Jessica Simpson Selling Louboutin Knockoffs

Jessica Simpson has been making headlines for her ever-growing baby bump and her snappy comments on the new reality show "Fashion Star," but today her namesake clothing brand has come under fire.

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Simpson appears naked on the April cover of ELLE magazine, and within the magazine there's an ad for her shoe line where Simpson is pictured wearing her new Evangela heels. The hot pink strappy sandals (the pair on the right) are carried on Amazon, Zappos, and Nordstrom for around $98 and have been very popular.

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One eagle-eyed writer at Cellar Paper caught the image of Simpson wearing the shoes, and instantly recalled a very similar pair called Staratata (the pair on the left) that shoe designer Christian Louboutin released for $995 back in 2010. The writer almost purchased them after seeing them twice, coincidentally, in ELLE magazine. Apparently the folks at ELLE loved the shoes so much they didn't realize that Simpson's pair was a direct knockoff of shoes they've printed in their magazine before.

There are so many similarities between the two shoes we think it's pretty clear the Louboutin Staratata shoe served as direct inspiration for Simpson's Evangela. The lavender bottoms and matching buckles, the black platforms, the identical pink strap configuration, the yellow trim. There are just so many nearly-identical elements, and unfortunately for Simpson, Louboutin loves to sue people for copying his designs. There's an ongoing court battle between Louboutin and Yves Saint Laurent, because Louboutin is furious over YSL's use of his instantly-recognizable red soles.

We must wonder though: Louboutin's style retailed for over 10 times the price of Simpson's version. So while it's hard to deny their matching appearance, each shoe attracts their own customers with dramatically different budgets. We're sure Louboutin is angry at Simpson capitalizing off his design, but are knockoffs providing a valuable service to those of us who can't afford to spend nearly $1,000 on shoes?

Where do you stand on copycat fashion? Does it make you lose respect for designers who imitate, or are you happy to buy much more affordable knockoffs?

Related links:
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