Luxury lookalikes are inevitable. As trends trickle down from luxury to contemporary to commercial venues, along the way, imitations are made. This happens across all channels of fashion, and at one time or another, most of us have looked for a way to wear trending styles without spending big bucks. Although, when a brand’s signature elements are copied, like Christian Louboutin’s red bottoms, Casadei’s blade heels or Valentino’s studded straps, when does “inspiration” become straight-up copycatting?

A few days ago, someone tweeted us a picture of cage flats from Target asking us if we’ve seen this design. You can see for yourself the many (many) similarities between the real Valentino pair and the pair from Target. Aside a couple details, they’re nearly identical in execution.

Let’s hear what you think: has this neo-Rockstud design gone a bit too far?

Valentino Rockstud Caged Ballerina Flat
$975 via Neiman Marcus

Valentino  Rockstud Caged Ballerina Flat

Target Betseyville Epic Studded Ballet Flats
$35 via Target

Target Betseyville Epic Studded Ballet Flats

Things are looking pretty good for Sarah Jessica Parker’s SJP shoe line. This past month, she celebrated her line’s one year anniversary, and it’s now branched out beyond Nordstrom to retailers like Neiman Marcus and Zappos Couture. Also this year, the designer also incorporated bridal footwear to her growing business.

SJP’s CEO George Malkemus is also Manolo Blahnik’s CEO, so it’s inevitable that Parker’s influenced by one of the shoe greats; SJP is also, of course, a person fan of Blahnik’s work. Parker’s latest creations to hit retailers’ websites are very similar to Blahnik’s classic Hangisi pump.

The Hangisi pump is a fan favorite among Sex and the City enthusiasts; Carrie Bradshaw wore this pair of Manolos with a vintage dress to get married in the Sex and the City movie. It was only a matter of time before Parker incorporated a very similar pair to her own shoe line. Parker’s version includes three different jewel ornamentations on satin pumps; the heel is a quarter of an inch shorter than Blahnik’s version. Like all of the SJP pumps, you’ll also find the designer’s signature grosgrain backstay.

If you’re a big fan of the Blahnik’s Hangisi pumps but they’re out of your budget, the SJP satin pumps are the look for less alternative you are looking for.

When we see direct imitations of a brand’s signature aesthetic, luxury consumers usually look to point fingers at the copycat, as we’ve seen with Sam Edelman’s take on the blade heel. That’s often the correct instinct, but sometimes a specific design element becomes popular in by both the luxury and mass markets. This seems to be the case with Badgley Mischka’s and René Caovilla’s crystal back pumps.

With the holidays growing near, a little sparkle on your footwear always brings about some heer and these heels deliver just that. The René Caovilla pump is a point-toe suede pump with much more crystal detailing on the heel than the open-toe satin Badgley Mischka pair. Both give that hint of shine that makes a great holiday pump, but with one major difference: the price. The Badgley Mischka pair costs $184, while the René Caovilla pair will set you back $1,195. That’s a very big difference, especially if you are trying to stay on budget.

Badgley Mischka Kiara Crystal Back Open Toe Pump
$184 via Nordstrom

Badgley Mischka  Kiara Crystal Back Open Toe Pump

René Caovilla Crystal-Embellished Suede Pump
$1,195 via Net-a-Porter

René Caovilla Crystal-Embellished Suede Pump

Casadei is known for its signature needle-thin blade heel. In recent seasons, this type of heel has grown increasingly popular across the board, and it’s also becoming a favorite among celebrities. Unfortunately, owning a pair of your own towering blade heels will cost you a pretty penny ($690 and up, to be exact). We’ve found a similarly alluring booties that will deliver the same look for less, and we have Sam Edelman to thank.

The Sam Edelman Calf Hair Bootie features a similar thin metal heel, this time with a jagged design running down the back. The heel on this design isn’t as high as the towering Casadei’s, but it still measures approximately four and a half inches. The Casadei blade heel adds an elevated quality, and if this is the look you’re trying to achieve, then the same Edelman boot might be a strong alternative.

Sam Edelman Sandy Calf Hair Combo Bootie
$250 via CUSP by Neiman Marcus

Sam Edelman Sandy Calf Hair Combo Bootie

Casadei Ankle Boots
$1,290 via Shoescribe

Casadei Ankle Boots

Earlier in the season, we promised you that the edgy moto boot would be having a major moment, and that seems to be more and more true every day. Between the studs, spikes and buckles, this extra ornamentation on top of an all-leather boot can rack up in price–fast.

The popular Saint Laurent Studded Ankle Boot is a big favorite among fashion insiders, but the high price is beyond prohibitive. If you find yourself in this situation, you can have the same look for less with this pair of L.A.M.B. Tessa Moto Boots.

At first glance, the major difference in these two designs is the extra studs on the rounded toe and the heel of the Saint Laurent boot. While there are other differences between the two, overall, the L.A.M.B. boot will help you to achieve the edgy look at a fraction of the cost.

Saint Laurent Rangers Studded Ankle Boot
$1,845 via Neiman Marcus


L.A.M.B. Tessa Moto Boots
$495 via ShopBop

L.A.M.B. Tessa Moto Boots

The lace-up style is dominant this season, and it’s one of my personal favorites. The Aquazzura brand is known widely for its signature ultra-strappy lace-up pumps, and with this style’s growing popularity, it’s inevitable to see various versions by both other luxury and contemporary designers. While I love all versions of the Aquazzura lace-up, the price tag can immediately wipe my smile off my face, and this Sam Edelman lookalike is one of the closets competitors I’ve seen.

When I saw this Sam Edelman sandal when browsing the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, I was fooled for a split second into thinking that it was an Aquazzura sandal. Overall, the shoes are very similar and feature the same silhouette of a closed toe and low heel. The Aquazzura sandal has more side cutouts and more crisscross lacing than the Sam Edelman pair, but in the end, the only person who will know that you spent $90 instead of $700 is you.

Aquazzura Belgravia Lattice Suede Sandal
$725 via Neiman Marcus

Aquazzura Belgravia Lattice Suede Sandal

Sam Edelman Cutout Ankle Cuff Suede Pump
On sale for $90 via Nordstrom

Sam Edelman Cutout Ankle Cuff Suede Pump

This Look for Less actually stemmed from my weekend shopping endeavor. I went into ALDO to browse for some cute beach flip-flops when I saw these ALDO Miriviel Jelly Flats. I bought them immediately because one, they are adorable, and two, they came at the right price, and they instantly made me forget that I was eyeing and even saving my money for a pair of Salvatore Ferragamo Preita Lace-Bow Jelly Flats.

Jelly flats and flip-flops are my favorite to wear to the beach because I don’t have to worry about the sand ruining my shoes. These two flats are extremely similar, with minor differences in shade and bow detailing. The Ferragamos are a a dark aqua color while the ALDO pair is much lighter, and the Ferragamo bow is made of lace detailing while the bows on the ALDO pair are not. Both pairs feature the same small heel and a d’Orsay silhouette, which is now a very popular shape for flats. For me, it made sense to buy the ALDO pair because of the price, and also because I knew I would solely be wearing these flats to the beach. Given the option, which would you buy: the Ferragamo or the ALDO pair?

Salvatore Ferragamo Preita Lace-Bow Jelly Flat
$195 via Neiman Marcus

Salvatore Ferragamo Preita Lace Bow Jelly Flat

Miriviel Jelly Flat
$25 via Aldo

Miriviel Jelly Flat

When browsing the Internet (for anything really), it’s so easy to get distracted – it happens to me all the time. In fact, I was suppose to be writing a Latest Obsessions post (shh, don’t tell my editor), when I saw these Lauren Ralph Lauren Pointed Toe Pumps at Bloomingdale’s and thought they were the Valentino Noir Rockstud Leather Slingbacks. It wasn’t until I saw the price of the $150 price tag of the Ralph Lauren pumps that I realized something wasn’t right. These weren’t my favorite lust-worthy Valentino pumps.

At a quick glance, these two shoes are very similar. It’s not until you take a closer look that the minor details shine through. The Ralph Lauren pumps are not adorned with Rockstuds, but with regular ol’ studs, and they have one more strap than the Valentinos. Other then that, they both have same closed toe pointed front, ankle straps and thin heel. Valentino made the silhouette of this shoe very popular when the first Rockstud collection debuted, and several designers have borrowed the design and made it into their own. This Ralph Lauren pump, however, is a borderline duplicate.

Now onto the important question: do you save up to splurge on the Valentinos, or buy the Ralph Lauren pair and wear them immediately?

Valentino Noir Rockstud Leather Slingback
$1,075 via Neiman Marcus

Valentino Noir Rockstud Leather Slingback.jpg

Lauren Ralph Lauren Pointed Toe Pumps – Exclusive Keona Studded High Heel
$150 via Bloomingdale’s

Lauren Ralph Lauren Pointed Toe Pumps Exclusive Keona Studded High Heel.jpg

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