Wearing Greed on Your Feet

Are designer shoes “worth it?”

Black Gladiator Sandals

I read an article today on FabSugar about a look at designer shoes. In it, I found some of the statistics shocking. Initially a pair of luxury shoes, Manolo Blahniks, cost just shy of $400. Now, the average pair of shoes at Barney’s costs $770, and Blahniks can top $4,500.

Yellow Suede

Material costs have gone up, and there are certainly some costs associated with the goods used in luxury shoes. But raw materials for shoes made in Italy are around $100 for even the most elaborate shoes.

Neon Pumps

So why are the shoes this expensive? Because we allow them to be. Part of the pricing is based on what retailers think the market can handle. Simply speaking, luxury shoe manufacturers create enough buzz around their name that people will pay for name brand shoes. Shoes with a distinctive “look” (spindly Manolo heels, Louboutin’s red sole) can be even more expensive, because they are recognizably designer brands.

Nude Wedges

How much farther will this industry be able to go before it collapses under its own weight? Or will we start to see $700 shoes as “normal”, and $7,000 shoes as being ridiculously extravagant? for the short shelf life with some of these outrageous fashions, are they worth it? And for basics, would it be better to buy some quality-made shoes without the designer label for 1/5 of the price? Personally, I don’t want to live in one pair of expensive shoes when I could have MANY pairs of reasonable shoes. Just my opinion. What do you think?

Designer Collabs: What Cost Designer?

I saw a little something on Pinterest recently: a picture of pretty shoes with the caption proclaiming that Manolo Blahnik will be doing a collaboration with J.Crew in the fall. Manolo Freaking Blahnik. The man whose shoe sketches used to adorn my walls in high school. The man with the impossible stiletto. My heart beat a bit faster. My palms began to sweat. My fingers began to fly across the keyboard as I searched Google for more information.

And then, all my hopes came crashing to the ground. My vague hope of one day wearing my very own Manolos were dashed by the revelation that the collaboration of Manolo prints on a rather simple J.Crew pump is still ringing up at approximately $550. For that price, you could buy a Manolo label shoe.

Manolo Blahnik for J.Crew

Target perfected the designer collaboration, and now many stores that cater to a shopper without an unlimited budget are collaborating with big names. The Missoni x Target collab showed that collaborations are highly in demand. Generally people will pay a little more for the designer name, with the knowledge that the quality will be on par with the store’s usual brands. It’s a trade-off. And sometimes it’s worth it. There are a lot of great designer collabs out there. Some worth looking at:

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