Monday, November 3, 2014

Would you pay $800 for a pair of socks?


At present exchange rates, that's what a pair of Falke Vicuna socks will cost you at Selfridges, the UK upmarket store.  (Click the image for a larger view.)




The Telegraph reports (in - naturally - its Luxury section):

... these socks are the last word in peerless craft and down right diamonds-in-the-morning decadence, handcrafted at the company's Germany HQ using fabric that's as rare as gold dust.

With a limited edition run, they are made from the wool of the vicuna, a South American camelid which lives high in the Andes. So why the high price tag? The animal, which is protected by law, can only be shorn every three years because it takes one year to produce around 0.5kg of wool.

And the wool in question is the finest of all natural fibres, being as it is 12 micro metres in diameter, and its rarity is due to the fact that the much in-demand mammal can’t be domesticated, so wool can only be gathered by catching the wild animals before freeing them again.

Which is why the product that finds itself onto the feet of the well-heeled (quite literally) gentleman is such a rarified luxury; the handmade pair of socks come in the vicuna’s natural caramel tone, because the fibres are too delicate to withstand the dying process, and each one comes with a handsome presentation box.

There's more at the link.

I don't care how rare or refined they are.  When a pair of socks costs almost as much as my monthly rent, guess where my priorities lie?

Peter

8 comments:

Tewshooz said...

Highly overrated fiber. It is just snob appeal.

Theother Ryan said...

It's finally getting chilly in Louisiana. Yesterday I was at Tractor Supply and saw they have the green Carhard wool socks I like in stock for $10 a pair. My ones from last year are getting rough. I considered it for a second before grabbing 2 pair. Absolutely no interest in $800 dress socks. Beside work clothes (.mil) I could replace my whole wardrobe and be a lot better off for that price.

Ritchie said...

Not unless they're stuffed full of .22LR.

Douglas2 said...

I note that the price is a mere 60% of the price of last-year's limited edition Falke Vicuna socks.

I suspect that use of vicuna wool is just a fad, and that the comfort and wear qualities of this pair of socks is less of a point than the exclusivity of knowing that not-only are you wearing the most-expensive socks of the season, but that only a mere handful can even get them.

But...

Once many years ago, I stopped at an "upscale" outlet mall our of curiosity and discovered that the Bally shoe store was having a clearance sale. I found a nice pair of oxfords in my size for $40, and I needed a pair of shoes, and this seemed a fair price to me. That pair of Bally oxfords looked great through about half-a-dozen trips to the shoemaker for new heels or soles, and continued to serve well as more scuffed-up casualwear through another bunch of soles. I got about 12 years use from those shoes and I get 2 from the Florsheim, Nunn-Bush, and Dexter that I had been used to. I've experienced the same with socks -- in the 70s I was required to buy the then-brand-new uniform for a scout jamboree and bristled at paying 10* what I would usually pay for socks in order to get the new scout uniform socks. The socks from that first year of uniform sales were extremely high quality, and I ended up wearing them as daily socks for the next 10 years without developing any holes or sags.

Anonymous said...

Does the price include replacing the one that will be inevitably lost in the dryer?

Gerry

Robb Allen said...

Growing up, my parents had a vicuna rug on the wall (yes, it was the 70's). Softest damned fur you've ever felt. Back then, it wasn't a big deal as I don't believe they were protected at that point, hence why a middle class family such as mine had a ginormous rug plastered to the wall.

I used to love to run my hands through it as a kid. Sadly, it developed mange and was eventually tossed.

Who would have thought it would have been worth a lot of money later on in life?

Anonymous said...

How does vicuna compare to sea otter?
I felt a sample of the latter at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and it was amazing!

I would NEVER support the killing of a sea otter to make a pair of socks; just wondering how the two compare.

Dale

Anonymous said...

The term "camel toe" comes to mind...