Is it just me, or are Gucci Loafer dupes getting pretty, ah, shameless these days?

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Recently, I had some time to kill with relatives who were in town visiting New York. And while we waited red Mill to start, I took them to the shopping district of SoHo in Manhattan. It was one of the coldest and windiest days of the year, and I walked into an Aldo for the first time in years. I took a quick look at the men’s shoes section and immediately thought I had seen several shoes that looked suspiciously like the Gucci shoes I had been coveting.

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I’ve seen a lot of Gucci loafer dupes in the wild lately, and maybe I’m just ready to see similarities where they don’t exist.

I’ve pretty much aged my Aldo years. The fast fashion shoe company may be a great destination for affordable dress shoes, sneakers, and accessories for men and women, but today I’d rather spend a few hundred bucks at Thursday Boot Company Where Allen Edmonds. And in the world of fashion, trends, patterns, silhouettes and designs are constantly being borrowed and remixed. It’s a natural part of the fashion evolution process, but you also see dupes and lookalikes that border on outright fashion plagiarism.

And if you love Gucci men’s loafers and the fashion house’s iconic designs, then I wonder if any of these Aldo shoes also look extremely familiar?

aldo snake shoes

aldo snake shoes

In the age of fast fashion, it’s extremely common for budget retailers to take inspiration from far more than designer fashion houses, and sites like Pinterest and Reddit are full of shoppers sharing advice on how to find Gucci dupes and Balenciaga look-alikes. We’re not talking about the literal knockoffs, meaning the counterfeit handbags and watches you’ll find for sale on Canal Street in New York City. Rather, we’re talking about designs that look like designer pieces but are different enough to be sold at fast fashion outlets.

There’s actually a reason you see so many of these dupes in the fashion world. Because of outdated trademark laws here in the United States, it is extremely difficult to protect individual fashion designs as copyrightable intellectual property. And for decades, this legal anarchy allowed designers to get ripped off with relatively little consequence. Thus, the proliferation of dupes of Gucci loafers.

A quick look at Aldo’s website revealed a ton of sneakers, loafers and slip-on shoes for men that conjured up popular Gucci shoes in my mind. I can’t speak to Aldo’s design process, and I guess it’s entirely possible that an ignorant designer came up with these designs and accents independently. However, comparing some of these shoes side by side, the similarities seem obvious to me.

In recent years, men’s loafers from Gucci have become extremely popular and they are instantly recognizable if you care about menswear. These loafers are usually made of black or brown leather, feature a two-tone strip of fabric across the upper, and have either Gucci’s horsebit metal accent or the iconic interlocking double G that Gucci is famous for. Below you can see these two details up close, along with Aldo shoes with similar features.

Gucci’s iconic Marmont belt became popular several years ago and features the brand’s familiar double G logo. In the world of Dupes Gucci Marmont, two nested O’s are a common feature. And in the designs below, you can see a double O design, along with horsebit-style metallic accents.

Here’s another side-by-side comparison showing the popular brown leather Gucci loafers and Aldo’s brown leather loafers.

Buy: Aldo Heliothis Loafers $170.00

Buy: Gucci brown leather loafers with horsebit $850.00

The similarities don’t end there. Anyone who wears Gucci (or aspires to wear Gucci) knows that the company has several famous designs. We mentioned the interlocking G logo, but the company also uses distinctive animal emblems in its designs. The Gucci bee and snake emblems are also instantly recognizable symbols of the brand.

gucci snake and bee emblems

gucci snake and bee emblems

Coincidentally, Aldo also uses snakes and bees in his designs.

aldo slippers with snake emblem

aldo slippers with snake emblem

gucci dupe bee

gucci dupe bee

If anyone didn’t know better, they might take a quick look at it and assume it was a pair of Gucci slippers. A more discerning observer will instantly be able to tell the difference, of course.

Look, some appropriation is to be expected in the fashion world, as artists and designers naturally influence each other and cater to the tastes of buyers. But when it comes to style, there’s no substitute for the real thing.

Because Gucci is so popular, there is a booming market for Gucci dupes, and there probably will be for some time. Unless U.S. intellectual property and trademark law evolves to better protect designers, shoppers will still be able to find cheap dupes and look-alikes of designer fashion.

If you want to discover the Aldo shoes presented above, you can go to the shoe brand’s online store and discover Aldo models such as Golmard, Squamo, Severasian, Helios and Weaver.

Of course, you will have to pay much, much more for Gucci loafers, which are available at major designer stores and at Gucci.

Buy: Buy Gucci loafers at Saks Fifth Ave Check prices

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