You can buy a reimagined pair of R16 000 heels for R300, and other designer shoes with cult status

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
(Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images)
  • Luxury and high-end labels all have their signature items that gain cult status and subsequently, get reimagined into more affordable options.
  • From Amina Muaddi's signature heel to those flat Hermès sandals everyone wanted to sink their feet into circa Summer '18, there's a fast fashion retail equivalent for everyone.
  • Here, we look at designer shoes and their fast fashion options you can shop on a budget at stores like The Fix, Zara, and Mr Price. 

South Africa's leading fast fashion contenders include the likes of Zara, H&M, The Fix, Mr Price, and Cotton On as the most "on trend" retail stores.

These are often go-to stores for the majority of women in the country due to their affordability (for the integrity of this sentence, pretend I didn't mention Cotton On and Zara).

And although more people are trying to practice slow fashion, the truth of the matter is that fast fashion makes more financial sense for consumers in SA. 

It can be said that fast fashion is a penny wise, yet pound foolish system. It saves the pennies of individual fashion enthusiasts, yet costs the environment heavily in the long run. More on that another day.

READ MORE: Ethical fashion is confusing - even shoppers with good intentions get overwhelmed

The other thing about fast fashion is that ultimately, it exists to democratise what luxury offers. The elite European ranks of Chanel, Balmain, and Prada all say "here are our ready-to-wear collections", and Zara and Mr Price say "Amen!"

And we thank them for it season after season.

As a serial shoe collector, I'm most grateful for this democracy. However, I do also believe in footwear as an investment, so splurging does happen on rare occasions. 

If you're also a keen shoe person like myself, you'll know the cult offerings of recent times whether you shopped the designer original or the fast fashion retail option. And why should it even matter?

In a previous W24 article I wrote; "... where - or for how much - you buy your clothes doesn't affect how they'll look on you, quite contrary to the old mindset that expensive clothes make one standout more."

I added that in the (literally polluted) world of fast fashion, if the exact same garment is sold for R200 at one place and R2000 at another, a lot of people are more likely to go for the option that makes financial sense for them, unless of course, you're loyal to a particular brand. Both are totally okay. 

However, let me paraphrase the same disclaimer I made in that article: Finding affordable reimaginations of designer items you love - and us recommending a few to you - is not the same as buying dupes and fakes.

So let's take a look at a few luxury/high-end shoe hits and where you can shop them at a fraction of their amount:

Amina Muaddi cult status heels 

Amina Muaddi is a Paris-based, Italian-raised designer and stylist.

Amina Muaddi's shoes with their signature angular heel have been a hit amongst celebrities and social media personalities. So much so that her year-old eponymous shoe line has already earned collaborations with Rihanna's FENTY label.  

And according to Who What Wear, "when the brand launched a capsule collection with MyTheresa in March, just as the whole world pretty much retreated to their homes, it sold out immediately." 

designer shoes and their fast fashion equivalents
Stylist Amina Muaddi wears Amina Muaddi shoes on July 02, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images)  

The mot recognisable and sought after pair of Muaddis is the Naima leather sandal which retails for €475 (approximately R8800) on  and they're unsurprisingly sold out right now.  

fast fashion shoes

Shop the local equivalent:

White Strappy Heel, R249.99 at The Fix   

BERLIN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 01: Sonia Lyson is seen

Strappy Slip On Stiletto, R169.99 at MRP   

fast fashion shoes

All about Bottega Veneta 

Bottega Veneta is an Italian luxury fashion house founded in 1966 by Michele Taddei and Renzo Zengiaro. This house is described by FarFetch as "masters of discrete luxury."

These Italian shoes have recently become street style hits since the quilted leather, lido, and stretch macrame pumps and sandals came around.    

MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 21: Tamu McPherson is see
(Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images) 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 09: Katie Holmes is
Katie Holmes is seen in Chelsea on November 09, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images) 
HAMBURG, GERMANY - JUNE 21: Leonie Hanne wearing C
Leonie Hanne wearing Chanel bag, Bottega Veneta heels and The Frankie Shop suit on June 21, 2020 in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images) 

The Bottega Veneta Chain-embellished macramé and leather pumps are £800.28 (approximately R16 377) on Net-a-Porter, while the padded sandals will set you back by €680 (about R12 600) on Bottega Veneta's online store.

Shop your local fix:

Black Mesh Court with Chain Detail, R299.99 at The Fix  

BERLIN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 01: Sonia Lyson is seen

Green Square Toe Plaited Heel, R299.99 at The Fix 

BERLIN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 01: Sonia Lyson is seen

Quilted Stiletto, R120 online at MRP 

fast fashion shoes

Braided denim mid-heel, R1299 at Zara 

fast fashion shoes

The community of fashion professionals has taken a keen liking to Bottega's lug and tire boots, and as international fashion capitals are knee-deep in winter, so is their shoe of choice.

BERLIN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 01: Sonia Lyson is seen
PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 08: Leonie Hanne is seen w
(Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images)  

The Bottega Veneta leather Chelsea boots cost £1 080.63 (approximately R22 115) on Net-a-Porter, but luckily for you, Zara has been their earliest and most enthusiastic adopter of these stompers. 

Shop the retail equivalent:

Leather boots with track soles by TRF, R2299 at ZARA

fast fashion shoes

READ MORE: Balenciaga sneakers you can't really wear and other intriguing eyesores we wouldn't mind owning  

When Hermès made that sandal 

Well-known for their coveted Birkins, Hermès created another cult item about two summers ago with their flat Oran sandals.

COLOGNE, GERMANY - JULY 23: Ann-Kathrin Goetze wea
(Photo by Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images) 

designer shoes
fast fashion shoes 

This sandal costs $630 (about R9 500) and is available in its 'Santorini' buckled style and its $300 (R4500) 'Aloha' style with a "Chaine d'Ancre" motif - pictured above.  

Zara was first on the scene to avail their affordable equivalent and fellow fast fashion friends soon followed. 

Shop the reimagined sandal from your favourite retailers:  

Strappy Overlay Link Mules, R259 at Woolworths   

COLOGNE, GERMANY - JULY 23: Ann-Kathrin Goetze wea

Leather sandals with buckle detail, R759 at Zara  

COLOGNE, GERMANY - JULY 23: Ann-Kathrin Goetze wea

Yeezy Bone slides 

Another brand that needs no formal introduction. 

The Adidas x Yeezy bone slides may have been polarising on the internet at first, but they have since become an 'it' shoe in the streetwear sphere. 

yeezy slides

If you visit Farfetch, you'll find these slides selling for $695 (about R10 500). We've found a local retail equivalent for you at a crumb of the price.

Shop the retail bargain:

Chunky Slider, R79.99 at MRP 

fast fashion shoes

Follow us on social media: FacebookTwitterInstagram

Sign up to W24’s newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our stories and giveaways.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Do you think it's important to get married in this day and age?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, it's important in order to create a family unit and for companionship
22% - 527 votes
Not at all. Being single is far more liberating
10% - 229 votes
There is no general answer to this, it's each to their own
49% - 1160 votes
Yes, society still frowns on unmarried people, especially women
1% - 35 votes
It depends on whether you are able to find a compatible partner
18% - 436 votes