--was blogged about at Jezebel and Talk Shoes, respectively.

Here's the thing: I understand the need for affordable, designer-inspired fashion. Not everyone can afford to blow their paychecks on high-end accessories, and there's no shame in that (I'm one of those girls!). However, as someone who strongly believes in protecting intellectual property--including specific designs--I cannot agree with the way these secondary shoes have been produced. They appear to be intentionally made to confuse the consumer (and, in the case of the Jessica Simpson shoe, almost shamelessly so--the Evangel is still available even after two high-profile websites called the company out).

So ladies (and sartorially-inclined gents), please: when you go out looking for affordable things, try to be conscious of what you're really buying. Strive for a look-for-less aesthetic, not a replica-for-less one. As children, stealing is one of the activities we're taught to eschew. Why should that be any different in the clothing world?

Images (from top to bottom) via ALDO, Kohl's, Polyvore, Revolve Clothing, HiddenGarments, Jessica Simpson, LovingYou, and Bon-Ton.


PS On a happier note, this also happened.


  1. Damn you for posting fabulous foot wear that is no longer available for purchase! I share your view on design stealing though despite how much better my bank account fares.

  2. If only Louboutin would create a diffusion line, we might not face these financial problems!

    Seriously, though, it kills me that someone knocked off the ALDO shoes, which retail for about $90 (granted, that's not totally inexpensive, but it's not exactly out of reach, either).