If you’ve been following this blog long enough, you’ll know that I’m not a shoe person. CB is the shoe person around here – I’m more of a purse and jewelry person. I can talk about purses and jewelry all day, every day. I spend half the year in flip-flips and the other half of the year in quilted, faux-fur lined slippers (while I’m working, obviously). So I’m probably the wrong person to judge another woman for the insane amount of money she will spend on shoes. But in this particular case of Beyonce and her custom-made PMK high-top sneakers, it’s not just about the insane amount on money. It’s about Beyonce wanting (and getting) a ridiculous amount of animal skins put onto these crazy sneakers. For literally no reason other than “because she can.”
Frankly, they look like a reasonably ordinary pair of white trainers. But try telling that to Beyonce – or animal rights campaigners. For these shoes, commissioned by the singer, are made from no fewer than five different animal skins: stingray, anaconda, ostrich, crocodile and calf.
Fans and animal welfare groups alike condemned Beyonce, 31, as ‘cruel’ and ‘spoilt’ for having the trainers made.
A spokesman for animal charity PETA said: ‘These custom-made kicks come with a high price – and it’s paid by the various animals who were beaten and skinned alive or cruelly farmed and killed.’
He added: ‘We hope that one day she’ll go completely cruelty-free.’
Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, described the trainers as ‘a brazen publicity stunt’. ‘The less that is said about it the better,’ he added.
The cream colour shoes are a take on the wedge-style trainer, made popular by designer Isabel Marant, but given a so-called Eden makeover by PMK using a hybrid of land and sea skins.
Called The King-Bey, the shoes, which have been given Beyonce’s approval, are decorated with gold accents. The price is as yet undisclosed, but a regular pair sells in excess of £230 ($350) so this embellished pair would sell for far more.
PMK is a favourite brand of Beyonce and her A-list husband Jay Z – indeed, Jay Z had a shoe designed for him last year- the Brooklyn Zoo – by the brand. His pair were as lavish as his wife’s, with an endless roll call of reptile skins used to make the shoe.
Of the trainer they designed for Jay-Z, PMK said: ‘The Brooklyn Zoo 1′s cannot be tamed with an elaborate combination of elephant-print, ostrich, python, boa, crocodile, lizard, alligator, suede, and sting ray intricately cut to transform the Jordan 1 from a basketball sneaker into the world’s most daring and dapper sneaker concepts known to man.’
I honestly don’t understand the whole fur thing, but I wear leather, and I will admit to lusting after some ostrich-skin purses and some purses with various reptile-skin accents. That being said, I balked at the laundry list of animal skins used to make these FUG shoes. If you’re going to wear animal skins, I think you should own it and be able to defend yourself, like, “this object is beautiful and I don’t give a crap about the suffering of these animals, so I don’t care what you say.” But I get the feeling that Beyonce doesn’t even think she owes anyone an explanation for anything – because she’s King Bey, because nothing she ever does is wrong, because why wouldn’t she wear fug high-tops made from six different animal skins? She’s like the Marie Antoinette of fug shoewear.
Photos courtesy of Beyonce’s Tumblr and PMK.