Many women have earned the reputation of being far from frugal with their fashionable footwear and shoe shopping sprees. While accessories and jewelry still play a role in the most fashionable closets, it’s the shoes that seem to make the woman these days. Designer shoes have the common objects of desire for more than Sex and the City stars. Spending thousands of dollars on luxury designer brands, shoe shopping has become both a hobby and pursuit, reaching the high ranks of luxe-style living.
According to a study published by AC Nielsen in Europe, nearly half of the world’s online consumers choose shoes as their favorite designer accessory, with brand-name sunglasses coming in a close second. Luxury fashion houses are rolling out fresh brands season after season; the likes of Manolo Blahnik, Versace, Prada, and Jimmy Choo are coveted names in many stylish shoe closets.
According to The NPD group, a consumer information organization that offers the latest statistics on retail expenditure, American women spent almost $18.3 billion on shoes in 2006. With the increases in online shopping and higher levels of disposable income available to the 25 to 45-year-olds demographic, the love of shoes is only becoming stronger.
As a result, the world’s most expensive shoes are also carrying some of the world’s highest price tags in luxury retail. Are women willing to pay any price for the most coveted sandals, boots, and dressy footwear of the season? Designers seem to think so; here’s a look at the latest prices of some of the world’s most expensive shoes:
Loeffler Randall’s famous embossed anaconda leather boots are priced at almost $800, a notable collection that generate plenty of hype during the fall season. Manolo Blahnik’s alligator boots topped this section of the footwear department off with a $14,000 pair; certainly a pair that aren’t just made for walking.
Christian Louboutin offers jeweled peep toe pumps and a wide range of platform slingbacks. The asking price for this coveted brand ranges from $600-$1,500 per pair.
Limited edition shoes are the highlight for shoe collectors of all backgrounds, and Gucci has become famous for launching exclusive collections in limited-editions so that the shoes become a form of art instead; prices have leapt into the $7,000 range in recent years.
The Wizard of Oz served as inspiration for the ruby red slippers designed by Stuart Weitzman, with the price of $1,600,000; while the profits are donated to children’s charities in the UK, this is one set of slippers that are more likely to be locked away than featured on the red carpet. Stuart Weitzman also became famous for the one-of-a-kind 4 1/2 inch Cinderella slippers back in 2004. These fairtyale shoes are studded with 55 carats diamonds and priced at a hefty $2 million.
The nouveau riche are adept at playing the game of social status, rounding up luxury brands and accessories to fill those closets. Women in particular are hungry for the latest designer footwear, and today’s hefty price tags continue to fuel the trend.