It’s been a while since I’ve talked shoes. I was going to say solely shoes, but even I grimaced at how bad a pun it was, so, you’re welcome. But it has been a significant length of time since I’ve dedicated any blogspace to a footwear edit… so let’s change that right now and talk designer shoe dupes.
As a self-confessed shoe lover, I do get a little thrill over seeing new styles hit the runways, the instagram pages, and ultimately the high street. Not all of them are my cup o’ chai, but the appreciation is always there. And it’s really interesting to see which styles take a veritable grip on the fashion world and become, pretty much, ultimate shoe staples. But at designer prices, it’s a little eye-watering to see how much these go for (if that’s your price point… fancy spotting me a pair or two?), and oftentimes I’m scouring the etailers for the best dupes. Someone’s gotta do it.
Most of the pairs I’ve listed here have been around for a few years now, but the dupes 1) have got much better and 2) are way more plentiful, so there are more options for you to shop styles you like!
the chloe susanna/susan/suzannah boot
The original buckle & stud boot combo was the pre-fall ’08 Chloe Susanna. The multi-buckle accents were something that stuck fiercely in the seasons after, and I distinctly remember seeing a friend of mine with some beautiful multi-buckle shoes from asos not long after, and then searching for them franticly. Sad times when they were sold out. The Susanna boot (and it’s dupes) has become a staple shoe in multiple wardrobes since, it works with a variety of aesthetics, the stud detailing makes it a much more versatile boot than your typical western; something that a fair few other designers have picked up on over the years, with Givenchy adding their biker boot style most recently. They’ve been on my lust list for quite some time, so I’m happy to see the resurgence in popularity and the range of dupes available.
I fell in love with these shoes when I first saw them. Level of need: intensifying. I’m a fan of a platform, and I’ve been eyeing up various stacked and double platform shoes from brands in Japan (and then scouring for dupes on taobao) since I was in my early teens. Then Stella McCartney designed the Britt and the Elyse shoe… and I don’t think I’ve ever wanted something so much. I actually have a dupe pair – £15 from eBay, gotta love China – since I figured if I wore them enough I could potentially justify dropping the £625 on the real deal. I do, they’re not the most comfortable of dupes though… so I don’t suggest eBay for these, but I love them and I can’t wait to have an actual pair of Elyse’s. Probably in black or ivory, but the metallics are beautiful.
Oh, and although they’re not pictured here, Public Desire has some dead on dupes.
Yes, I know the Gucci slippers are having a moment and a half currently, but I’ve always been more enamoured by the loafers, and think that they’re pretty much the epitome of staple shoe, similar to the brogue or a decent pair of flats. The style work so well with various outfits, are comfortable to walk in because of the mid-heel height, and can work for a variety of formal and more casual events due to the detailing or pattern and colour of fabric. They’re such a classic shoe, and I really love the signature hardware across the uppers of the Gucci pair.
I have a love-hate relationship with the strength of this trend. I remember writing about them in 2015 when they were first seen on the Christian Dior couture runway and kind of recoiling in horror. The skin tight vinyl-look (even though it was just patent leather) never really appealed to me, and the only aspect of the design I liked was the clear heel. Regardless, the back end of 2015, and the whole of 2016 saw the sock boot come into its own, and there are honestly so many to choose from that finding them is easy. So many, in fact, that I might actually be coming around to the idea of getting a pair… I do have a pair of higher-rise ankle boots that I need to wear more, so maybe I might get them a friend. But then again, I’d also like to see us move away from this trend just a little.
With countless fashion folk making a huge amounts of room in their shoe collection for a variety of flats over the past few seasons, I’m not surprised the fur-trimmed Gucci slippers were snapped up avidly. Personally, I think they’re about as practical as velvet boots for wear in rainy climates, but they do look comfortable. I was a little torn for which flats to pop in this list, seeing as there are a few that are consistently popular, and then my personal favourites that are a little more ‘in passing’ on the trend scale (don’t mind me weeping over Miu Miu ballerina flats), but I felt these were a pretty safe option for the ‘staple’ list, as slippers, mules, and sliders appear in various forms season after season.
You can get the closest dupes (as in, almost carbon copy, minus the fact the fur is faux, though in any case that’s miles more preferable to me anyway) from the Chinese websites: Romwe has a near on identical pair, and Zaful does a good furless dupe. With these though, you do have to be careful about sizing and quality – size up, and read about them as much as possible.
Miu Miu ballerina (£505) dupes! I’ve seen a couple of sites slip a few ribbon-tie ballet flats into the new season collections and I’m thoroughly hyped.
Pointed flats or mini block heels with ankle straps. I think they’re so cute.
The return of the cleated sole and platforms – I love a good cleated sole, especially in a platform shoe and I’m pretty stoked to see some more around.
Regardless of your opinion on designer dupes, it really is interesting to see just how literally high street stores are taking ‘inspiration’ from the more expensive fashion houses. It’s nice to be able to see something on a catwalk or collection spread from your favourite designer, and be able to get a version that replicates the key elements (and in some cases a very close match) without breaking the bank.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with buying dupes to see how often you’d wear an item, or see how and if it fits into your wardrobe with a view to purchase the original designer version at a future point in time; to be honest, I think that it’s a pretty savvy investment decision.
What do you think of these dupes, and designer dupes in general? Are you a fan, or do you think that high street stores are treading an incredibly fine line between inspiration and flat out duplication? Let me know below!