Highsnobiety recently toured the Italian factory where the LV 408 Trainers from Virgil Abloh’s SS19 Louis Vuitton men’s collection are made, to see what, if anything, justifies the sneaker’s exorbitant $1600 price.
Located in the “thousand-year-old Italian town of Fiesso d’Artico,” which is “famed for a long-standing tradition of artisanal shoemaking,” LV’s Manufacture de Souliers (as its called) “combines that tradition with modernity in numerous ways.”
Is that combination worth $1,600? Depends on the number of homes you own, but Highsnob makes a lengthy case. For starters, the LV 408 Trainer is assembled from 106 different pieces, which is presumably difficult. They also “pair centuries-old methods… with current technology,” which means using wooden lasts and digital 3D CAD modeling, both of which require some real expertise.
It’s also worth noting that the people making the shoes seem to like their jobs and are reportedly proud of their work, which has some value as well, even if what they’re making are Macbook-priced sneakers that looks eerily similar to an ’80s model called the Avia 880 (it’s Virgil, so…).
“As for who the shoes are for,” Highsnob posits, “it’s a cross-section of elevated sneakerheads and connoisseurs who want to buy into the luxury market in a way that reflects their sense of style. The shoes communicate a sense of status and taste that separates the wearer from their grandparents.”
Sure, why not.
You can read more about it at Highsnobiety.