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The Case Of The International Shoe Clones

When winter comes to the Northern Hemisphere, the shoes migrate here in colourful flocks

I was looking at summer shoes to fill a wardrobe gap or two when I uncovered The Case Of The International Shoe Clones, or, Mysterious Isabella.

Mid-height heels and wedges, I like them. And I thought the shoes by a brand called Miz Mooz were eminently fanciable. Some web research showed that these shoes are much beloved by USA style bloggers. Here in NZ, I sighed wistfully.  A few particular favorites stuck in my mind. So when I saw the shoes in real life, I did a double-take. Except they weren’t branded as Miz Mooz, and I wasn’t in the USA. Mysterious shoe clones had invaded New Zealand!

Clone of the Miz Mooz Lyla wedge:

What great wedges...where have I seen them before?

And more clones of the Miz Mooz Salima shoe:

Have you seen this shoe? Because it is awesomeThere may have been other clones in the display.

When winter comes to the Northern Hemisphere, the shoes migrate here in colourful flocksBut these were the ones that struck me.

In New Zealand, these shoes are being sold under the brand name Isabella Anselmi. Which is a mystery brand with a range of different styles and no independent web site. There is, ostensibly, some manufacturing in Australia. Curiouser and curiouser! Especially because Miz Mooz says their shoes are based on their designs, and they do indeed have a strong distinctive look.

Having held them in my hands, poked and prodded them and felt their materials, I happily vouch that these are good quality, comfortable shoes. They are also being sold new at what I consider a reasonable NZ markup compared to their new USA pricing – the mystery 25% extra cost (discussed in an earlier post here) isn’t being applied.  The difference is that in the USA, they are lavished with clever marketing, sent out to bloggers, and discussed on forums. Here, they are stealth branded and have to speak for themselves.

Preparing this post, I mentioned the International Shoe Clones to a few people, and they brought out their own stories. The shirt they found at a modest midrange store in New Zealand that they later saw being sold for 300 pounds in London. The web site based in China that was selling the OTHER Nikes.  “The life of a shoe is an exciting one!” says Miz Mooz. And the paths that garments take from the factories of Asia to Western consumers are strange and convoluted.

I don’t think anybody’s going to send me any shoes to review after this post…

18 Comments

      • They do have a website. Overlandfootwear.co.nz

        they are not made in aus as overland is a newzealand company

        The brand name isabella anselmi is actualy
        named after the owner of overland’s daughter which means you cannot get isabella anselmi branded shoes anywhere else in the world.

        Some shoe stores do share suppliers but then it is up to their own company to pick the materials used to make those shoes.

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  1. I recently purchased a pair of Isabella Anselmi branded shoes only to discover once the label came off the insole that they were actually a Gino Ventori branded shoe. Must say extremely disappointed and would appreciate an explanation.

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    • Based on the pricing and style of Gino Ventori, and the leather textures, it looks like they are coming from the same shoe factory as the Isabella Anselmi and the Miz Mooz. I also note that they use the line “designed in Australia” – an interesting carry-over from Miz Mooz. The plot thickens…thanks for letting us know!

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    • I’ve just noticed one of my Gino Ventori boots has Isabelle Anselmi on the insole, the other G Ventori. Purchased them in Adelaide.

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  2. I’ve purchased my Isabella Anselmi via Overland. The sole on my last pair of boots wore very fast, also a friends leather turned out not to be leather ?
    Shopping around and Miz Mooz looks great, shame I’m outside shipping.

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    • You might want to double check on that shipping – since this post was written LOTS of online retailers have gone international! I found a seller who sent me Miz Mooz shoes (alas, my feet were too small for their 36, so I had to return.)

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  3. In January I bought two pairs of casual flat shoes in Kerikeri and Paihia whilst on holiday. On a trip to the Glenfield mall I saw the same shoes at overland. They had the Isabella anselimi brand but were TWICE the price! I assume the shops up north made a profit, so the big city stores must be really taking us to the cleaners. No way will I buy from overland!

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    • The places up North may have been on a different resale cycle…and stores in malls have a lot more overhead to pay. Definitely advantages to buying from independent boutiques!

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  4. More Miz Mooz/Isabella Anselmi clones. Check Styletread in Australia http://www.styletread.com.au/nomad-tobacco.html and then Overland Footwear here
    http://www.overlandfootwear.co.nz/casablanca-p-4956/colour/Brown%20Suede#colour=Brown Suede. Both boots are called Nomad. The colour may be very slightly different. I love browsing Styletread and these looked good, but was surprised to see the same shoe in Overland Shore City! Found your article by Googling the 2 names together. We are being cheated. I only wish to buy on extreme sales. Also Overland and Mi Piaci may I think have the same ultimate ownership, by looking at the same photographers and design people for both catalogues. Don’t enrich these people with your hard-earned money! Cheers

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    • That is pretty striking! And yes, Overland and Mi Piaci have the same corporate owners. What’s in a name, indeed!

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  5. i just wanted to give you the biggest thank you ever. You are wonderful for writing this blog. I looked everywhere for a pair of Gino Ventori LAZER shoes in my size & the whole of Australia is sold out. Then I found your article & checked out the Isabella Alselmi shoes at Overland & I found a shoe EXACTLY the same & they deliver to Australia! I can now buy a few more pairs of my favourite dressy & comfortable heeled sandals ever. Right now I’m just living you to bits! Thanks so much for your hard work, research & sharing it with the world.

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  6. Hi Sadie and all readers, again- I rechecked, I think in my response above I gave the wrong picture for one of the boots. In the end I was able to buy the Nomad boot at Overland for $ 70( originally $249.90)in October last year. But I stillthought it was all rather odd, so I emailed the compant as below, I also include the rset of the exchange below. It seems a bit of a rort to me.Glad it helped the lady Kathy above though!
    Message: http://cdn3.styletread.com.au/media/catalog/product/cache/6/small_image/185×214/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/m/i/miz01-20148_1.jpg Why is this boot on Styletread, made by Miz Mooz of New York, exactly the same as the boot, also named Nomad, that I purchased from you? ( Nomad Tobacco 36?Isabella Anselmi) I also found a blog on the web where “the Case of the International Shoe Clones”was mentioned- several other shoes exactly the same between Miz Mooz and Isabella Anselmi. I believe someone is being cheated, and in the end it is the consumer as well as proably workers in China. Please respond, I’m a Gold Loyalty member and I’d be keen to hear from the owners of the company.
    Hi Jenni,
    Thanks for your email; here at Overland we pride ourselves on bringing the best footwear from all around the world, from trusted suppliers and designers like Tamara London, Bullboxer and Mimonic. The style ‘Nomad’ is a style we have sourced from Infinity Shoes, whose shoes are all styled in New York. Although Infinity styles are exclusive to Overland in New Zealand, they can be purchased from competitors overseas who also buy from Infinity, hence why you have seen this on Miz Mooz.
    I hope this information has been helpful; should you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
    Have a lovely afternoon Jenni;Kind regards,Kendall

    Thank you Kendall, I understand now. It feels wrong though that it should be branded Isabella Anselmi- the blog article I mentioned also had where someone peeled off the Isabella Anselmi label or it came off, and they found a Gino Ventori shoe underneath. Gino Ventori shoes can be bought at other NZ chains like Footloose. It does not have integrity in my mind. Your prices seem high overall and the idea of exclusivity is given out ( I realise the Isabella Anselmi brand is named after the owner’s daughter.) Therefore, your answer still does not make me happy. A bit more truth and a bit less marketing hype might be in order. I don’t think you can make me happy. But thanks for trying. I did have a nice afternoon- and evening, cheers Jenni.
    I still like shoes and will probably buy more of yours at some point. But I will be doing it all with my eyes wide open to many considerations, not just if they look nice. Materials, suppliers, how are the workers in China treated and all the rest comes into my mind.

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  7. I actually think I got to the bottom of all this. The shoes are made by TEMPO TEXTILES. They all are the exactly the same shoe. They are given different name labels depending on who they are wholesaLe selling them to. Miss Mooz is the biggest name & most expensive, They have the highest sales & probably better marketing. Gino Ventori is sold to a different retail seller, as is the case with Isabela Anselmi. it’s all very confusing but they all are exactly the same shoes made by the manufacturer.I suspect they do it to reach a bigger audience. So my suggestion, if you can find them go for the cheaper shoes. It’s a cheaper way of getting of getting a well made shoe with the design of Miss Mooz hecause it is exactly the same shoe.

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