- What goes into Jerome Rousseau’s $6,500 Limited Edition Juda bootie
An incredible amount of thought, time, effort and materials goes into the design of a shoe. Designer shoes have high price tags, how does that really break down?
Rousseau says, “This bootie is a collaboration with one of my favorite L.A.-based artists, Emily J Snyder. Emily makes these incredible beaded landscapes reminiscent of underwater worlds. This bootie is entirely custom-made, with each pair first handmade in Italy and then hand-beaded by Emily at her Los Angeles atelier.”
“The first step is to select the materials to be used. For this item we need six square feet of top quality Nappa leather, which we develop with a tannery to get bright, saturated hues. We then work with a patternmaker to develop the pattern in the size needed. Emily then meticulously hand-applies over 7,000 beads including coral, freshwater pearls, and vintage Czech crystal.”
“The bead work alone takes 84 hours to complete! But first, in Italy, the leather is hand cut by skilled artisans and prepared for the stitching. My factory has skilled workers with decades of experience in their respective fields. Once the uppers are stitched, lining is attached and all the remaining components are prepared (insoles and heels need to be hand-covered with the selected leathers, leather outsoles need to be buffed and the edges finished), we move to a different part of the factory where the uppers will be hand-lasted. This is the process that will give them their shape and secure their final fit. Heels are then secured with tough nails and screws. Once all the components are received, for a special rushed project like this one, we need about 15 days to complete the booties.”
So here’s the breakdown: 6 feet of the highest quality Nappa leather + 7,000 beads, + 15 days of shoe-making + 84 hours of hand-appliqué (+ shipping and handling + taxes and duties) = $6,495. Not bad, right?
Photos by Jerome Rousseau