$2k for Sandals? Shoe Prices Have Reached New Levels of Insanity

Baby need a new pair of shoes? Good luck finding some you can afford. For a while, handbags were the fashion status symbols — the more expensive, the better. But lately, shoes have been the it accessory. And the designer brands are more expensive than ever.

In a story in the Thursday Styles section of today's New York Times, Eric Wilson writes that when it comes to shoes, there is "very little price resistance demonstrated by consumers, even when the market has all the characteristics of another fashion bubble." In fact:

At Barneys New York, sales of shoes are three to four times higher per square foot than in any other department. The average purchase in the shoe department there is about $850, among the highest in the city.

Eight hundred fifty dollars is the average.

There's a gladiator sandals photo shoot in the new issue of New York magazine, and out of 19 pairs of shoes, only 2 are under $100. The prices of the sandals below, from left to right: $789. $398. $590. $2,715. $1,495.

$2k for Sandals? Shoe Prices Have Reached New Levels of Insanity

Twenty-seven hundred dollars for high-heeled sandals that don't cover very much skin at all. What. The. Fuck. Why are shoes so expensive right now? It's unclear. There certainly aren't very many answers in the Times.

“It is more expensive to make shoes now,” Mr. Louboutin said last week from his studio in Paris. “And it’s for a very boring reason.”

Not boring to me! I'd like to know. Really. (It should be noted that priced between $600 and $800, Louboutins are at the low end of the designer shoe market.)

Sasha Charnin Morrison, the fashion director of Us Weekly, tells Wilson: "The prices are insane, and yet I could tell you a million reasons why they are justified.” After a careful search of the article, we did not find a million reasons. In fact, we did not find one reason. But we did get this final word from George Malkemus, president of Manolo Blahnik:

“A customer might like what they see,” he said, “and then she turns the shoe over, looks at the price and walks away.”

[NYT, New York]