Crazy for Shoes!

March 26, 2012

When women are asked to name their favorite fashion accessory, most will respond with one simple word – shoes!  Why women love their shoes so much remains a mystery.  Women from all walks of life will admit to owning over 100 pairs of shoes.  And among the very wealthy, whole closets are often built to house these most precious of possessions.  Imelda Marcos owned over 1200 pairs.  “Sex and the City” heroine, Carrie Bradshaw, could never resist an expensive, new pair of designer creations.  Whole episodes of this popular television show were built around Carrie’s passion for shoes!

In the United States, women spend over seventeen billion dollars per year on shoes.  Designer shoes from craftsmen like Malolo Blahnik and Louis Vuitton cost several hundred dollars and are becoming increasingly popular.  Exotic leathers like snake, ostrich and alligator drive up the price.  Shoes constructed of these materials can cost over one thousand dollars. Shoes in this price range, however, account for only one per cent of the fashion footwear market (fashion footwear includes any type of well made shoe except athletic types). So for the foreseeable future, the most expensive footwear will remain within the province of only the mega wealthy.

Some high-end shoe designers have whole lines of shoes that cater to the very wealthiest of women.  Manolo Blahnik offers boots made of the finest leathers.  These boots retail at fourteen thousand dollars.  Not to be outdone, Stuart Weitzman designed eight of the ten most expensive shoes of all time.  Pictures of his famous Rita Hayworth Heels have appeared in magazines around the world.  These heels were inspired by Hayworth’s favorite earrings, and are encrusted with rubies, sapphires and diamonds.  They are valued at three million dollars.  They are not for sale, however.  The shoes are considered works of art and are owned by Hayworth’s daughter, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan.

Some shoes are expensive because they have sentimental value.  For instance, there are only three surviving pairs of ruby red slippers from the 1939 movie classic, “The Wizard of Oz.”  Judy Garland wore these famed slippers in the movie, and the last pair to be auctioned at Christie’s sold for an astounding $612,000.00!  If this seems pricy, consider the red slippers that Harry Winston and Company created to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the release of “The Wizard of Oz.”  Over 4,600 rubies have been incorporated into these slippers, as well as fifty carats of diamonds.  The shoes are valued at over three million dollars!  Any takers?

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