Azzedine Alaïa is an inspired clothes designer, but I think he’s an even better shoe designer. Devotees seem to hoard his footwear like each pair is the last. Alaïa counts many celebrities as fans but our favorite starlets seem to favor one pair of his shoes in particular: the Ankle Strap Platform Sandals. They have delightful lattice-like cut-away detailing and a 70s retro vibe. The black color is divine, of course, but the cerise has my heart (just look how great they look paired with black stockings on Miroslava Duma, below). You’ll be paying for that style, however: these sandals retail for about $660 and are sold out anyway.

Azzedine Alaïa Ankle Strap Platform Sandals in red

Azzedine Alaïa Ankle Strap Platform Sandalsls
(£490, NET-A-PORTER)

Celebrities Love Azzedine Alaïa

Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Simpson, Miroslava Duma and Sandra Bullock wearing Azzedine Alaïa Ankle Strap Platform Sandals

Who wore Azzedine Alaïa best?

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GUESS “Tank” Platform Sandals

If you love the look of the Alaïas but, like me, can’t afford them, GUESS has come out with their version of the Ankle Strap Platform Sandal. Their red color appears to be more on the side of burnt orange but the lattice cut-away is dead-on, as is the adorable peep-toe. GUESS has added a T-strap to their copy, which some women might find is actually more flattering to their legs than just having an ankle-strap. These GUESS “Tank” sandals are also available in medium and dark brown as well as black and come with a reasonable price tag of $98.95.

GUESS "Tank" Platform Sandals in dark red (Azzedine Alaia knockoffs)

GUESS “Tank” Platform Sandalsamazon
($98.95, Amazon)

P.S.: Also available at Heels.comcj.

Vince Camuto “Paula” Peep-toe Sandals

If the GUESS sandals aren’t quite doing it for you (I don’t know, maybe you hate T-straps!), we thought these Vince Camuto “Paula” sandals were also a great alternative to the Alaïas. They have the same great cut-aways (minus the perforated edges), a platform front (with triangle detailing, just like the originals) and a retro-inspired chunky heel. These will run you less than the GUESS sandals, which is to say a helluva lot less than the Azzedine Alaïas.

Vince Camuto "Paula" Peep-toe Sandals in black (Azzedine Alaia knockoffs)

Vince Camuto “Paula” Peep-toe Sandalsamazon
($53.95, Amazon)

P.S.: Also available at Shoebuyls & Dillard’sls.


Alexander Wang is undoubtedly the master of grunge. His clothes are exquisitely designed but also have a downtown edge. Leave it to Wang to create a LBD that is equal parts East-Village and Red-Carpet. A nude under layer hints at skin without actually showing any and a sweetheart neckline adds… well, sweetness. I’ll tell you something that isn’t sweet though: the hefty price tag. Oh, and did I mention it’s also sold out? Boo-hoo!

Alexander Wang Fitted Combo Dress in black

Alexander Wang Fitted Combo Dresscj
($1.265, Shopbop)

Celebrities Love Alexander Wang

Megan Fox and Abigail Clancy wearing a strapless Alexander Wang Fitted Combo Dress

Who wore Alexander Wang better?

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Topshop Bandage Ruch Bandeau Dress

Topshop‘s “Bandage Ruch Bandeau Dress” might not be a dead-ringer for the Alexander Wang dress above, but it’s pretty darn close. I might even argue that it’s better. I’m really enjoying the thicker bands of fabric that are strategically placed over the hip and bust area. Of course we still have that hint of a sweetheart neckline and the mini-length and at $90 (!) this really is a steal. I predict this one will sell out fast.

Topshop Bandage Ruch Bandeau Dress in black (Alexander Wang Fitted Combo Dress knockoff)

Topshop Bandage Ruch Bandeau Dressls
($90, Topshop)

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What came first: Sarah Jessica Parker‘s amazing sense of style or Sex and the City? Not quite sure what the answer to that is, but I do know that anytime SJP is seen in public, she really wows. Not only does she have a seriously kick-ass body that looks good in all sorts of styles, but she really takes risks too – some that really pay off, some that fall a little short. Here she is (with Cynthia Nixon) on the set of Sex and the City 2, looking every bit the fashion-forward NYer that she plays (and IS). My favorite part of the outfit, without hesitation, are those Brian Atwood Loca pumps. The gold studs are so very “now” and OMG that divine platform and d’orsay heel. Not cheap at $800, but most certainly stunning.

Sarah Jessica Parker wearing lilac Brian Atwood Loca Studded Suede Pumps

Our Rating: ★★★★☆

Who?Sarah Jessica Parker
Where?“Sex And The City 2” film set, New York
When?September 09, 2009
What?Brian Atwood Loca Studded Pumps

Brian Atwood Loca Studded Pumps

Brian Atwood Loca Studded Pumps in lilac suede

Brian Atwood Loca Studded Pumpsls
($800, NET-A-PORTER)


Update: This post has been updated on March 23, 2010. Scroll down to see the new add.

Cork heels seem so retro and yet so of-the-moment, don’t they? Exhibit A, these “Gaynor” heels by Brian Atwood. I’m a big fan of Brian Atwood, but these cork heels are especially amazing. The cork lends a casual spring-time feel while the black patent leather gives them a festive aura. Guaranteed to win you lots of compliments, these shoes are a must have. Oh, but what’s that? They’re upwards of $600 AND sold out? Well then why not try…

Brian Atwood Gaynor Cork Platform Sandals in black patent

Brian Atwood Gaynor Cork Platform Heelsls
($200, NET-A-PORTER)

Jeffrey Campbell “Nolita” Sandals

UPDATE (03/23/2010): Found a second steal version of the Brian Atwood sandals by Jeffrey Campbell. The heel is wooden instead of cork, but everything else is quite the same. Available in black and gold.

Jeffrey Campbell "Nolita" Sandals in black (Brian Atwood Gaynor knockoffs)

Jeffrey Campbell “Nolita” Sandalscj
($114, Shopbop)

Nine West “Bigbaby” Cork Sandals

…these Nine West sandals? Almost an exact dupe for the Brian Atwood heels, these NW shoes will set you back only a fraction of the cost. All the details are there, from the platform to the chunky heel; from the patent leather to the delicate ankle strap. These come in an abundant amount of colors too (black, red, white and yellow patent) – perfect for every occasion!

Nine West "Bigbaby" Cork Sandals in black (Brian Atwood Gaynor knockoffs)

Nine West “Bigbaby” Cork Sandalsamazon
($88.95, Amazon)

Image source(s): NET-A-PORTER, NORDSTROM, Amazon


In my year long experience with designer inspired footwear I learned that Jeffrey Campbell is one of the most frequent names to pop up. As is the term “sold out”. Not quite sure how they do it, but season after season JC manages to create shoes everyone craves and lusts after. The “Clinic” wedges and the “Ticks” are 2 perfect examples for such must-have heels. Every time I see those 2 styles back in stock at Solestruck, a few hours later a big red “sold out” sign is already lurking beneath the picture. Biggest compliment for a shoe designer ever, don’t you agree? If you hadn’t have the chance to get your hands on these hot heels yet, now is the time as Solestruck has received 2 new shipments of both styles. As always for JC shoes: Be fast! Lightning-fast even if you have a popular shoe size.

Jeffrey Campbell "Clinic" & Jeffrey Campebll "Tick" Wedges

Jeffrey Campbell “Clinic”pjx / Jeffrey Campbell “Tick”pjx
($179.95 & $169.95, Solestruck)

Image source(s): Solestruck


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