Shoe Match Game – Can You Tell The Difference?

Jeffrey Campbell might be one of my favorite shoe designers right now. His innovative eye, color palette and designs are nothing like anyone has ever seen before. Sure, I might not actually walk around in his shoes because, well … I’m not so sure that I could, but staring at them and trying them on for “funsies” on a Saturday afternoon warms my heart. I have a sweet spot for really eclectic designs and he takes the cake.

From the huge, chunky wooden heels with the glittery shoes, to the skate shoes, to the ridiculous disco platforms, to the studded paint splattered etched heels … I’m in love. In the world of shoes, Louboutin would be the classy, snobby, popular, rich, bitchy, proper girl in your class who was friends with everyone while Jeffrey Campbell would be the freaky, outlandish, dark, eclectic artsy girl who had 40 different hair colors throughout the week that everyone made fun of but secretly wanted to be.

So this past Saturday I went to go say hi to all the beautiful Jeffrey Campbell’s and I was a bit shocked when I saw that they had moved. I saw the eye-popping colors, the chunky wooden heels and I said to myself, “why are you guys now with all of the hooker heels?” As I picked them up to investigate further I notice … A STEVE MADDEN TAG?! WHAT?!?!

Okay so after I regained composure, I couldn’t help but still feel infuriated. I have strutted my stuff in Steve Madden’s since I bought my first pair of white, platform sneakers back in 1999 (oh yeah, you know you owned a pair too, don’t judge). I have NO issue with Steve Madden, in fact he is my go-to for a great, simple heel or boot. BUT … why is he literally making almost exact replicas of a Jeffrey Campbell shoe!? Certain things should be left alone Steve … seriously. What’s next, huh? Are you going to paint the soles of your heels a shade off red?

I get it, trends trickle down the clothes line so average ladies and gents can get runway looks without breaking the bank. Forever 21 takes expensive looks and makes them beyond affordable for literally everyone. But what I don’t understand is that Jeffrey Campbell’s are a bit pricey, but nothing astronomical, mostly in the $100-$200 range. And Steve Madden’s, depending on what sector of Steve Madden you purchase, are around the same price. So it isn’t like he is making the Jeffrey Campbell look more affordable, to me it looks like the exact same color concept and shape with a few differences here and there.

And didn’t Alexander McQueen AND Balenciaga both sue Steve Madden in 2009 over him selling shoes that looked exactly like designs from both fashion houses? Mmm hmm, enough said. I hate to blow up Steve’s spot, because again … he has lived in my closet for years and still does, he makes a quality shoe for crying out loud. But like I said, I love eclectic, one-of-a-kind designs … and those like Jeffrey Campbell’s should be kept sacred.

Just sayin’.

Jeffrey Campbell, You’ve Done It Again You Saucy Minx

Jeffrey Campbell is an evil genius … and by evil genius I mean his shoes literally distract me while I’m innocently trying to walk through the Nordstorm shoe department in order to get to the mall. I get thrown off so badly that all of a sudden I black out and wake up hours later in a pile of fierce shoes wondering, “should I get this one, or do I NEED this other one more?”

If you aren’t familiar with his work, A. Go to your closest Nordstrom right now and meet the glory that are his shoes and then try on as many pairs as you can for funsies. B. Go on and there you will really get to understand how truly beautiful and fascinating his work is. I also demand you download the fall/winter 2011 look book because I want to print out every page and turn it into wall paper … THAT is how God damn good it is.

Sure, these are not every day shoes, but that is what is so genius about them! Who truly needs a pair of, my personal favs, the “Backbow Bootie?” The answer is no one, but they bring fun and color, joy and questions to life. I mean when I see all of his shoes that are so colorful you kind of want to eat them like candy, it makes me want to punt my safe black, brown and beige pumps, which, even though I loathe the phrase, I gotta say it … are oozing with boredom.

Listen, if you need a little flair in your life, a pick me up, just want to taste a bit of a throw back, decided you’re done being vanilla and want to spice your shit up, or hell … if you just need to smile … check out his collection that is being shown at department stores like Nordstrom.

When it comes to these shoes … don’t think, just do. Don’t wonder if people will point and laugh, or question what people think you were on when you purchased them, or that you are a freak, or that you all of a sudden turned into a disco giant. Just have fun and experiment, that is what fashion, not style, is all about my friends.