I know heads will shake and tempers might flare after this post but I think it's the right thing to do.
If I'm being honest, while I support any brand changing the world for the better I don't buy a product unless it aligns with my aesthetic. This goes for everything. Just because it's vegan doesn't mean I like it or will buy it. As peacekeepers and leaders of the world, we tend to get excited when a lipgloss, shoe or dress adheres to our values. This means it can spread the message "veganism is possible and chic" to millions.
Another piece of the puzzle here is quality. Just because something doesn't use animal products doesn't mean it's a quality product. Little things like hardware, fabric and how it's pieced together can make all the difference. Generally, I like to invest in quality pieces, even if that means spending a little bit more..
So I thought was the case when I ordered my Arden Wohl x Cri de Coeur heels. I had been oggling them since their Fashion Week debut and stalked every picture Google could provide me. When they finally went on sale, I didn't hesitate dropping over $300 on a pair of shoes I thought I'd surely have forever. After all, look at the beauty and chic-ness!
I wasn't prepared for utter disappointment, though, when they arrived a week later. Some people will look at the overall style of an item and not care about the details or further inspection- that isn't me. The shoes look like they were literally glued together, as you could obviously see where the materials on the platform and shoe meet. The black insole lining the footbed wasn't cut properly, so it stuck out of the side. The gold faux-leather already had scratches on it as if they had been worn. The faux-suede straps were not luxurious in the least, and could very well have been a Walmart special. A sticker was clearly pulled off the bottom. To top it off, they came with extra heel discs- a true indicator these wouldn't last as long as they should.
Any sign of quality and craftsmanship was non-existent and most ironically the dust bags the shoes came in were nicer than the shoes themselves.
Details matter, including the fact that no packing slip (a pretty standard thing) was in the box nor was a clear return address. As if that wasn't infuriating enough, designer Gina had the nerve to tell me my refund was delayed because the shoes looked "dirty" after I sent them back the way they came (only trying them on in my very clean house) and they were debating whether to even issue me a refund.
I've never dealt with such an unprofessional company as a consumer, and I write this not to be mean but to be honest. For if I was a prospective customer I would want to know the good and bad about the company I'm about to hand over my hard-earned money to.
It's a shame these shoes (and obviously Cri de Coeur's other shoes) lack the high-end finishes that should come with a product at their price point. It's not commonplace for me to spend hundreds of dollars on shoes so when I do, it shouldn't be a surprise my standards are high.
I'm very discerning when it comes to what I purchase so I'm confident in saying that Cri de Coeur shoes are not worth the money, aggravation or disappointment. Don't let their looks deceive you either.
The vegan industry has a community only interested in sharing positive experiences which is great, but I think it's just as important to share the negative too for a well rounded perspective. No one wants to speak bad about a company working towards the same cause, but I say it's vital information to have before making a big purchase. I'd love to know if you have ever dealt with a similar situation or regretted a purchase you made for the wrong reasons.
I like pink things and glittery things and twirling things. I like them even better if they sing and wear a ring.