Why Are Rick Owens Shoes So Expensive? 10 REASONS WHY

Rick Owens shoes are expensive because they are made in Italy with high-quality materials and meticulous craftsmanship, produced in limited quantities, and priced intentionally high by the designer to communicate their luxury status and sartorial credibility.

Rick Owens has become one of the most influential and renowned fashion designers of the 21st century. Known for his avant-garde, gothic-inspired aesthetic, Owens has cultivated a dedicated cult following that eagerly awaits each new collection.

One of the designer’s most iconic creations has been his footwear, often characterized by unconventional shapes and materials. Though regularly praised by critics and fans, Rick Owens shoes also come with eyebrow-raising price tags, which begs the question – why are they so expensive?

Top 10 Reasons Why Rick Owens Shoes Are So Expensive

1. Made in Italy Craftsmanship

Many luxury fashion brands produce their shoes in factories around the world to cut costs. However, Rick Owens has always insisted that his footwear be handmade in Italy, where there is a rich tradition of artisanal shoemaking.

The construction process is meticulous and involves skilled laborers shaping each leather upper and sole. This dedication to quality Italian craftsmanship is more labor-intensive and drives up pricing.

2. Limited Production Runs

Rather than mass produce his shoe designs, Rick Owens creates limited quantities, which can drive up desirability and prices. Many styles are made in runs of just a few hundred pairs globally. Such capped production increases manufacturing costs per unit and contributes to higher retail pricing.

3. Unconventional Designs Require Specialized Labor

The avant-garde, architectural shapes of Rick Owens footwear often require specialized labor to construct the unusual lasts, heels, and soles. The labor-intensive nature of translating Owens’ creative vision into wearable shoes necessitates higher costs.

4. Exclusive Materials

From premium Italian leather to luxe reptile skins, Rick Owens shoes incorporate exotic, expensive materials that raise manufacturing costs. Unlike more commercially-minded brands, Owens does not compromise on materials to achieve lower price points. The materials must live up to his exacting standards.

5. Minimalist Aesthetic Demands Perfect craftsmanship

There is little room for errors or defects when creating Rick Owens pared-back, minimalist shoe designs. Even slight imperfections stand out, so consistency and meticulous craftsmanship is required. This level of rigorous quality control comes at a price.

6. Celebrity Clientele and Collaborations

Having won over celebrity devotees like Kanye West and Beyonce, Rick Owens can command higher prices as his shoes have gained legitimacy through star endorsements. The designer has also collaborated on shoe collections with respected brands like Adidas, further elevating perception.

7. Made in Small Batches to Prioritize Quality

Most fashion brands aim for efficiency in manufacturing large batches of shoes to maximize profit. By contrast, Rick Owens produces shoes in small batches. While less efficient, this allows him to closely oversee quality and not sacrifice his vision for commercial concerns.

8. Intentionally Priced As a Luxury Product

Rick Owens reportedly prices his shoes at a premium intentionally as a statement and marketing tactic. The high prices communicate the shoes’ status as elite luxury products, worthy of both their cost and the designer’s reputation.

9. Popular Reseller Market Drives Up Values

The thriving sneaker reseller market has fueled higher valuations of Rick Owens shoes. Styles that sell out quickly and are hard to find then resell for multiples of retail pricing. This secondary market has inflated overall perceptions of the shoes’ worth.

10. Signifier of Wearer’s Fashion Credibility

For serious fashion followers, wearing Rick Owens shoes comes with a degree of clout and cultural capital. His avant-garde aesthetic requires insider knowledge to appreciate. Therefore, being able to purchase the expensive footwear signifies belonging within this exclusive sartorial world.

IS Rick Owens A Good Shoe Brand?

Yes, Rick Owens is considered one of the premier avant-garde fashion shoe brands, known for high-quality Italian craftsmanship and innovative, architectural designs.

Are Rick Owens Shoes Good?

Rick Owens shoes are renowned for excellent construction from premium materials, striking minimalist aesthetic, and durability despite their unconventional shapes.

Are Rick Owens Shoes Worth The Price?

For serious fashion devotees and collectors, Rick Owens’ luxury pricing reflects the brand’s reputation, the quality of materials and construction, and the cultural clout conferred by wearing them.

Where To Buy Rick Owens Shoes?

Rick Owens shoes can be purchased online through the designer’s website, as well as at select high-end fashion retailers like Ssense, Farfetch, and Neiman Marcus that carry the label.

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