Thursday, April 16, 2009

UPDATE: Hello Miss Zhao?

OK Color me confused, a concerned reader pointed this out to me this morning and I have to say that I am a bit disappointed and even more bewildered, but perhaps the creators involved can shed some light on the situation for all of us. It seems the just released ZHAO AprilStars are almost identical, if not identical, to shoes released in January by Cattiva e Cattivo creator Lissa Maertens. They are alike in appearance and also in the name 'AprilStars' and even the color names seem to be the same. So I ask, were these a 'business in a box' full perms kit situation or has Lissa started working with ZHAO? I await your feedback. (*** please see the comments section of this post for clarification)

The Original Review:

Zhao shoes is back! For whatever reason it has been a while since Melanie Zhao has released something new, but as expected she has returned with the release of these cute sculpted AprilStars oxford heels. Some nice texturing here, and great color selection, each pair comes with 2 lace options, these are resizable by HUD. There is also a color changeable pair with bling, Zhao has always offered great customizable features and she managed to find a way to offer that here too.

Visit ZHAO Shoes at the main store to take a look at the newness.

The stuff; Redgrave Skin, ETD Hair, Argrace Shirt, COCO knotted sweater, Cachet Pants, Artilleri & Fresh Baked Goods Bracelets.


E said...

Obviously it is suspicious yes, but,I am wondering if you approached either party for an answer to the question before bringing it into a public forum, and what they have to say about it?


Beulah said...

Lissa Maertens stood with Mel in her store the night these were released - I was there to.

Anessa Stine said...

Yes I have since learned that they are indeed calling this a 'collaboration', unfortunately that was information that would have been useful to me at the time they were released... or umm.. re-released under the ZHAO stamp... and might I add at an increase in price as well it seems. I am not slamming either party in my post, or accusing anyone of anything illegal. I just felt that if one person was curious about the identical shoes then others might be too. I stand by my review of the items and would expect that people who like them will purchase them.

Sequoia Nightfire said...

Hi Melanie and Lissa have joined to do some collaborative projects. Lissa bought land and has moved in across the street. I know them both to be extremely gifted designers and it is a perfect match. If you look closely the laces and the textures are a bit different. This is an update to what was already a nice shoe.
Below is the notice sent to the Zhao group:
ZHAO Shoes proudly presents our new range of stunning shoes...

Introducing the AprilStars Patent Leather Oxford Pump by Melanie Zhao and Lissa Maertens.

An Oxford style patent leather ankle boot with detailed stiching on the upper and
wooden heels. Comes in two alternates ~ without or with laces. Available in an
amazing 14 colours, including colour change! As with all Zhao Shoes,
AprilStars come complete with built in menu and HUD for sexywalk AO and
3 volume variable foot sounds.

AprilStars are the first collaboration between Melanie Zhao and Lissa Maertens of Cattiva e Cattivo

Many may know Lissa as the owner of Cattiva e Cattivo a fashion boutique located across
from Zhao Shoes in Agard. Now Melanie and Lissa have teamed up to create shoes together
and this is the first fruits of their collaborative effort! Look for more exciting Zhao
styles to be introduced over the course of the next few months.

Melanie Zhao (Owner of ZHAO Shoes, Designer & Creator)

Lissa Maertens (Owner of Cattiva, Designer & Creator)

Cassy Westland (Gengral Manager)

SexyPandora Bailey (Rentals Manager)

~* ZHAO *~ Shoes ~
Unveiling, Unbelievable, Unequivical, Undeniable

This should speak for itself and it is always appropriate to question the designer before posting something as this as such a post could be hurtful.

Seuqoia Nightfire

Anessa Stine said...

Thank you Seuqoia, for adding the contents of the notecard that was send to both designers groups and FashCon (none of which I am a member of). I have since spoken with Mel and she does not seem in the least bit upset by my approach, infact it draws attention to the new venture between these designers... and as they say, no such thing as bad press.

Here is an excerpt from my brief chat with Melanie Zhao:

[13:01] Anessa Stine: Hey Mel, just a heads up, I reviewed the shoes you sent and was later contacted by a reader who sent me photos of identical shoes from Cattiva... since you did not send me the literature about the collaboration I ammended my blog post with an inquiry.

[13:08] Melanie Zhao: Wll i was actually waiting for you to reply after i sent you the shoes! ;-)

[13:09] Anessa Stine: ah
[13:10] Anessa Stine: just curious why you chose to re-release almost identical shoes under your brand name, would it not have made more sense to launch your collaboration with a product that was truly a collaboration from the ground up?

[13:11] Melanie Zhao: Theres quite a few more releases coming, hence we announced our collaboration in our groups and in Fashcon with that notice ...but people do love a bit of scandal!!!

[13:11] Anessa Stine: sure, but i am not accusing anyone of anything improper here... just an odd choice

[13:12] Melanie Zhao: we announced our collaboration, with a shoe of Lissa's choice, she wants them all under the Zhao brand, aswell as our new ones

[13:12] Anessa Stine: I see
[13:12] Anessa Stine: ok, thanks for clearing that up
[13:12] Anessa Stine: I'll be curious to see the next release

[13:13] Melanie Zhao: lol easily cleared up with the original release note ...and a quick IM to me to say "hiya and thanks" ;-)

[13:13] Anessa Stine: [2009/04/13 17:16] Melanie Zhao is Offline
[2009/04/13 17:16] Anessa Stine: hi babes, so sorry - ty for the shoes - was just at dinner :)
[13:13] Anessa Stine: like that?

[13:13] Melanie Zhao: D'oh!
[13:14] Melanie Zhao: sorry ...frigging offlines!
[13:14] Melanie Zhao: i check them once a week
[13:14] Melanie Zhao: put that on the blog! lol

[13:15] Anessa Stine: well no worries, just if it's easier in the future send any notecards in the folder with the shoes... or slap me in the face with it... I am just trying my best to get these reviews out quickly

[13:16] Melanie Zhao: i appreciate it, just timezones dont help, you know id prefer to tell you to save you the notecard

[13:16] Anessa Stine: sure :)

Anonymous said...

:) Always helpful to talk with the creators before posting... Melanie and I are doing some collaborative work. Hope this helps to clear things up.

Lissa Maertens
Cattiva e Cattivo

Anonymous said...

Also heres a link to the new ZHAO Shoes blog