Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Parisian shoe fever dream

My favourite local shoe store carries brands which include Taryn Rose, Joy Chen (fabulous) Mephisto (unfab), Donald Pliner, and... Thierry Rabotin, dream cobbler of shoes that I can stand in all day.

And discovered the divine Rabotin
Gisele.

Technically a ballet flat, the shoe has an arch so one's foot doesn't sag like a four day old fish. The slightly high-cut vamp is covered in a fine chenille-type fabric on which are sewn hundreds and hundreds of irridescent miniature dark grey and black sequins (like half-grains of rice), using specially reinforced elastic thread so they don't rip off with movement, or catch.

See the leather rim near the sole? I could dance through puddles. Really, they thought of everything.


Trying them on, I felt like a Dorothy who'd swapped her red maryjanes, had a few shots of anejo tequila, and lit the hell out from Kansas in an Alfa Romeo.


The price is $695 (Canadian dollars), plus tax, which here is a hefty 12%. Gulp, fan self, leave store.


I asked Le Duc to call TR in Paris (where I will be one month from today) and inquire about price; he reported that the shoes are
half the freight on rue du Dragon. They have a size that might fit me, but will they be there in a month? "Zees size ees verrry larrjh" (I am translating for you), "ees 'ard to find", the vendeuse told him.

I'm annoyed. 100% markup over European price seems like gouging. OK, Manolos cost this much...but I don't buy Manolos.

If I charge to my Visa and have them held for me, I could exchange but last year they did not have
one pair of anything I liked in my breadbox size, 41.

Le sigh. Will just go to Paris and take my oversized chances.

10 comments:

Deja Pseu said...

Oh, I LOVE Thierry Raboutin shoes. Haven't been able to get past the sticker shock yet, but maybe I'll look for some in Paris. I love your "Dorothy" description!

Anjela said...

Two things.
If you are leaving the country and your passport is US... get a sales tax receipt and show it at customs and get a partial refund.
Or see if the store can ship to your hotel in Paris which will eliminate the sales tax. Though not sure then what the shipping costs would be.

www.thierryrabotin.com

Contact above and let them know your size and style number and have them locate or send to your hotel.

Or I would just buy them locally if you love them. Maybe less trouble all round?
You deserve them.

WendyB said...

I say if you love them and they're comfortable, just shell out now rather than agonizing for God knows how long!

Duchesse said...

I will not buy them here: think they are gouging, and b/c $800 (once I pay tax) is just too much.
Anjela: Yes, I always make sure I get the VAT refund. Since we rent an apt, not hotel, I will go to store- it's not far. Also downloaded all Rabotin vendors in central Paris.

It's now in the hands of the Goddess of Exquisite Shoes: Paris or nothing.

materfamilias said...

I do wonder how many buyers your local store can count on for this pair of shoes -- you've got a not-so-average shoe size and a not-for-your-average-wallet sticker price. Is it at all worth asking them to let you know when/if they go on sale, slipping in the info that you'll first be looking in Paris because the same shoe is so much cheaper there? Perhaps they'll take the hint and give you enough of a discount right now to sway you into the immediate purchase rather than risk losing the sale.

Duchesse said...

ma: Good idea. They are a carriage trade store; according to them, they've sold nearly all of this style. The store has only middling sales, but I an ask!

Anjela said...

Also mention you are a writer-
I got put up in a $700.00 suite in the Planter's Inn in Charlotte when I mentioned to the concierge about a book I was writing. He was impressed enough by my oral skills. By the way the room was haunted but still it was lovely.

materfamilias said...

you'll let us know if you get them, yes?

Duchesse said...

ma: Yes I will let you know! But don't hold your breath...

Anjela: Would never have thought to do this, wow!

Anonymous said...

I am addicted to Rabotins and find most of them (now have about 5 pairs) on eBay. And Comfort One has a few styles. The most I've paid was a little over US$200. If you do find some in Paris, just wear them through customs -- no questions to ask!