Last year, Pierre Hardy -- creative director of Hermes jewelry and resident cobbler at Balenciaga -- created a "affordable" capsule collection for European Gap.
After much success, Gap decided to bring the shoes stateside. And last week, six different styles of sandals designed by Mr. Hardy hit 75 select stores.
Look, Gap. I know you're new to this whole high/low thing. And yo, recruiting one of the most influential shoe designers in fashion for your first accessories collaboration is quite impressive. But $98 for a pair of metallic three-strap sandals that don't even bare Pierre's name is kind of absurd.
That's right, people. The shoes don't even have his initials stitched on them. In fact, the shoes are being branded as part of Gap's Design Editions Initiative. WTF?
As someone who has been obsessed with his shoe designs for Balenciaga and knows how much they normally cost, the hundred dollar price tag was a little bit easier for me to swallow. So, I immediately ran out to my local Gap store to check out the shoes. I bought a pair of the chunky brown Chloe-esque platform sandals ($98) and metallic gladiator sandals ($98).
The other four styles were just as cute, but nobody at the store was interested in the over-priced sandals. No one. So, I imagine I'll be able to snag those on sale. But that's the problem.
Unlike a Christian Louboutin or Jimmy Choo, Pierre Hardy doesn't have the same type of name recognition amongst the average shopper. And with no major advertising about the collaboration or even Pierre's name on the product, why would any Gap customer pay that much money for a pair of leather sandals?
Like I mentioned earlier, I'm aware that Pierre's shoes normally retail in the thousands, but so did Proenza Schouler's constructed tops before they sold similar ones at Target for $40.
While I give Gap an "A" for bringing such of a quality product to their stores, they totally failed with these price points. It's rumored that Pierre will be designing another collection for Fall. So, in the words of Tim Gunn: Make it work people.