Browse all

There's a viral shoe on TikTok that looks very familiar

Thanks to the trend, the Jeffrey Cambell brand is nearing a million followers on Instagram

There's a viral shoe on TikTok that looks very familiar Thanks to the trend, the Jeffrey Cambell brand is nearing a million followers on Instagram

Between #GRWMs, #TikToKmademebuy and hauls, TikTok trends are able to sell out a product in a split second. That luck hit, in recent weeks, the Student Platform Loafers by Jeffrey Cambell, a Los Angeles-based footwear brand that has more than 4.4 million views on the Chinese app. Like many mid-range brands, Jeffrey Campbell produces designs that are clearly inspired by (not to say completely traced back to) other brand's iconic models: the denim pantashoes are very reminiscent of both Balenciaga's Pantashoes and Diesel's Pantaboot; the Tanked Boot is almost identical to Bottega Veneta's Lug Boot, a brand that is also imitated in two or three other models; while the Park-CH slipper was taken directly from JW Anderson's repertoire. In any case, the chunky loafer in question is certainly reminiscent of Gucci's without imitating it too closely: the shape of the sole and heel, the metallic applique and even the colorway are distant from Gucci's models - although the inspiration is visible. But precisely on the issue of the metal applique one cannot accuse the brand of plagiarism: if it was Gucci the first brand to introduce the metal clamp to decorate the moccasins, which before the '50s did not exist, the detail of the applique has spread today in all the moccasins of all the brands in the world, from Salvatore Ferragamo, Celine or Dior to Zara and Shein, on the opposite end of the market spectrum. 

If Jeffrey Cambell's model has been successful, it's because his Student Platform Loafers are at the perfect center of a series of seasonal trends that have led to the brand's huge spread on TikTok. On the heels of the collegiate aesthetic spread on social under the name Dark Academia, Jeffrey Cambell's loafers are a pop and more affordable alternative for Gen Z pockets than the Gucci model they draw inspiration from. In fact, the loafer has gone viral in an attempt to be the perfect mid-range shoe for Gen Z - playing on the trend of the vintage aesthetic, reinterpreted through a few key colorways and the chunky, boxy shoe thanks to its wide heel. The price of the model, then, fits perfectly with the format of the haul that so widely successful on the platform.

@sarahnunnink polly pocket shoes @jeffreycampbellshoes #jeffreycampbell #jeffreycampbellshoes #platformloafers #jeffreycampbellheels original sound - badboygargar

The success of the model is a possible demonstration of the way fashion brands can experiment in their communication on TikTok. A product that goes viral will certainly have strong sales - but Jeffrey Campbell's case study makes way for the hypothesis that it's most mid-range products than luxury ones that find genuine success on the platform and, indirectly, with Gen Z, following the simple logic of placing a product within the buying power of the social network users. In an article of In Style that talks about the shoe, editor Tamim Alnuweiri insists on the easiness of the model: his article starts from the conflict he lives between loving expensive shoes and having to walk every day on the sidewalks of New York among grime, garbage and smelly sewage - a conflict resolved with a pair of cheap shoes that do not come from the depressing fast fashion but from an American brand with a more defined personality. A quite common feeling, also recently expressed by Julia Fox who defined owning a Birkin Bag by Hermès «anxiety inducing».