Alice + Olivia Paige Booties, $465 via Neiman Marcus
Of all of the high-end shoe designers out there, I think that Alaia’s is the hardest aesthetic to recreate at a lower price point. The French designer’s shoes are outrageously priced, but they’re so very Alaia that it’s hard to blame him for it. The level of intricate detail that goes into a single pair, let alone one of his laser-cut booties, is a standard to which the rest of the industry aspires.
As far as contemporary brands go, the Alice + Olivia Paige Booties are easily the best “Look for Less” candidate that I’ve seen when it comes to the laser-cutting. Sure, when it comes to Alaia, it would be easy to cop out and do a $1000 “less” look because the comparison shoes are so expensive. But at a sub-$500 price point, these booties are the real deal.
The laser-cut lace pattern may not be as dizzyingly intricate as it would be on a pair of similar Alaia shoes, but the difference in price largely reflects the difference in detail. Still, cutting something with as much texture as calf hair into a recognizable pattern is no easy task, and these boots do a plenty competent job for the price. Buy through Neiman Marcus for $465.