The woman who inspired the ‘Cinderella slipper’ knock-off

The year is 2019 and the “Cinderella” slipper is everywhere. But little do consumers know the “It-girl’ shoe was actually created by designer Amina Muaddi, the woman at the centre of a cheating scandal with ASAP Rocky, the boyfriend of Rihanna.

The signature shoe – which boasts a perspex heel with a diamond brooch and distinctive square-tip heel that resembles an “upside down martini glass” – became one of the biggest fashion knock-offs in recent years.

Whilst celebs like Rihanna and Kendall Jenner could afford to splash $2000 on the “Begum transparent slingback pumps”, South African women could get their hands on designer dupes for as little as R200.


Back in 2019, Bonang schooled her followers on the replicas that were everywhere: from Instagram boutiques to flea markets to “China malls”.

She casually tweeted: “Been seeing a lot of fake Amina Muaddi shoes. I wonder if they’re aware”.

Sarah Langa also poked fun at women who wore cheap counterfeits. The influencer posted a pic of genuine Amina Muaddi heels with the caption: “The real ones”.

But South African women were not impressed, insisting that they would continue to buy what was in their budget.


The counterfeit stock was not the only challenge Amina Muaddi had on her hands at the time. Months before the release of her 2019/2020 collection, thieves stole hundreds of pairs of heels from her warehouse.

Whilst the shoes were never recovered, Amina was inspired to use the concept for her PR campaign.

She shared on Instagram at the time: “I started wondering where they could be, thinking of different scenarios, unknown hands unboxing them, dodgy places where they were being resold without my knowledge.

“Negative situations happen to all of us but it’s how we choose to handle them that makes the difference. I decided to create my Fall Winter 19/20 digital campaign around this idea. STORE OPENING is the imaginary @aminamuaddiofficial dubious store opened by thieves in a mysterious industrial location where our ladies enthusiastically go looking for new stock”.

The campaign and the new designs catapulted Amina Muaddi into a status worthy of the fashion hall of fame.

Her fashion influence would eventually lead to Rihanna recruiting her to become a part of her Fenty 2020 fashion drop.

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