x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

These $3.2 million boots are made for twinkling

Is this our most expensive big ticket ever? Well, why not try out a $3.2 million pair of diamond-encrusted boots for size.

Diamond-encrusted boots on display at the MAS Museum in Antwerp. The boots, made from 40,000 diamonds, whose value is estimated to be $3.2 million was designed by Belgian fashion label AF Vandevorst. Courtesy AF Vandevorst
Diamond-encrusted boots on display at the MAS Museum in Antwerp. The boots, made from 40,000 diamonds, whose value is estimated to be $3.2 million was designed by Belgian fashion label AF Vandevorst. Courtesy AF Vandevorst

They may be not be made for walking but this US$3.2 million pair of boots are certainly made for admiring.

The fancy footwear was conceived as part of the Belgian Spirit programme dedicated to that country’s creativity at the Business of Design Week in Hong Kong at the end of last year.

The boots, believed to be the world’s most expensive, were the result of a collaboration of two Antwerp-based companies: the diamond company Diarough and the fashion house A F Vandevorst.

The Belgian husband-wife team, Filip Arickx and An Vandevorst, designed the pair of black leather ankle boots, with a concealed wedge and paisley pattern, completely covered in 38,883 white, champagne, grey and pink diamonds from Diarough, amounting to a total of 1,527 carats.

A team of craftsmen at Diarough’s Indian manufacturing plant painstakingly set each diamond onto the boots, which also incorporated 4,753 grams of gold. A F Vandevorst’s cross-shaped logo is depicted in extremely rare reddish-pink diamonds.

The whole process, from designing the boots, producing them, selecting, sorting and shipping the diamonds to finally setting the diamonds took 30,000 man hours.

The footwear was unveiled on December 4 at Sevva restaurant, one of the most exclusive venues in downtown Hong Kong, and were worn by the Chinese artist Yi Zhou. Vogue China has described Ms Yi as “the modern-day Chinese Hitchcock, Yoko Ono and Cindy Sherman all in one.”

Belgium’s Queen Mathilde was joined by 400 other VIP guests to see the boots for the first time.

They are now on display at Antwerp’s Museum Aan de Stroom but for anyone out there who wants to put a shine in their step, the boots are also up for sale.

Those whose clothing budget doesn’t quite stretch to multiple millions may take heart from knowing that the regular price for a pair of the designers’ boots ranges from $300 to $1,800.

lgutcher@thenational.ae