In a situation where one shoe didn’t clearly “inspire” a lower-priced alternative, the Giuseppe Zanotti T-Strap Flat Sandals and the Tory Burch Pacey Flat Sandals are about as close as you’re going to get. Both are from Spring 2013, so they were designed around the same time, and I doubt that Burch is looking to Zanotti for inspiration – the two brands have very separate aesthetics and target customers. In fact, a sandal as simple as these is the only place the two are likely to overlap.
If you look closely, though, you’ll see that each brand puts their own touches on these minimal shoes. Zanotti’s are rendered in lush suede, with curved ankle hardware to match the gilded T-strap. Instead of a regular buckle at the back, you get full heel coverage and a zipper, which balances the minimalism of the straps nicely.
Burch’s alternative, on the other hand, are a little bit more straight-laced. The T-strap accent features the designer’s omnipresent logo, and the sandals are made out of leather, which is more functional than suede but also a bit less luxurious. The Burch sandals fasten with a traditional buckle, and although they may be a tad less rich-looking, the huge price difference for such a simple shoe leaves me without complaint.