Dear O Magazine: $500 Shoes Are Not A “Deal”

I was flipping through O Magazine last night (gotta learn how to live my best life, you know?) and came across a sidebar article about a new line of affordable shoes. Here’s what it said:

“If you adore–but can’t afford–Brian Atwood’s luxe shoes, check out his new “B” line: same sensuous look, much lower price. Still a splurge, but for true fans, it’s a deal.”

That all sounded very nice, but then I looked at the price: $500. Wait, what?

I read the whole thing again. Yes, this magazine was indeed deeming a $500 pair of shoes a “deal.” I went online and looked up the “B” Brian Atwood line to make sure the price wasn’t a typo. Sure wasn’t. In fact, many of the shoes ran closer to $600.

You can call a $500 shoe a lot of things: “Splurge” was along the right lines. “Investment piece” would also work. But a $500 pair of shoes is not in any way a deal. In fact, for most people, it’s a dealbreaker.

Just to clarify, here are some things that would actually be considered a deal for 500 bucks:

  • A car that runs
  • 2 roundtrip tickets to Europe
  • A new MacBook Air
  • One of Picasso’s early works
  • A “Deal Or No Deal” suitcase containing more than $500

Listen, I don’t necessarily have a problem with the skyrocketing pricetags of designer shoes. If someone wants to spend $3000 on a pair of bedazzled pumps, that’s their prerogative, and I will probably stop them on the street to compliment their sweet kicks. But trying to normalize spending a whole paycheck on a pair of shoes in a time when so many people don’t even have a paycheck to spend? That rubs me the wrong way.

No deal, O Magazine. No deal.