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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Wednesday Wants: Payless Shoes…or not…

I’m pretty open-minded.  I shop far and wide for cute shoes, and I know that some will have a shorter shelf life than others.  But if they’re cute, they might be worth the money I spend.

I own very few pairs of Payless shoes, but I look through their store from time to time.  Since I’m a half size, their selection is rather limited.  But somehow I stumbled upon something that blew my mind–Isabel Toledo does a line there.  It’s been a while since she’s showed anything, but her clothes are classic and well-designed.  Most famously, she designed this:

I RUSHED to the Payless website to see what the shoes looked like, and came across this:

First of all, OMG it’s a SHOOTIE.  I HATE that word.  It looks like the bastard child of a heel and a Lands’ End swim shoe.  It reminds me of the Timberland high-heeled boots that were both ugly and short-lived.  I also think your feet would look weird in this shoe.

There’s a wedge version, too!

Really, it’s not much better.

Poking around a little, I found that Christian Siriano does a shoe line for Payless, too!  I loved him on Project Runway!  Oh, Christian, give me something good!

Ummm…that’s not it.

What would I need with these hooker pumps?  And what’s the deal with the rope?  I feel like it’s a hot glue “embellishment” added by a teen girl wannabe fashionista to make it “like a boat shoe!”  Ugggggg!

Lela Rose does a collaboration, too, which I felt had the best shoes.  However, I have a question: when did tweed become a spring and summer fabric?  I feel like it’s too fall for this collection.

But, this IS the Wednesday Wants post, so if you assumed that I did find a couple of pairs of shoes that are worthwhile, you would be RIGHT.

Isabel Toledo hits the right note with this wedge:

The red wedge looks pretty hot with this one.  And the rope works with an espadrille, not a pump!

And a cute flat from Isabel Toledo:


Christian Siriano offers up a hooker shootie I’d wear.  And there’s a sentence I never thought I’d say.  Can we call it a “cage heel” instead?

And the best shoe from Lela Rose is a wedge, too.  I am rockin’ the wedge for summer–you heard it here first.

I LOVE the print on the wedge.


What do you think?  Anyone for swimmy shoe pumps?  Do you hate the word “shootie” too?