Hermés $91,500 Crocodile Shirt Found Slumming in New York City

We all know that Hermés is the crème de la crème of luxury fashion brands, so we shouldn’t be surprised that a $91,500 T-shirt exists. Should we?  The black crew-neck T-shirt was discovered by a blogger at The Awl, while browsing at the Hermés boutique on Madison Avenue. According to The Awl, “Literally, the entire shirt is just luxurious, beautifully sewn swaths of crocodile“, and it was hanging inconspicuously on a shelf, slumming with the less expensive clothing. (The poor shirt probably doesn’t have a choice. How many 100k T- shirts could there be?)  Unfortunately, the blogger couldn’t take a picture of the shirt, but managed to capture  a picture of the price tag. The taxes on that beauty is roughly $8,000, and I think for that kind of money, that shirt should be your personal stylist and dress you in the morning.

Photo: Courtesy of The Awl

The shirt showed in Paris last year for Hermés 2012 Men’s Spring collection, and I keep wondering “Where do you wear a crocodile shirt?” It’s not a breathable fabric, and it is probably heavy, so showing it off at the club is out. Really, everything is out because sweating will ruin it. Where these special crocodiles? Because no matter how beautifully  the crocodile is sewn, $91,500 is ridiculous. Oh, and you know PETA is livid over the demise of the poor crocodiles that lost their lives to outrageously priced fashion.

Photo: Courtesy of JUST ONE EYE

Hermés is not the only fashion label to slap a ridiculous price on an item. The Row, the Olsen Twins upscale clothing line, collaborated with artist Damien Hirst and JUST ONE EYE, and created 12 limited edition crocodile backpacks for $55,000. The backpacks were sprinkled with prescription pills or dots and sold out in no time.  If you missed out, you can still purchase the unadorned, alligator version for $34,000.

Believe it or not, the  Hermés crocodile shirt is not the most expensive shirt in the world. Datta Phuge, an Indian millionaire, nicknamed the “Gold Man of Primpi”  has a 22-carat shirt that cost $235,000. Phuge commissioned Ranka Jewelers to make the shirt as an investment to leave to his loved ones when he dies.

You wouldn’t expect a bottle of fingernail polish to cost more than Phuge’s gold shirt, but Azature’s Black Diamond nail polish contains 267-carats of real black diamonds, and will only set you back a measly $250,000. This couture nail lacquer is definitely for the one percent, like Kelly Osbourne, who flaunted her expensive Azature manicure at the 2012 Emmys.

The Regal and the Rebellious – Chanel and the Diamond

“If I have chosen the diamond, it is because it represents, in its density, the greatest value in the smallest volume.”

~ Gabrielle Chanel ~

I have always been a Chanel fan. I have my crushes, but in the end, if given a choice, I will always choose Chanel because the style is timeless and trendsetting. It started with a handbag, the black caviar leather handbag with the gold chain straps to be exact, a gift from my now ex husband. I opened the bag several times the first few days to look at it, too afraid to touch it because I could not believe I actually owned a Chanel. Through the years I have had the privilege of owning several Chanel accessories, but I wasn’t that interested in the clothing until I had the opportunity to see Chanel clothing up close. It was then that I began to see how easily I could make it work with my style.

I was admiring Burberry’s new handbag “The Blaze” online at Vogue UK, when I came across a snippet about a short film called “Chanel and the Diamond”, which was  about Coco Chanel’s legendary fine jewelry exhibit the “Bijoux de Diamants” in 1932. The film was the third installment from a series titled Inside Chanel, which highlights pivotal innovations from the House of Chanel.

 Coco, a.k.a. Gabrielle had a tendency to think outside the box and make her own rules. When she was commissioned by diamond merchants to rejuvenate a weakened diamond industry, she created a lavish diamond and platinum jewelry collection, and when I say created, I mean she performed a complete overhaul that revolutionized the way jewelry was made and worn forever.

 Apparently, reinventing the wheel was not what the male dominated world of  diamond merchandising had in mind when they hired the talented fashion and jewelry designer, and they were even less impressed that the “Bijoux de Diamants” was shown in her Paris apartment on mannequins, instead of cradled in velvet and encased behind glass domes in a boutique. Perhaps they should have been more specific.

chanel-jewelry-Collier-Comete-1932
Photo: Courtesy of Chanel
Photo: Courtesy of Chanel
Photo: Courtesy of Chanel

 The “Bijoux de Diamants” was Coco’s one and only fine jewelry show, and her audacity was talked about for some time. Chanel recently celebrated the 80th anniversary of the exhibit with a stunning fine jewelry collection,  “The 1932 Collection”  that is inspired by the original collection. The invitation only festivities took place at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where Chanel decked guests enjoyed dinner and a viewing of both collections.

It’s amazing that 80 years later, Coco’s classic style, whether it be clothing or accessories, is still relevant, inspirational, and on trend.

 

For more insight on the timeless magic of Chanel, watch the other installments of Inside CHANEL series.