Normally, we would want a replacement when we find scuff marks on the new shoes we bought. But with celebrities sporting worn-out sneakers these days, most of us are left wondering, “Why are Golden Goose shoes so expensive?”
On its website, the Italian brand details how painstakingly its “Sneaker Makers,” a.k.a. its cobblers, create Golden Goose sneakers with unique blemishes by hand. Of course, there’s more to them than meets the eye.
Table of Contents
- History of Golden Goose
- Brand Story: Why Are Golden Goose Shoes So Expensive?
- Factors Affect to Golden Goose Shoe Prices
- Frequently Asked Questions
History of Golden Goose
Unlike ordinary mom-and-pop stores, husband-and-wife duo Alessandro Gallo and Francesca Rinaldo positioned the Golden Goose Deluxe Brand as luxury fashion. Despite having no experience in the industry, the power couple launched their business in 2000, drawing inspiration from vintage pieces they encountered in their travels.
Sixteen years after its inception, Golden Goose earned €100 million, which speaks volumes of its popularity within its country of origin, Italy. Part of its success is the timing, as it gained traction when high fashion embraced casual wear in the 2010s.
Moreover, every pair is one-of-a-kind in the most literal sense, quickly attracting the world’s most avid shoe collectors. As such, the brand opened shops in Asia, America, and Europe.
Brand Story: Why Are Golden Goose Shoes So Expensive?
1. Design and Quality
Handmade is better than mass-produced footwear. Apart from ensuring the shoes’ quality and longevity, the attention to detail Golden Goose artisans put into the work enables them to come up with sui generis designs.
Even so, its line of footwear has some commonalities: The ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s styling and the star patched or printed on the uppers. Although the beat-up appearance might be the most recognizable feature, its Purestar collection offers cleaner designs.
That said, it’s worth noting that their signature blemishes are intentional and do not affect Golden Goose footwear’s structural integrity. Since Italy is known for its sartorial heritage, the company sticks to the country’s traditions by meticulously selecting the finest materials.
2. Rarity and exclusivity
Nowadays, almost everything is manufactured by machines in large factories. In effect, mass production has made our outfits look pretty much the same as everyone else’s.
To set the brand apart from its competitors, the sneaker makers handcraft each pair of shoes and manually add blots, skid marks, and scratches on the uppers and soles, ensuring that no model has a duplicate.
Just as how the scars on our bodies are tied to core memories, Golden Goose says that these flaws can be interpreted as though the shoes have traveled, which inspires their new owners to wear them on their next adventures.
3. Supply and demand
Most manufacturers lower the cost to make a pair of shoes and sell millions of each style thanks to the machines that accelerate production.
The Golden Goose’s team cannot match that speed. Instead, they can make fewer premium-quality sneakers each year. You can expect the shoemaking process to take much longer, and new shoes will be sold out quickly. But on the bright side, this lowered production rate decreases the company’s carbon footprint.
Even better, the brand takes steps to further minimize its carbon emissions by 90% and water usage by 65% by partnering with Coronet to create a recycled and bio-based YATAY fabric.
4. Celebrity endorsements
Besides actresses Megan Fox and Mila Kunis, BFFs Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift were among those who were spotted wearing Golden Goose. The scuffed-up shoes also made their way into Chris Hemsworth and Jude Law’s wardrobes.
No price tag can hinder hardcore fans from buying what their idols wear. It only took a couple of celebrities to increase the brand’s visibility. Moreover, the A-listers’ endorsements have contributed to the insane idea that overpriced vintage sneakers are status symbols.
Factors Affect to Golden Goose Shoe Prices
Whereas Golden Goose shoes are sold for over $400, similar-looking sneakers by Steve Madden only cost $60. One couldn’t help but ask, “Why is Golden Goose so expensive and so popular?”
After reading the earlier sections of this article, you probably have some ideas about how the brand justifies its price tags.
1. Superior Materials
Several high-end shoe brands, including Golden Goose, favor calfskin as this material is both supple and durable.
Fun fact: There’s a lot of work that goes into ensuring that one can get high-quality leather. For starters, the farmers spend time and money taking good care of their calves. As a result, these animals would have healthier skin once they reach the age that they can be slaughtered.
Golden Goose’s workers select only the finest calfskin leather fabrics and buy them in bulk to provide spares in case the cobblers make mistakes. Aside from that, the brand collaborates with Coronet to innovate new cruelty-free and environmentally-friendly shoe materials, which are very expensive to make.
Not to mention, it utilizes a special cotton toweling fabric for the shoe’s interior linings. Thanks to this material, your feet will surely feel comfy in the sneakers regardless of the season.
Golden Goose never cuts corners with its shoelaces. If you own one of its shoes, you will notice that these cotton laces could stay tied for a long time. You can’t get this from other shoe brands’ factory laces!
Sourcing the best materials for their shoes’ various components contributed to the product’s price increase.
2. Made by artisans
Like any smart business owner, the higher-ups at Golden Goose know that their employees are the company’s strongest pillars. Without them, the brand’s vision would never come to fruition.
It takes years of rigorous training and work experience to become an expert in shoemaking. Like a piece of art, the work that cobblers put into making a pair of shoes is what makes it more valuable. After all, manually distressing each one can take time, and it’s no easy feat.
Considering that so many large-scale machines are replacing manual labor, there are not many cobblers left, even in Italy. If the owners turned their company into a sweatshop, Golden Goose shoemakers would leave and find other jobs.
Because the company pays competitive wages with reasonable working hours, it would need to increase the cost of each pair of shoes to make the business profitable.
3. Responding to high demands
It’s no secret that maintaining a factory in the US is far more expensive than manufacturers who outsource their production to Asia or Latin America. Steve Madden, a brand considered an affordable Golden Goose alternative, reportedly moved its facility to Mexico and Brazil, where production expenses are cheaper.
Meanwhile, Golden Goose retains 100% of its production in Italy for stricter quality control and sticks to artisanal handmade processes only despite its skyrocketing popularity. For this reason, the company jacks up the price to minimize the quantity of demand.
It’s not enough to have good products—you also have to make sure that they reach your target audience, right? Golden Goose execs know this all too well, and they poured a lot of money into hiring ad and public relations agencies.
The celebrities we mentioned earlier are among the best in Hollywood. While we cannot confirm how Golden Goose got them to wear their shoes, we can look at the results: The company’s sales increased by 169% last 2020 in the US alone!
Frequently Asked Questions
How much are Golden Gooses?
Golden Goose shoes cost roughly between $400 to $2000. Without a doubt, these are pricey for regular folks like you and me.
But you’d be surprised to know that they are not the most expensive shoes with star celebrity endorsements. Air Jordans are in the market valued at over $100,000
Are Golden Goose Shoes worth the investment?
Any celebrity who owns Golden Goose shoes can rock them, and so can you! Praised for their comfortable and durable qualities, there’s no denying that these trendy kicks are worth the money.
With styles that can go with any casual outfit, you can wear them on any occasion. If you have the money, by all means, go for it!
That said, we don’t want you to screw up your savings over a pair of shoes. But remember, trends come and go. Sadly, our bills will always be there every month.
What makes Golden Goose Shoes different from other sneakers?
You’ve heard of distressed jeans, but have you heard of distressed shoes, meaning footwear that has been deliberately made to seem worn in? Well, this is exactly why Golden Goose shoes cost so much.
In addition, these shoes are handcrafted by artisans in Italy using high-quality material to ensure durability, style, and comfort.
Can you customize Golden Goose Shoes?
For sure! Golden Goose offers “co-creation” services available in person and through the mobile app. You can personalize your shoes with charms, drawings, patches, and many other decorative pieces.
It’s no surprise that people ask, “Why are Golden Goose shoes so expensive when it’s so easy to make our sneakers look so worn just by wearing them every day?”
High fashion is a curious thing. We’ve seen Baleciaga’s $2000 Ikea-inspired shopping bags and Dolce & Gabanna’s $1200 distressed jeans. Of course, the brand’s name and its marketing have a lot to do with overpricing such mundane items.
But in Golden Goose’s case, we know now that its sneakers are made with stricter standards in both craftsmanship and materials.
Veronica is our content editor. She is a talent in delivery. Her main work is editing and writing articles that are both informative and simple to follow. She is in charge of synthesizing our understanding of what personal protection equipment (PPE) is needed in each job, how to best apply it, and how to visualize that equipment.