Designer Antonio Vietri is hoping to carve out a niche for himself in footwear — a very expensive one at that.
The Northern Italy native had been researching for eight months before launching his men’s collection of loafers that feature braided 24-karat gold. Vietri told AFP that the shoes are the first 24-karat gold in the world.
“The particularity of these shoes is that they are tailor-made and gold is not an accessory or a button. Gold is an integral part of the shoe,” Vietri said.
Vietri explained to AFP that the challenge in working with gold is to find “a balance between the solidity of gold and the flexibility of the shoe. If the shoe is too small, the gold will fold. If the shoe is too heavy, it hurts.”
Vietri uses a 3D foot scanner to create the shoes, which are then delivered in a lacquered box by helicopter. Men’s pairs are priced at more that $26,000 and women’s at more than $32,000. Vietri is hoping to appeal to wealthy customers in Persian Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.