Shoe shoppers are destined to fail us this year, according to experts. Priorities have shifted in the recession, and we’re apparently more interested in feeling good than looking good. Normally we’d tell these consultants to speak for themselves and toss our hair in their faces, but they’re backing these assertions with cold, hard statistical evidence: Sales of Uggs grew by 57 percent last year. So if you, like us, feel you’ve been unable to escape these bulky brown monstrosities, from the subway to the bar to your worst nightmares, that’s why. Also, shoppers will eschew Über-trendy looks, favoring classic styles over “fanciful experimentation,” according to Slate’s Big Money blog.
One casualty, according to Kwesi Blair, senior associate at the luxury-market consulting firm Robert Burke Associates, will be shoes dripping with jewels, fur trim, feathers, or anything else that could be described by the word bling. These shoes are pricey to turn out (an expense which inevitably gets passed along to the customer) and enthusiasm for over-the-top embellishment has waned.
Oh no. What will become of all the magnificent fanciful shoes designers sent down the spring runways? Will they never make it to stores? Or will they arrive, only to collect dust on the shelves like sad gymnastics trophies a little kid no longer cares about? If these trend forecasters are right, we’re in for a sober fall 2009 footwear season. It’s sad. Shoes with feathers and spikes on them were among our greatest pleasures in life. Though we must say, we’re not into the now-standard five- to six-inch heel height. We like walking without worrying for our front teeth every time we turn a corner. But still, Slate calls it the Uggconomy? We call it the Ughconomy.