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The New York Times' veteran fashion reporter Eric Wilson has a piece today about what he calls "the overhyped, insanely competitive business of selling $1,000 shoes." It includes a look at the massive expansion of shoe salons at department stores like Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, and Macy's, a few quotes from Manolo Blahnik, and a requisite Sex and the City reference. The moral seems to be that shoe prices are going to continue to go up until customers decide they won't pay—and that kind of resistance doesn't appear to be in the cards any time soon.
One of the more interesting tidbits from the piece is the reasoning behind the increased prices. "It is more expensive to make shoes now, and it's for a very boring reason," Christian Louboutin is quoted as saying.
The boring reason appears to be the euro. "Since the introduction of the euro and its subsequent strength against the dollar, the cost of producing shoes in Europe has increased substantially," Wilson writes.
"Now, there is a gap of raw materials and leather, which puts the prices up very high," Louboutin adds. Louboutin says that his costs have doubled within five years.
Back in April, we took a look at how the price of Manolo Blahnik's classic Carolyne slingback, has changed over the course of four decades. It has almost doubled, going from $395 in 1986 to $625 today, according to data given to Racked from the company.
Despite the increasing prices, the retail execs Wilson interviewed say they're not worried about the shoe bubble bursting. "Personally, I don't have any concern that this phenomenon is going to go away anytime soon," Joshua Schulman, the president of Bergdorf, said.
We're curious: are you willing to spend more on shoes than you would on, say, a pair of pants? How much is too much for a pair of shoes? Speak your mind in the comment.