Cork is in. Patent leather is in. We all know this.

It's no wonder Jessica Simpson's version of last summer's Christian Louboutin patent leather pumps are flying off the shelves. Actually, they don't even make it to the shelves. They're sold out within minutes on websites, or sell out during the pre-order phase. It's madness.

I remember first seeing this shoe (the Christian Louboutins) last summer on Pamela Anderson at a MAC event. I thought they were spectacular. One of my favorite things in life is high end stripper-esque shoes and Christian Louboutin is notorious for that. In the following few months, I would see them on everyone from Nicole Richie to Jessica Simpson to Mary-Kate Olsen. The entire starlet clan had them, why couldn't I? Because they retailed at $800, and while I adore beautiful things, I also adore food and shelter. Call me high-maintenance.

It took mass retailers an entire year to knockoff this shoe, but when they did, they came in droves. Aldo, Steve Madden, Bakers, Browns in Canada, and even Hot Topic had a version of it. I vetoed them all. Either they didn't come in patent, they didn't have a high enough platform, or they were just plain ugly. Then I returned from a trip and read on a messageboard that Jessica Simpson had a knockoff. I rolled my eyes not bothering to look it up and went on with the day. Yet when the Olsens popped up wearing the infamous shoes with opaque tights and short flared dresses, I felt like I needed the shoes more than ever. Or something extremely similar. I searched my beloved ebay and what popped up? The Jessica Simpson Barb. I looked at it and looked again. Could it be? Could the girl responsible for turning Middle America into fashion victims possibly have triumphed in creating an affordable version of my shoe? She had. And she had done it well.

Immediately I got on the phone with Nordstrom and had them do a merchandise locator. Sold out. Of course. The gentlemen was extremely helpful and said I would be put on the waiting list for the shoes, which would arrive in late April. I reluctantly agreed and literally dreamed of the shoes that night. I couldn't wait to have them on my feet.

Then, as the weeks passed, and I heard nothing from the Nordstrom SA, I began to get sick of the shoe. I saw it everywhere. Everyone wanted it and was talking about it. What was so depressing is that there were people who thought Jessica Simpson had concocted this shoe, and that Bakers, Urban Outfitters, et al. were knocking HER off. The tabloid fixtures continued to wear them out and about as they shopped at Maxfield's, got coffee at Starbucks, and dined at Mr. Chow. The shoes grew tired and boring. I called Nordstrom and had my name removed from the waiting list. The SA sounded shocked. I took pleasure in this. I was glad to be over the shoe. Afterall, I had wanted these shoes an entire YEAR ago. Did I really want to barely catch up to this trend with the rest of the population? Of course not. I would do something totally different.

And then it happened. I was out shopping and I spotted the Amy, Barb's sister! A black patent cork heel, only with a peep toe and slingback. I had seen these online, but didn't care much for them. I had been set on having the closed toe pumps. However in person, they were darling! They had my size! I tried them on and was smitten! The shoe had the perfect heel, was incredibly comfortable and made my feet look like they were in a shoe ad! I bought them on the spot.

I have worn the shoes three times since I've had them. I must admit, I do feel like a sellout jumping on this bandwagon way too late. What's hilarious is how I had shunned the patent leather cork pump idea all together a month ago. Now I look for any excuse to wear them.

Thank you, Mr. Louboutin. For designing a shoe so awesome, that a year later, in a slightly different model, I'm still totally in love with it. And thank you, Ms. Simpson. For milking your fame to the point where even I like you. 


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