I love a good marketing campaign, and as someone who resented the hell out of the fact that I often had to wear Payless shoes growing up and being told that they’re just as good as Nike and Reebok and Adidas (they’re not), I doubly appreciate that wealthy people and “influencers” who are privileged enough not to know the difference were willing to shell out hundreds of dollars for $20 shoes.
Basically, Payless created “Palessi” — a high-end looking storefront (an actual Armani store) — and invited a bunch of fashion influencers as an experiment to see how much they would pay. Those who attended the “exclusive” party ultimately paid $200 to $600 for each pair of shoes, and Palessi sold $3,000 worth of shoes in hours.
The influencers, by the way, got their money back, and they left with free shoes.
For the record, I would have liked to have seen this same experiment conducted on a bunch of poor high school kids, because trust me: They f**king know the difference between a Payless shoe and a decent pair of sneakers, and while there is certainly a mark-up for the swoosh or the Adidas logo, the shoes are also not of the same quality. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with Payless, but you get what you pay for, and if you pay $20 for a pair of sneaks, you’re gonna get a $20 pair of sneaks.
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