Isabel Marant’s Carol Sandal

How did this shoe become the universal mascot of bloggers globally?


They say you shouldn’t judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in her shoes.

Well, I’ll see that historic mile and raise you an entire summer’s worth of footsteps, having donned what has arguably become Instagram’s most ubiquitous luxe footwear, thanks to a slew of influential global bloggers wearing the neo-gladiator sandals with stride, though I am not at all sure that was Isabel Marant’s ideal outcome when she’d initially pasted studs onto them.

Isabel Marant’s Carol sandal debuted during October Fashion Week in Paris for her Spring/Summer 2013 collection. I remember leaving the venue tucked into the 9th Arrondisement, eyes firmly on the prize: those so-good-it-hurts, or was it hurts-so-good, wooden stack heel sandals, featuring various studs, rivets, bolts, and a small selection of colored gem stones giving the four-strap sandals an entirely Elvis-inspired, old school and yet so damn fresh-looking feel. They were just the kind of shoes that elicit the sense that you’d be complacent with absolutely nothing else. So, I began saving up and seven months later, they were mine. The thing of it is, they were almost everyone else’s with upward of 100,000 followers on Instagram, too.

It isn’t really news that certain fashion items resonate with the digital personae of ladies of the typed word. Take, for example, 3.1 Phillip Lim’s “I Love Nueva York” tee or (yes, I’m going to go there again), the geometric white skort of Zara’s earliest summer pursuits. Before that, I can think of Valentino’s kitten heels (though it should be noted these seemed far more universal, or at very least, editor-y), and it’d probably be fair to bracket a previous iteration of Isabel Marant fan craze footwear – the Bekket sneakers – into the excerpt-at-large. But then again, that’s a trend that was both adapted by bloggers and not. So what is it about Isabel Marant’s Carol sandal that has afforded it the opportunity to become Instagram’s most viral fashion sensation of summer? And why isn’t the rest of her bank of enthusiasts indulging? Could it be that the former has sent the latter running?

A recurring topic over here at MR is the concept of being blinded by a label — when something’s pedigree – more than its style – inspires consumer lust. Is there also such a thing as blinded by the blogger? This concept would follow a similar format, only the outcome would be in reverse. I’ve seen tweets that have read something to the extent of, “If a blogger has it, I don’t want it.” Is a new bout of rebellion hitting us right in the gut of what’s been our proudest asset — singularity — and eradicating it?

I’m no dummy — the price tag attached to the shoes has certainly played an important role in the “exclusivity” factor, but from the perspective of someone (myself) who is hyper-aware of what she’s wearing all the time, who is proud to call herself a fashion blogger, who has never considered herself impervious to the trends that become endemic of being a fashion blogger, even I am just slightly put off. That has not halted the wearing process, though. And don’t get me wrong, I’m as inspired as the next guy by the likes of Jane Alridge or Jessica Stein or Rumi Neely and so forth but I’d be hard-pressed to tell you I don’t think about the image I’m projecting every time I snap those straps.

With the meteoric growth of parodic blogs, illustrated tumblr accounts and popular jokes that remain dedicated to mocking our cloth-filled endeavors, what is happening to the “personal style” portion of maintaining a personal style blog? Looks like the era of anonymity and sartorial suppression is striking in the nick of time.

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  • I think I was the only one who didn’t like them. They dug into my feet and they have huge gaps in the side that I didn’t think looked that great. If you have narrow feet they will look great. I also found the Isabel Marant boots were made in Portugal so for that price no thanks.

  • Nico
  • Jennifer

    Did you honestly have to save up for the Isabel Marant Carol sandals?

    • Leandra Medine

      I did.

      • lefukaka

        Honestly, what kind of facking question is that? Do people lack ALL sense of tact?

        • Jennifer

          OK, how about you calm down a notch. I asked if she actually had to save up for them considering that she’s Leandra Medine , one of the top fashion bloggers if not the very top, who makes a lot of money through her blog. So it’s surprising that she actually had to save up for them. It was a question and question that only needed a reply from her. Thanks.

          • Leandra Medine

            Jennifer–you are absolutely entitled to ask your questions and hope that you continue to do so. I also hope my answer was clear enough–no matter how “well” I’m doing, expensive shoes are expensive shoes and should be handled as such

        • Patricia

          It seems so right?? It’s a matter of priorities, and people are more judgmental than we know!

          • Jennifer

            Actually, I wasn’t being judgmental. I asked out of simple curiosity. The fact that she replied and gave an honest answer only makes me respect her more as a person and blogger because I find her more relate-able & genuine than someone else who is either sponsored or simply calls in a favor through connections and then lies about it.

          • Lefukaka

            Jennifer, the “honestly” in your question is what confused me. As if to say she was lying when she said it in the first place. Got it now and happy to hear that expensive shoes are a universally lust worthy.

        • LuluLime

          Excellent point. Why are we counting her hard earned cash and what she chooses to save up for or considers a splurge? Do bloggers actually make THAT much? And, is it still okay to ask?

          • Tiffany B.

            I read the entire thing, Jennifer never asked how much she made or what she considers a splurge. She simply asked if Leandra actually saved up for the shoes (which Leandra did write in the post) and Leandra replied “I did”. So why are we all still going on about this? Jennifer asked Leandra a question and Leandra replied therefore everyone else’s comment is irrelevant. Geez… Can we all grow up now?

          • Jennifer

            THANK YOU! Everybody is trying to turn something so simple into something ugly based on their OWN assumptions. It’s really not that serious.

          • allhaim

            she has them in every color come on leandra

    • allhaim
  • It’s funny you post this…IFB just posted an article about how to keep your individuality while blogging but at the same time how so many bloggers wear the same items: i.e. zara oragami skirt, 3.1. Phillip Lim pashli bag (I’m guilty of that one!). The Isabel Marant sandal has to be on that list as well…every blogger has them! They are cute but get a new sandal!

  • Jordan

    But this is entirely besides the point she was making– or perhaps perfectly on point!

    • =) I do own the Nueva York tank. Guilty as charged. I am going on 5 hours of sleep here too.

      • lori

        how come u were turned off that they were made in portugal?

        • lori

          neermind, reading thread below 🙂

  • Halley Bebout

    How about the Anine Bing leather jacket? Maybe its because they are just that good. Very well written argument.

    • I think they are getting that Anine Bing stuff for free.

  • Katie

    I find it funny that bloggers post things and then they turn into trends. I am inspired by them but I don’t copy the exact outfit. However I am a shoe collector and addict and sometimes they are inspiring. Shoes like Isabel Marant Bekket and Celine shoes I want to line my closet but when I came across a pair of Bruno Frisoni wedge boots the old fashioned way in 2009 it took me years to track them down on eBay– before bloggers were posted what they were wearing. I do credit bloggers for turning Celine and Isabel Marant into “popular” labels. I was never a popular girl in school and maybe because of that I want to feel cool too.

    It is also a question of where the blogger is from and what lifestyle they lead. Some bloggers live in Italy or France and post pictures of their fancy clothes and vacations all the time which leads me to believe that they live a life of ease that is not attainable to the rest of us most of the time… except for your blog because you are blatantly honest with your readers and like to pair inexpensive with expensive which is what the rest of us have to do.

    What are your thoughts?

    • Tania T

      Well, I live in Italy and trust me, that lifestyle is not attainable for me either. Or the rest of us, really. Where they come from is really not to do with this, it’s just a bit of a cliche really.Those bloggers are either very rich and/or calling in favours and getting stuff for free. Which is one of the reasons I too prefer this blog and just ignore theirs!

    • Nat

      An interesting article will help explain how certain bloggers actually make a lot of money off their blog ::

  • Adib

    The funny thing is — and that’s Freudian theory rather than silly me speaking — masses are somewhat too-gullible. Mind you, had the post said “it’s faaaashionable” and I bet my old Bekkets people would find it “oh”, suddenly oh-so-refreshing (i.e. Clogs)

    • Katie

      I bet people who wear Birkenstocks fairly often are happy right now too! 🙂

      • I was just thinking how ironic this is

  • I’ve been questioning the validity of personal style blogs a lot lately. For one, like you clearly stated, there’s a lot of use of the same few items. Every is mixing the “high” with the “low”, as evidenced in the Zara skort paired with the Lim shirt. Surely, each blogger still has their own spin that we can recognize as a part of their look, yet everything is beginning to blend in that much more. While the internet has made great headway in actually providing a platform for the thing that is the personal style blog, I can’t help but think that they might also be subconsciously supporting the demise of personal style. Maybe we’d all be dressing a little less similarly if we didn’t know what cool so-and-so was wearing today in Barcelona. That, though, may also lend itself to potential ignorance in trying to stop mass globalization/westernization that is happening currently.

    • Disenchanted Girl

      I totally agree with this, and the thing I find most silly is that they’re all picking the SAME low-end items…is there some decreed list of “acceptable poor people clothes” they are allowed to wear from which they must not stray or something?
      As someone who could never hope to afford any of the designer things you see on blogs I used to love seeing bloggers’ takes on the high street…now I only find myself going “I KNOW there’s a skort in Zara” and “oh HOW ORIGINAL you bought a crop top in Topshop…novel”… Leandra you seem to be one of the few bloggers left who’s personal style I would actually still consider “personal”!

  • Alexandra S

    “Blinded by the blogger”… I think you said it perfectly. It often happens to me that I look at something for the very first time (maybe on a blogger, for example) and think “I wouldn’t wear that…not nice at all”… and by the 25th time I see it I already think “oh, it’s so cool, I want it now!”…and then find myself searching for it, trying to buy it. Well… what are you gonna do…I think I get pretty blinded by fashion sometimes.

    • Alexandra S

      By the way… the minute I saw a picture of those IM sandals… I loved them D:

  • Patricia

    You see, I tried it while on sale at neiman marcus, and they didn’t look as good on me as they look on others. So I went for the one with the higher heel, regular gladiator straps and metallic studs, and they happen to be quite comfortable and versatile. In my opinion, this Isabel Marant collection for spring/summer 2013 was her best hit ever.

  • monkeyshines
  • While it is really a pleasure to read your analysis of … Blogger Blinding and everything that comes with it, I also wonder whether you didn’t simply feel “Whoa, this is SO me!”, when you first saw them. “You” as in “Man Repeller” and you as Leandra.

    Or are such moments ignored when fashion is a private as well as a professional pleasure?
    Because those sandals seem to really suit you: they are narrow, feminine, but also naughty.

    Even as a non-fasion-blogger I am sometimes shocked how … well: mainstream! my likes and dislikes can be. I mean: there cannot be anything special about 3 tons of jeans and yet I seem to own them. And they are all quite conventional, apart from the grass green and bright red ones. And because I like them all and because I think they are “SO me”, it doesn’t matter, who else is wearing them.

    OK, what I meant to say is: maybe your private persona simply liked the sandals very much and even when your blogging persona found out they are quite often worn, you still like them. Things happen 🙂

    • Leandra Medine

      Well see that’s the thing! My private persona DID love the sandals. I would have figured out a way to make them mine no matter what. They’re the end all be all to summer footwear as far as I’m concerned. I only started scrutinizing them once I realized that I, probably along with every blogger endorsing them, was essentially creating a stat

      • =^..^=

        What I admire most about TMR is that — unlike every other fashion blogger pictured above — you posted a hilarious shot of yourself in the IM sandals. The rest of bloggers are all preening/posing for the camera as if theyre all that.

        You, on the other hand, seem to genuinely laugh at yourself & invite your readers to laugh with you.

        TMR – 1; Every Other Fashion Blogger – 0

      • So if you simply wear them anytime you feel like wearing them, at least two situations will occur: people might think “Wow, Leandra is wearing beautiful/nice/interesting/ugly etc. shoes” or “Aha, the fashion blogger Man Repeller is wearing shoes all the other bloggers are wearing, too”.

        Well, this is a … toughish situation, but then: if anyone can combine those shoes with crazy outfits (and outdo the other bloggers), then that would be you (OK, so yours is one of the two fashion blogs I am following, but your other visitors claim the same). And: is there a sartorial way to be overtly ironic about wearing such a well-beloved pair of shoes? (don’t know, just wondering)

        I guess it is sometimes a good idea to call a private situation private and just enjoy the stuff we’re wearing for its own sake, otherwise, all these things may feel like … props or something.

  • Katie

    I purchased a pair of her heels with the straps on them (the black leather straps) and I felt that they were made ‘cheaply’ because they seemed flimsy which her bekket sneaker wedges feel much sturdier. It was a huge disappointment.

    • I liked the Lucie sandals, but I only bought them when they went on sale. I don’t think they are worth the full retail price.

  • Katerina

    As a blogger myself, I can’t stop and sometimes think about items and say “I’ll never buy it because it’s seen everywhere”, but then again, what if I just really like that piece?? the Zara skort, I’ll never pick up. Not because it’s seen everywhere, but because I honestly don’t care for it as much as everyone seems to. As for these sandals, I’ll admit I still love them, even after seeing them everywhere. Will I buy them? No, but most probably because I can’t afford them. Although, there are so many other sandals out there I’d much rather own, that aren’t so “mainstream”.

    Being a blogger has it’s perks of being able to show whoever’s reading your personal style, how you feel about fashion, etc. Yes, it sucks that there are times where you’ll for sure look like the next blogger being written about, but if that’s your style, then what are you gonna do?? If you like something, fuck what everybody else is saying about it, buy it and own it!! Everyone wearing the same piece?? Still love it?? Then buy it and enjoy it to it’s last moment of life. There are for sure people out there who are “blogger blinded”, you just gotta cut that out and be you, boo!

  • Tai

    While I think MR has a great niche in the blogger community, most of the time I find that bloggers are just walking advertisements. I was heartbroken when my favorite (number one blogger!) was actually replicating looks I found on olsensanonymous. I’ve discovered many talented, cream of the crop bloggers around the world through different blogger channels. There are incredibly unique, inspiring photographer/blogger/stylists out there! If you see a blog wearing the same items being advertised in a fashion magazine, walk away! Nothing inspiring about showing up to an event wearing the same sandals as someone else. Unless you’re wearing them with a pair of overalls ;)) p.s. Has anyone noticed the triangl swimwear bikini on IG? So CUTE, but not after endless summer feed of it. blegh.

  • On one hand, I’m reminded of high school cliques, in which members are recognized by their specific sartorial choices. I remember the “preps” at my school wore Tommy Hilfiger and Abercrombie and Fitch. Fashion bloggers are certainly a sub-set of culture, so the same tendencies may apply here. I find this neither good nor bad; it just is. On the other hand, perhaps the Carol sandals are just that good and will reach iconic fashion status for years to come, like the Chanel quilted chain bag or the Burberry trench.

  • Disenchanted Style Lover

    This was a fantastic article, really! As someone who used to LOVE checking her favourite blogs in the morning I’ve become somewhat disenchanted as of late. Yours and Garance Dore’s seem to be the only blogs I can stand to follow any longer, as you seem to have an opinion about something, and some real talent! It gets to a point where you get a little bored of seeing someone dressed in all black (in that SAME friggin’ skort) stare moodily into space…and be commended for that skill.
    This “disenchantment” was crystallised for me a few weeks ago when a blogger (who I won’t name, but probably some of you know about this) that I had been following for years decided that she was “not interested” in the Isabel Marant for H&M collection because if she “wanted to by Isabel Marant she’d buy them at Isabel Marant prices, why would she want to pay H&M prices for it”? I literally had to do a double take when I read that sentence…and then promptly deleted the blog from my bookmarks bar. And then, out of curiosity, checked the page again a few days later to see what her readers (many of whom probably can’t afford Isabel Marant and have to shop at H&M) had to say and…lo and behold…she’d disabled the comments section. Shocking.
    I suppose I’ve gone on a bit of a rant, but what I really wanted to do was commend you for continuing to accompany your fashion content with well-thought out, funny and intelligent articles…and a smile. Some of those bloggers need to take a cue from you!

  • Jill S

    Fascinating. I tend to like what I like regardless of who’s wearing it. And I don’t care if “everyone” has it or no one has it. I buy for longevity and if I could afford (or saved up for) those shoes I’d keep them for years and years and enjoy them until they fell apart. That’s just how I am though…most of the blogs you posted I’m aware of but don’t follow because they bore me. I like more “regular” (my definition, not dinging any of those bloggers) girls who don’t seem to have a style that’s built out of designer/trendy/hot items, be those items expensive or from Zara, et al.

    And I LOVE those sandals…haven’t tried them (I try *not* to tempt myself sometimes) so don’t know if they’d work for me. But if they did, I’d buy them simply because I loved them.

  • maud.schellekens

    Great article! From my point of view they were too expensive because they were not that exclusive anymore.

    XOXO Maud


  • Love the idea that bloggers can have the opposite effect of a label–that they make items feel less special. But hasn’t it always been that way? In general, I mean. When the masses adopt a trickled-down fashion trend, the upper echelons of society feel a loss of “singularity” and accordingly create a new one (until the populace swallows that one up, too, that is). I think this is simply an age-old phenomenon manifesting itself in a modern context. Interesting stuff.

  • Sasha Jane Shanks

    It’s awesome how relatable you are. So many successful bloggers never reply to followers queries for some reason. Great article too, its so easy to read your articles and relate to them 🙂

  • Tessa

    If it’s on Pinterest, I no longer want it (whatever it is)

  • styleheritage

    How unique can your style really be in the world of e-commerce, where everyone else has access to the same items? After all, we are looking at the same fashion shows, the same magazines and the same editorials. And how can you resist to items that are considered beautiful in the general consensus?

    I used to think that only a nagging highbrow would look down at the much coveted item you’ve spent months searching for, telling you it’s already been spotted on everyone else and is therefore so passé. The wisest thing would probably be to ignore them and stand by your choice.

    But then where is the uniqueness of the style? Probably in the rest of the outfit, the attitude and the rest you bring to the table.

  • k.zuri

    I despise commenting on narrowly any web based site myself, but here we go. I just experienced the exact same revelation with the Zara skort and drafted a post discussing loosely based concepts before I even read this post. Coincidence? I think not. I hate to use the word “upset” but browsing through the likes of Chictopia and Blogspot has driven me to near insanity over its hyper trendiness that no natural being with web access can seem to resist.

  • Lisa Thomson

    Upon first glance I thought this post was titled “Isabel Marant’s Color Scandal” LOL Maybe that’s what we need to shake things up. I’m not dyslexic either but maybe spending too much time in front of the computer. I like the sandals.

    • Leandra Medine

      Ha! Thank you for the laugh.

  • This post was SO on point.

  • This post was right on point. So many style bloggers seem to have the same eye for clothes (or maybe they’re all sent the same clothes from the major brands). Kinda negates the point of a PERSONAL style blog. I think I’m just gonna start wearing a giant glitter cape with all my outfits,

  • Ash

    I’m definitely blinded by how freaking beautiful those sandals are, not by the label (though who doesn’t love Marant?) and not by the blogger.

  • Mona

    the dicker boots are made in france, the ones I have in black

  • Mona

    I like blogs more than magazine. I like mixing Man Repeller with the Daily Prep, both are super similar in a way that is worth noodling on. I like authentic even if clumsy, Garance Dore loses me sometimes with the super production but I love the cool girls I discover during an image search for an item. I was looking for reviews on the Everlane silk shirt and found a couple new cute blogs, low key, real and totally adorable.

    Women aspire to feel inspired not alienated. Vogue to Marissa Mayer and threw up upside down on a chair. Magazines assume I like wacky fantasy of unreal unfed teens. I want real women with real lives curating their version of the perfect outfit for that selfie.

  • brooke @ what2wear

    amen sister, i am a blogger and I’m definitely starting to be put off by the top tier of bloggers who keep acquiring the whole slew of “it” items… makes me not want them and it makes me push even harder to find unique pieces that no one else will have. thank you for calling people out on this……its why I love you!
    brooke @ what2wear,

    • Leandra Medine

      Really appreciate your words here! I hope I’m not calling people out as much as I am calling MYSELF out

  • thechicndamned

    So happy to realise that I’m not the only person who didn’t like those sandals. Didn’t care for them when I saw them on the runway and still didn’t after seeing them on every blogger out there. I guess this is the one time I wasn’t blinded by the label or the blogger.

    x karen

  • jas

    i just want to be inspired. i feel that bloggers should want to inspire people to think outside the fashion box and wear stuff, not just because they are the “it” item and everyone is wearing it too, but because they appreciate style, design and creativity. as a blogger, this is what my aim is.

    btw have you seen this tumblr?
    it makes me NOT want to own/wear anything featured on there.

    reckless abandon blog

  • Laura

    It’s very interesting to question whether the bloggers themselves are what makes these particular items so popular, or are the items simply popular in their own right?
    If we travelled back to the 1950’s when Dior’s ‘New Look’ was incredibly popular, had instagram and bloggers been around then would the same trend have occurred?
    Are items being made popular by bloggers or is the sudden saturation of social media in our lives making peoples fashion choices more accessible?
    What I’m trying to say (but not explaining very well). Are these items only coveted by the top bloggers, or do we just think that because those are the only images we see? We’re more likely to see and instagram image from Nicole Warne with 500k+ instagram followers than you are the average person who might own the sandals. It would be interesting if you could take an inventory of every person who had bought the sandals and see who out of these people were actually bloggers.
    It could simply come down to a generational thing, the people who are buying Isabel Marant are younger, more tech savvy consumers?

  • Great post! Love your view on things!



  • Petra

    It seems to me that it’s not just these shoes, but Isabel Marant who is the blog craze these days (rhyme!).

  • Alice

    “Personal style blog” has become a description just as misleading as “street-style”. It has become rather impersonal. The concept for me is that someone dresses in a way that reflects their OWN preferences, not the ones from 5 million other girls. Now, a great piece is a great piece, however, being true to your stye and aesthetics (like Sabrina from Afterdrk) is something that has been lacking within the blogger-world lately

  • Elisa Taviti

    I’m in love with Isabel Marant Coral sandals!!!

    My Fantabulous World

  • dk

    I’m definitely guilty of that “blinded by the blogger”- thing. I’ve been following fashion blogs for the past 5-6 years. And in the past months I’ve been constantly struggling with the though of just deleting my bloglovin and calling it quits. I’m now officially tired of fashion.

    This however does not start with the blogger, in my humble opinion. I remember growing up watching almost exclusively FashionTV; watching those Valentino and Dior shows in awe. Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t then only 2 collections per year? You had your Spring-Summer and your Fall-Winter, and the Haute Couture, but that doesn’t count. And now? We have Resort, Pre-something, Post-something, Holiday-special and the obligatory low price – collaboration.

    We’re basically overwhelmed by fashion choices. You can wear whatever you want. There are so many options. There are so many great items you can own. And this is where the bloggers come.

    My biggest critique has become the fact that although we’re being showered ( cue AdR’s hit ) with countless fashions garments, I keep seeing the same things, over and over again, on every single blog. As those Marant sandals or the Celine’s Trapeze, Trio or Luggage, which every blogger seems to own in more than one color. Or the Zara skort and that Mango ( or was it Zara again ?) black coat with leather sleeves.. Or or or.. The list can go on. I’m still asking myself.. how can all the bloggers buy the same 50 pieces ( low price & high price included) every single season? Where is the creativity I’ve witnessed in the beginning? Do they all get those items as presents, or are they all subscribed to the same magazine ? I can’t believe that all of them woke up one beautiful morning and thought “Oh I should buy myself a Kenzo sweater”. I think it’s laziness and fear. Once said item has been blessed by the public as “nice looking” and featured in some Vogue Issue, the blogger thinks “Oh, I can wear this now. It’s safe. I won’t loose likes.” And it’s all about the likes. The likes represent the blog’s value. One does not want to disrupt a well working business machine. I get that.

    And yes, when I first see an item I can think “I want it”. But then I see it on 10 different blogs in a week, and I just get tired of it. It’s not that I don’t like it anymore. It’s just I’ve seen it so many times, I kinda feel I have worn it myself for 30 days in a row. And then I just don’t want to own it anymore.

    I spent days looking for the right pair of shoes. Not because I want to be unique. But because I want to find something that I really genuinely like. And not because I saw it somewhere and thought “that looks cute”. Also because I don’t plan on spending more than 200 dollars for a nice pair of shoes, that I plan on wearing excessively for the next 3-5 years.

    I think that a lot of bloggers just don’t look anymore. Most of you get discounts with those labels or you can snatch a deal of the sort “I get it for free and would wear it 20 times on my blog”.

    Ugh.. I will stop now. I ramble, I know.

    Oh.. and btw I can’t wait to see how my blogger feed would style that sugar pink Zara coat this Fall. Perhaps with the Balenciaga cutout boots, so that it feels edgy enough 😀

  • Isa

    I know that what I’m going to say is totally unrelated to this post but have you ever thought about doing some sort of collaboration with Tavin Gevinso?? That would be awesome!! or at least for me…

  • Saman

    Leandra – if you don’t want the shoes I’ll takem!

  • I guess I’ll have to buy them now.

    Your Friend, Jess

  • diane

    I, too, was smitten with these same sandals upon first glance. However, I made myself wait until they were half off, a huge accomplishment since I wear a common size and have little willpower. Unfortunately, they did not fit and gaped at the sides with the top part far too wide around my (admittedly) narrow ankles. While I do sometimes suffer from “label-itis,” these shoes really spoke to me, having always been a sucker for studs, stack heels and ankle straps. Yes, her stuff has become criminally expensive and ubiquitous, but here is just something about Isabel Marant that suits my casual So Cal lifestyle more than most designers of her ilk. That said, I always try to score her stuff on sale unless an item is selling out quickly, like her Dicker boots of past seasons (which have really held up nicely, better than my Rag and Bone ankle boots of similar vintage).

  • Kirby

    Funny that I read this today because just yesterday I found a tumblr called Shit Bloggers Wear. It’s weird that sometimes you don’t actually notice how over-worn so many items are until it is brought to your attention–except for the Zara skort, it’s hard not to notice that one.
    Anyway, great article as always!

  • Liz

    I find it amusing that popular bloggers all wear the same key pieces and blog about a certain company/product/campaign around the same time(today is the Atlas Collection from Tiffany & Co…seriously! Go check the popular feed on bloglovin). But how is it any different than buying all the popular magazines featuring the same products and campaigns each season? Fashion has always and will always be a popularity contest in some way, shape, or form. I, like many others, get annoyed by both but eventually get over it. Because it’s mostly due to jealousy and that shit is not cute.

    • dk

      The main difference is that a magazine don’t try to sell itself as authentic. While this is what a blogger has to be. You loose authenticity the minute you start wearing things because of contract and not because you really, really, really liked them.

  • grrrrrr

    Good post, good comments, and good answers.

    I just jumped over from another blog. I won’t mention the name, but I got annoyed by something on that blog, and your post indirectly addressed it. And now, please humor me for 30 seconds while I vent.

    Said blog has “featured” several pix all week with a certain brand of sneaker. The pix are cute, but by the 3rd appearance of this sneaker on said blog in as many days, I started to get pissed off. I don’t like being manipulated.

    I visit certain blogs for their points of view…yours for a wonderfully personal take on fashion and blogger X for a particular view of “street” style. Of course, blogger X has every right to make bux, but please inform us readers that this is product placement, and that you are effectively force-feeding us an invented “trend.” If I want editorial, I will heft the 250kg September Vogue.

    Your above post makes me think that you would respect your readers enough to announce a product placement, should you ever go down that path. And if you do, more power to ya, but keep it real…and we will keep coming back.

    Keep up the great work!

  • CarolinaG

    I loved it!
    I´m posting looks from L.A. and accesssories:

  • Sara

    Funny to read all the comments about these sandals and the impact of fashion bloggers. Here is the thing; I was actually ready to buy them because I liked them, also the heel not that high so probably quite comfy. I saved up money so it took me a while, then actually the store owner told me; sorry they are not for sale anymore, they are so uncomfortable, we will send them all back to IM, so I would really advice you not to buy these sandals for this price… This also made me wonder; did all the bloggers out there got these sandals for free? Of at a huge discount? Or does that not even matter anymore these days?Or was the store owner wrong? Leandra; what you think about the fit, and in the end, disregarding them being allover there on Instagram_Twitter, are the sandals worth it?

    • Leandra Medine

      They certainly took a wear or two to break in but they’re not that bad at all.

    • Diane

      No matter how long it would have taken to break in the stiff leather of this sandal, the fit (for me) was WAY off: the whole ankle piece literally stood out from my leg about 5 inches, instead of being flush to my skin. I really wanted to keep these sandals since they were such a score (half off!) and I had pined for them for at least 3 months.

  • Inês

    Can you explain me why the fact that they are made in Portugal has an influence on the fact that you don’t want/like them? I’m genuinely asking, I don’t understand.

    • I’ve got nothing against Portugal, but in my experience shoes made in Portugal are usually at a lower price point than shoes made in Italy.

  • Inês

    Yes, shoes made in Italy are in fact (generally speaking) of very good quality. But I think you should know that, actually, Portugal has a great tradition and reputation of shoe-making, specially in the north – but of course, as a smaller country, it does not have the same scale of production as Italy. Also, you would be surprised how many luxury items are partially made in Portugal or pass by it during its production.

  • I really like how everyone that has the Carol sandals manage to style it differently. If you scroll through the bloggers pics you put up, they all exude a different style and it’s nice to see that the sandals are so damn versatile.
    I also want to see a Murant shoe that doesn’t spread like wildfire. Doesn’t seem likely tho. 😛

  • I am a tad annoyed by these trendy sandals/bags/boots/any piece really that are sooo expensive and exclusive that you see them in every blog and I get sooo bored because the girls wear just the same things, as long as they are expensive, whence popular. And the annoying thing is that Zara is doing some kind of fucked up thing with very popular pieces (a lot cheaper thought) that become sold out after a week (I’m thinking Antik boots here). It just makes me think that if a blogger gets popular because she gets the latest expensive items, it’s sad really. I thought that style mattered most.

  • Judy Yang

    I love how honest you are as a fashion insider. Yes there are too many blogger blogs about the same fashion “IT” items, and it gets old after seeing them everywhere ( It become advertisement, no longer a personal style ) . I wonder if they didn’t received those as free gifts, would they actually pay to get those?
    i am a new blogger, not blogging anything from the ” IT” list

  • Susannah Bloom

    Also Nasty Gal just released some sandals that are a complete ripoff of the Isabel Marant “Carol” sandals…

  • stephaniesstyleblog

    cute sandals!
    xx Stephanie (

  • Jenni

    I found the Carol sandals on sale and in my size yesterday, and started thinking about this “blinded by a label” etc predicament that all of a sudden I was in. I tried them on and actually really loved them, despite the fact that in all honesty they’re NOT “me” i.e. my style at all. If they weren’t Isabel Marant and in this case also super famous, I probably wouldn’t have looked at them twice. I didn’t buy them and won’t, but knowing they’re there up for grabs, I still find myself thinking what if.. And it’s not only the label, since I live in Finland, they are super famous and super common only in blogs and pictures. Owning them would somehow mean I’m part of the same club Rumi and you are in. So I’m really fighting hard here not to be blinded by the label!

  • Nisa

    You’re soooooo right! thanks for that Leandra

  • guestofaguest

    I reckon I’m going to fashion Hell, but I thought these sandals were idiotic looking. Or, more to the point, the 3 women I know (not personally but from a very close distance)who wear them continually with abandon, are idiots. Sadly, I pretty much associate IM products with stupid, trend infested women. I am far too individualistic to get sucked into any trend for any reason. And, for a much reduced price I could have something far nicer made bespoke for me from someone on the Ashram in Oregon. Just my opinion.

  • You know that is the downside of blogging. In our world (blogging community) mixed with how fast we love and then trash something next year this will be a trend for the masses next summer because that’s normally how it works. I’m already seeing the cheaper version of shoe pop up and the skort you mentioened. I feel like we will always be ahead of the masses and that sort of sucks because most of the time it’s that one item that is indeed cute but then everybody flocks. Yet I’m always amazed because Zara has soooooooo much stuff that I think would look great on a lot blogs but for some reason it gets overlooked.

  • Cherie Gisondi

    When we all wore jelly shoes in the 80s, there were no bloggers. We just liked them.

  • Kathy Cappa

    I love this sandals