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Back in October, Sketchers got in trouble for copying the little slip-on espadrilles made popular by Toms, which treats philanthropy as a major part of their sales pitch. But at least Sketchers stole the entire concept, including the part where they donate one pair of shoes to a needy child for every pair of shoes sold. Now, Aldo has jumped on the bandwagon, but their suspiciously familiar-looking slippers don't even have a charity element.
Check out the flats in the photos above, snapped in the window of the Aldo at Broadway and 4th Street in Noho. The similarities in shape are pretty bad, but then again, Toms didn't invent the espadrille. What gets us is little Aldo tag, which sticks out exactly the way the Toms tag does. Toms is charging $48 for their flats, while the Aldo version costs $40, so going with the non-charitable option does save you $8. As for the wedges, it's a little bit less of an egregious rip-off: Toms wedges ($69) have jute heels, while the heels on the Aldo version ($50) are covered. Still, they're awfully close, no? (Racked legal experts, feel free to weigh in!)
Faced with Internet ridicule, Sketchers wound up pulling their Toms knock-offs from the market about a week after they launched. Wonder if we'll see Aldo do the same.
· Copycats [Racked NY]
· TOMS vs. BOBS: How Skechers Shot Themselves in the Foot [Fast Company]
· Kalaoa [Aldo]