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This Makes the Manolo Sad | Manolo's Shoe Blog

This Makes the Manolo Sad

Manolo says, ayyyyyyy! Say it ain’t so, Miuccia!

Miuccia Prada, as one of fashion’s most innovative designers, is no stranger to being copied. Recently, however, it seems that she’s turned the tables and is doing a bit of copying of her own — or at least a member of her accessories team is. Check out these shoes from Prada’s Miu Miu line:

Not only does the style recall the patent leather, peeptoe pump that the brilliant shoe designer Christian Louboutin elevated to fashion ubiquity over the last few seasons (see both platform and standard versions below), but Miu Miu has imitated the red Louboutin sole as well.

Ayyyyyy! The worst part of this affront is that the Miu Miu version does not look half as good as the Louboutin.

Look, here are the two shoes together, the Miu Miu on the left.
Black Patent Leather Pump from Miu Miu.   Manolo is Appalled!Black Peep Toe Pump by Louboutin     Manolo Likes!  Click!

This side-by-side comparison shows the clear influence of the Louboutin.

It is also is demonstrative of something the Manolo often talks about, of how the slight variations in shape and material can reduce the sublime form to something more pedestrian.

In all, the Manolo is sadly disappointed with the Prada, something which has been too common of late.

P.S. Many thanks to the Manolo’s internet friends the Susan for spotting this, and to the Ella for alerting the Manolo to it.

15 Responses to “This Makes the Manolo Sad”

  1. nursemyra July 11, 2007 at 4:50 am #

    but is it necessarily copying? maybe she’s just referencing or paying homage?

    though the Louboutin is definitely the better design

  2. Poochie July 11, 2007 at 7:15 am #

    I think I saw this as well. I have been doing feature on Imitation = Flattery? and this is was on my list. Nine West did a copy as well but theirs was much better than the Prada one.

    Also, I just go the Victoria’s Secret Fall Preview 2007 catalog and, while they have long made it a habit to copy designer shoe styles, some of their new shoes are such obvious steals from Mr. Louboutin that I’m surprised there isn’t an infringement suit going on.

    Of course maybe he doesn’t want to even call attention to the fact that they are trying to associate with him (and with much poorer materials, I’m sure)


  3. ShannonShoe July 11, 2007 at 10:38 am #

    I would expect this from a less expensive line — we all see the Steve Madden or the Nine West that copies the designer shoes — but for the PRADA or MIU MIU line to copy other high-end design is shameful — part of the reason we pay more (in addition to the better quality of materials) is because of the unique and creative mind behind the design. Shame on you Miuccia! Imitation is not flattery in this case — its seeing the $$ that the red sole commands and trying to grab some of the booty!

  4. PurpleRules July 11, 2007 at 10:46 am #

    We’ve all come to expect lesser “designers” to copy the greater designers (I believe someone posted in the forums an example of Jessica Simpson knocking off a pair of Marc Jacobs shoes) but it’s truly disheartening to see one of the greats so blantantly copying from another. I don’t know how successful Louboutin would be defending his signature red soles in court. Diane Von Furstenburg has filed a lawsuit against Forever 21 for an equally blatant knockoff of a signature look but that case hasn’t been resolved yet. I think she’s the first to litigate. Generally, it’s not considered worthwhile but that may change soon.

  5. TG July 11, 2007 at 12:17 pm #

    I don’t know…. a black patent peep-toe pump… not exactly reinventing the wheel, ya know? Especially in a season when patent is so hot. Add the shape of the toe is different, with Louboutin’s having a more unique and artful curve. And the platform… and I believe on the miu miu the red is supposed to peek from under the vamp- acting as a design element beyond just a color for the sole.

  6. PurpleRules July 11, 2007 at 12:46 pm #

    That’s why designers tend not to litigate; it’s so difficult to prove. However, the red sole is so closely associated with Louboutin that he may have more success than others. Also Prada is Italian and Louboutin is French so I don’t know where the case would be heard.

    Of course, he may just take the high road and do nothing. The Prada shoes aren’t exactly inexpensive so saving money isn’t much of a motivation. He may not be worried about losing sales and ultimately come out on top since Prada may experience a backlash.

  7. The Charlotte Allen July 11, 2007 at 4:20 pm #

    I tend to agree with TG–patent leather, platforms, and peep-toes are really hot right now (the three P’s), and the style of shoe is simple and basic, something that any designer might come up with (and many designers have). The giveaway, in my opinion, is the the red soles, which do spell Louboutin knock-off. Miucca, did you have to sink so low? The Louboutin version definitely has the greater style–and it’s almost twice the price.

  8. LaVida2 July 11, 2007 at 5:58 pm #

    NO ONE Can Top Louboutin for his designs these last couple of years, PERIOD!!!
    You know how sometimes you can’t really tell a gucci is really a fucci until you are either right upon it or looking inside of it?!?! Well, Louboutin does not have this problem…I can tell right away ALL the time.

  9. Fausta July 11, 2007 at 6:41 pm #

    Now, if she had done a lower collar and a more creative heel (lower, maybe Louis XIV?) while still retaining the peeptoe…

  10. alexandra July 11, 2007 at 9:24 pm #

    I have a lovely pair of YSL platform sandals from a couple of years ago with a red sole. I highly doubt the intention was to knock off Louboutin (this was well before the Hollywood teeny boppers were wearing him), particularly since the shoes had a red and tan pattern all over them. So who knows what the intention of Prada was? Maybe in her mind it just worked for the shoe she designed.

    Having said that, whatever was going through her head design-wise resulted in a shoe that I think is kind of ugly. Not as ladylike or elegant as the comparable Louboutin.

  11. la petite chou chou July 12, 2007 at 1:02 am #

    I’m with TG and I’ll take it a step further to state that the Miu Miu isn’t even a platform. As TG pointed out, the red peeks out from under the ball of the foot up to the vamp but there is no actual platform there. Still, one cannot doubt the similarities. :)

  12. jayci January 6, 2008 at 10:45 pm #

    Intriguing, I bought the Miu Miu’s…they were on sale at Saks.

    Since the YSL Tribute shoe came out I’ve been looking for an “elevated” black patent peep-toe pump but hadn’t found the right pair. I tried the Louboutin’s and they cut funny over the toes (as his shoes tend to do on my feet). The Miu Miu’s fit fantastic, didn’t make my toes look funny, and all with an amazingly comfortable modestly hidden platform sole (since lawyers don’t like design references to strippers). While Louboutin clearly should get props for his remarkable design, he can’t claim perfection.

    Interestingly, the soles of my shoes are not red. They’re black. Hmmm….

  13. Jo April 20, 2009 at 8:02 am #


    I bought a pair of those Mui Mui shoes with the pink heel from Start in London. I only wore them once and all the pink has peeled off revealing a really ugly sole which started to take in water. Phillip Start, the owner, claimed this morning that this is just what happens to shoes with a coloured sole, he asserted that this is what happens to Louboutin shoes after a couple of wears.

    They cost a heap and I’m wondering if anyone out there can give their experience about this…I’ve got a photo of the shoes if that helps.