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12-01-2006
  1
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softgrey's Avatar
 
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Most Expensive Women's Shoes
Without those glass slippers, Cinderella would still be sweeping the fireplace, and Prince Charming would be in the middle of a nasty divorce from one of her step-sisters. Deprived of her bejeweled pumps, Dorothy would be stranded in Oz. And the old lady who lived in her shoe? Well, she probably would have been better off investing in real estate than in a broken-down old boot.

The female shoe has always been an object of fascination, endowed with mythical power. And, as women from former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos (who possessed 1,200 pairs of shoes) to Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw (who one episode realized she'd spent $40,000 on footwear, yet couldn't afford an apartment) have shown, some women are willing to spend fortunes to be properly shod.

American women spent nearly $17 billion on fashion footwear between October 2004 and October 2005, according to The NPD Group, a retail and consumer information company based in Port Washington, N.Y. If that sounds like a lot, it should--it's a nearly 10% increase over 2003 spending.


Slide Show: Most Expensive Shoes
"Shoes make women feel so beautiful that they're willing to pay anything," says Jessie Randall, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based designer and founder of Loeffler Randall, a shoe and handbag line she founded with her husband. "You can't put a price on something that makes you feel that special."

Market analysts are keenly aware of the trend toward extravagant shoe-spending. "Footwear has become a fanatical purchase for even those women who never had a footwear fetish before," says Marshal Cohen, chief analyst at The NPD Group. "Apparel is no longer the highest priority in women's wardrobes: handbags and footwear have become the signature items used to project personal taste, wealth and style."

Cohen estimates that shoes costing $1,000 and up account for less than 1% of total women's fashion footwear sales (fashion footwear is defined as anything other than athletic), but he acknowledges a growing group of women willing to pay more for their shoes now than they ever have been before. "It changed as early as a year-and-a-half ago but picked up steam in the past six months. Women consider footwear their signature item now."


Besides theoretically helping to lure a royal mate, there are real benefits to investing in an expensive shoe. For the most part, if a shoe costs a lot, it's made of better materials and will last longer. In some cases, however, they are not sturdier--simply rarer.

"When we're talking about shoes at $14,000, it's the materials," says Michael Fink, senior fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue (nyse: SFA - news - people ) in New York City. "Leather and the pattern and type of wood they're using, the jewels, are the beads hand done, how rare are the feathers--because a lot of shoes with feathers are using feathers that can't be gathered anymore, from the archives of the couture feather houses. "Roger Vivier shoes have a specific curved heel, and the way it is attached to the footbed is very mechanical and difficult, so you're paying for engineering, too," Fink says.

Randall has seen firsthand how using the priciest materials can drive up the cost of a shoe. "Most beautifully made shoes are from Italy. The master craftspeople are there, and Italian leather is the best leather in the world."

Loeffler Randall's most expensive pair of shoes this season, flat boots made of embossed anaconda leather, were hand cut scale by scale (embossed anaconda is actually cow hide made to look like anaconda). But even at nearly $800, these boots didn't manage to make our list of the most expensive women's shoes.

So what did? Not surprisingly, there are a lot of exotic leathers--alligator, snake and ostrich, to name a few. The more leather, the higher the price, so there were a lot of boots, too, including the pair of $14,000 Manolo Blahnik alligator boots that topped our list. And from Manolo to Gucci to Ferragamo, the list is a roster of designer names that command premiums.

Fink sees two kinds of real-life buyers. "We see a fashion customer who's in the know, wants a limited-edition shoe, and money is no object to her. She is, hopefully, appreciating the beauty of what she's buying and treating it as an art object." Fink hypothesizes that many shoes purchased at stratospheric prices are bought by collectors. The shoes go directly into a display case and never see a foot. "But for another kind of woman, paying $1,000 for a pair of shoes makes sense if she's paying $7,000 or $8,000 for a Chanel suit," he continues. "In that case, she wants shoes that match in look and quality, and the shoes don't bring up the total expense of the outfit by that much."


http://www.forbes.com/lifestyle/2005...19feat_ls.html

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Last edited by softgrey; 12-01-2006 at 07:14 PM.
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13-01-2006
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Thank you for the article!

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13-01-2006
  3
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thanks soft for this article


i am surprised it did not mention the shoe of the moment:
the limited edition GIVENCHY shoe....

will try and find something on it

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13-01-2006
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Meg
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sounds interesting leyla. Can't wait to see

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13-01-2006
  5
flaunt the imperfection
 
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if you click on the link there is a slide show and i think they do mention that shoe leyla...
is it called a black box or something like that?...

i tried but can't capture the pics to post...
if anyone can do it, please do...


and you are all welcome......

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13-01-2006
  6
mmmmmm...fashion....
 
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weren't these gaudy things the world's most expensive shoes..
(article from ruggedelegantliving.com)

Stuart Weitzman Diamond Shoes Worn by Academy Award Performer Alison Krauss




Diamond Shoe by Stuart Weitzman
Speaking of "soleful" living, here is one of a pair of diamond-adorned shoes created by designer Stuart Weitzman. The shoes, highlighted with Kwiat Diamonds and valued at $2 million, were worn by country star Alison Krauss who sang the Oscar-nominated songs 'Scarlet Tide'' and 'You Will Be My Ain True Love' from the movie 'Cold Mountain.''
The stiletto sandal on a 4 ½ - inch invisible heel is covered with more than 500 dazzling diamonds set in pure platinum giving the illusion that there is no shoe, just diamonds twinkling on the foot. Nestled among the clear classic diamonds is an extraordinarily rare colored diamond. Never seen before, this diamond, which is amaretto in color and approximately 5 karats, is being specially cut and polished for the Weitzman shoes. With the rare colored diamond valued at well over $1 million and the shoes adorned with an additional 55 karats of clear diamonds, this pair of shoes will likely sell for $2 million or more.
Kwiat Diamonds, with a legacy of exceptional craftsmanship and award-winning designs, has combined the rare diamond with classic diamonds. Lowell Kwiat expressed excitement in discussing the unique gem. “In my family’s nearly 100 years making fine jewelry, we have never seen a diamond of this color. I myself have seen more than a million diamonds, but nothing that looks like this.”
Weitzman says, “Every woman dreams of being Cinderella, and Cinderella's fantasy shoe has finally become a reality."
We hope that Alison and her Cinderella shoes made it home before the clock struck midnight ...

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13-01-2006
  7
Meg
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most of them (save for the boots and Roger Vivier) are just ugly to be honest. Not a fan

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13-01-2006
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^^ I remember those shoes, I think I saw them on "stripped" on style channel... I personally hate all stuart weitzman shoes, all look so horrible to me.

Does anyone have a picture of the Roger Vivier shoes with the weird heel that they were talking about?

The BV ones were the only ones that I liked from the slideshow in the link, some of them looked really bad. I'm surprised the balenciaga jeweled bow heels weren't on the list.

Heres a picture of the givenchy shoes that leya mentioned


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13-01-2006
  9
flaunt the imperfection
 
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i thought there was a pic of the vivier's in the slideshow gg...
it's not that the heel is 'weird'...it's just that it is curved a specific way....

is that pic of the givenchy's from the slideshow?...

travis-those shoes are a one of a kind custom thing...
the shoes on this list are just very expensive shoes from this particular season...
so it's a different category......

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13-01-2006
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those are in the slideshow

and about the only ones I really liked

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13-01-2006
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Stuart Weitzman has some of the ugliest shoes on the face of planet earth, they're all ugly and unflattering.

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13-01-2006
  12
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Im not really liking that Givenchy shoe much to be honest. But great article Soft!

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13-01-2006
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Forgot to credit the pic... sorry! It's from the link you posted Soft

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13-01-2006
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yep those are the givenchy i was talking about. they come in a clear box and are extremely limited....
considered buyin gthem just for collection purpose though

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13-01-2006
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I these- ($14,000.00 )
http://www.forbes.com/

I think most all stuart weitzman shoes are ugly- no matter what he does, he somehow always manages to mess them up.

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Last edited by stilettogirl84; 13-01-2006 at 02:51 PM.
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