While reading a feature in a magazine on Christian Louboutin’s 20th anniversary of making beautiful shoes, I came across an interesting sound byte about the origin of Louboutin’s red sole. Essentially, he created a yellow pump with a pointed toe and a flower embellishment on it, and while lamenting its black, boring sole, he reached for his assistant’s red nail polish and transformed the sole into something that was just as important as the shoe, itself. Huh. Neat idea, right?
I was going to show you a picture of the yellow, vividly-1980s shoe, but it is virtually impossible to find a photo of it online… which kind of adds to the conversation I started to have with myself in my head:
Would Louboutins [or any high-end designer shoe] be as popular and coveted with a basic, boring, black sole?
Photo from InStyle Magazine
So… what would Christina Aguilera’s (and 75% of the rest of Hollywood/NYC) closet look like if Louboutin had never grabbed that nail polish? Would the shoes still sparkle enough for them to charge $2,000 for a pair of leather pumps?
Several celebrities have more variety in their wardrobes – with a little Chanel, Alexander Wang, and Dior thrown in for good measure… Every time they step out, they’re wearing the latest coveted piece of unattainable design history. This makes sense – they’re loaded, they have the ability to acquire foot art and mingle with the creators… but damn – hasn’t J.Lo ever seen a pair of Seychelles that blew her mind!? It happens to me like once per week! I have to think about cost efficiency here: were I banking a cool 14 million per year, would I be snatching up every shoe from DSquared2’s latest collection? Or would I be buying 560 pairs of high-quality, durable, mid-range shoes and rocking them daily… just like I am now?
If you guessed the latter, great job – you’re on the right website.
We had a discussion on our Facebook page last week, where Poochie from Shoe Daydreams gave us some really good perspective (and who better to offer insight than Ms. Shoe Collection, herself?) on the price and marketing cocktail that is the designer shoe industry.
I think most designer shoes have gone up way too much in recent years. Personally I don’t care about the red sole (unless it looks particularly good with the overall design) to pay more for it. If anything, a better question is to ask would they be this expensive without SATC or Hollywood?
[Celebrities] were wearing [designer shoes] when shoes were $300 or so. Literally in the past 5 – 10 years I’ve seen the “average” designer price go from $300/$500 max to $1000+. The $1000 range was super rare. Now shoes that I used to pay $300-$500 for are now (for the exact same brand and style just different material version) are going for $700+.
For example, the Manolo Blahnik Sedaraby d’Orsay style. I have that in 4 versions. The first pair were around $500-ish. The ones I got recently (in a boucle fabric) were over $700. Yes, I bought them so I’m part of the problem too, but I’ve cut way back in what I’m buying. So while my total budget may be the same the number of shoes I am getting is way down.
What do you think?