Last night I had the good fortune of being invited to a very special shopping event held at the Manhattan Mall to celebrate the opening of a new shoe store called: SPRING
SPRING is a sister shoe store to Aldo that features trendy styles at a (somewhat) lower price point. The event was a good time and we were offered generous gift cards that we could use to pick up some items to further review. I was excited because as I mentioned in my last post I was on the hunt for some black motorcycle type boots and figured this might be the perfect place to find them.
As a vegan I try and steer clear of buying NEW leather shoes and bags. In fact for the past six months I have tried not to shop in any retail stores in general – sticking solely to thrifting, swapping, or re-sale and consignment shops such as Beacons Closet and Buffalo Exchange. When it come down to it I still wear leather especially on my feet because 90% of the time I am walking around and the damage that can be done to your ankles, knees, joints etc when you’re walking around NYC in bad shoes can be irreversible. I have no judgements about someone paying $200 and upwards on a boot or other practical shoe that is well made and will last forever (although buying second hand I never pay more then $40.00 or so) but walking in to SPRING I was taken a back by the lack of quality with no lack to the price tag. I do not consider $69.99 for vinyl boots a deal. On some of the shoes in the window display I could even see globs of glue on the edges of the heel on one pair of oxfords($49.99).
Here I am conflicted. I think it is excellent that SPRING is offering a vegan alternative to some of the trendier shoe and bag styles but I am confused as to why they are trying to hide the fact that all the items in the store are made of man-made materials. No shoe in the store is marked as such and I watched countless sales people pitch a leather shoe cleaner as a last minute purchase item to many a customer. More then that there is no mention on the website of what the shoes are made out of, but it does say this in the “About us” Section:
The Spring recipe
Spring specializes in the creation of high-quality fashion footwear, leather goods and accessories. This sought-after brand pays close attention to detail and to fine craftsmanship. Spring is dedicated to bringing you both quality and cutting-edge trends at affordable prices, season after season. What’s more, Spring’s dedicated team of buyers and stylists constantly travel the globe to keep you on the pulse of fashion. Whether the latest footwear trends are breaking in London, Milan, Paris, New York or Tokyo, Spring will have them on your feet first!
I personally did not see one leather item in the store and have yet to locate one online. If you find one, please let me know.
I am not one to bite the hand that feeds them. I did find my motorcycle boot and am excited to wear them – I am crossing my fingers that they last more then one season.
(I might have carried my Nikon D60 around all day only to discover that the memory card was still in my computer and not in the camera. Thus the shitty Blackberry photos)
Plain ‘ol consumerism anger aside I think that with a little re – thinking of their marketing plan SPRING can bring in a lot of customers that are on the hunt for shoes and accessories that do not use leather and other animal skins in their construction. Vegans like to be trendy too people!
*Just a word on the thriftyfashionista: Just because something is on sale DOES NOT mean I want it. I am a firm believer that high quality vintage and designer garments are attainable to everyone at affordable prices – you just have to look around a little bit. My closet is full of Seven Jeans, D&G, Coach, Louis Vuitton, etc and I didn’t pay over $100 for any of it (in fact the only thing in that list I did pay $100 for was my LV speedy bag) I get a lot of press releases in my inbox going on and on about sale after sale and I never post them because I don’t think that buying a $7 dollar cotton blend t-shirt new from forever21 is better then buying a second hand American Apparel (sometimes new with tags) 100% cotton v neck from Buffalo Exchange for $10.00. Weigh the cost vs the quality and you probably wont shop in Forever21 or Urban Outfitters anymore /end rant.