Retailers of all stripes have been grappling with ways to bring shoppers into their stores, slashing prices, offering giveaways and deploying a host of other enticements. With the economy in a ditch and consumers holding ever more tightly to their wallets, even luxury establishments are feeling the pinch. In December Saks Fifth Avenue dropped prices on its designer goods up to 70% in some cases while fine dining establishments across the country have recently started to offer special prix fixe “value meals” and discounting dishes to keep their tables filled and turning regularly.So it was with interest that I stumbled upon one luxury firm’s strategy to capture sales and interest. Famed shoe designer Christian Louboutin has decided to go for extreme opulence. Louboutin is set to debut his limited edition Marie Antoinette Collection (in collaboration with embroiderer Jean-Francois Lesage) at the end of this month. Just 36 pairs of the ornate creations — available in three colors: pink, yellow, and blue will exist in the world — and they carry a price tag of $6,295. Glamour.com cautions that these “little ballgowns for the tootsies” could “cause a freak-out.”
Back in 1789, when Marie Antoinette who inspired the latest Louboutin’s design, was faced with France’s teeming masses demanding equity, reforms, and bread to eat, igniting the French Revolution, she reportedly uttered the infamous (although now largely debunked) retort to the people: “Let them eat cake.”
The House of Louboutin however seems to have interpreted the grim financial climate in its own way. Accompanying the announcement, was the following statement:
Even in the midst of dark economic times, there is always room for art, beauty and craftsmanship in its purist form.
Of course we all know what happened to Ms. Antoinette.
photo credit: Christian Louboutin via Glamour.com