Sagacious Shu Pushes Forward with Luxury Brand During Pandemic

Shoeography | Tuesday, May 05, 2020 | 0 comments

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced individuals and organizations of all shapes and sizes to reevaluate their upcoming plans to accommodate the socially distant, no-contact world we're now living in. Families have had to cancel 2020 vacation plans, businesses have had to find cost-saving solutions such as joining the 82% of companies that have saved money by moving to the cloud, and organizations have had to cancel events and rearrange calendars to prevent large gatherings of people. All of these changes have caused the average consumer to feel a bit disheartened and saddened by the sudden drought of new releases, products, and activities.

One upstart shoe designer, however, is determined to not be slowed down by the global health crisis. Sagacious Shu, a pseudonymous American artist and designer, was preparing to launch the company's flagship Citron/Vert sneaker. This shoe was anticipated to be the world's most coveted shoe and would position Sagacious Shu as one of the best luxury sneaker brands on the market right now. Before the sneaker could launch, the spread of coronavirus shut down much of the operations that employed almost 12.5 million manufacturing workers in the U.S. and those around the world, throwing a major wrench into the global supply chain. Suddenly, we started living in a world in which only essential goods were being manufactured and luxury sneakers were not on that list.

Originally, Sagacious Shu chose a leading shoemaker in Italy's renowned luxury shoemaking region, where many of the best luxury sneaker brands have had their start, to manufacture the limited production line of 1,000 numbered pairs of Citron/Vert. This would allow Sagacious Shu and the rest of the production team to personally select the right leathers and dyes. They would then stitch and assemble each shoe by hand, creating a pair of sneakers that was both a work of art and a celebration of the craft of shoemaking.

With such care and attention, each shoe could live up to Sagacious Shu's unique design. The overall design of Citron/Vert harkens back to the shoes that inspired the trend of collectible sneakers in the 1980's while giving them 2020 updates. The color scheme of the sneakers combines strong hues of green and yellow to create a feeling of freshness and zest.

It took nearly two years for Sagacious Shu to create the design and finalize the manufacturing plans as well as the Citron/Vert pricing scheme. Most of the 1,000 pairs were priced at just under $500 each, an accessible price for most avid sneaker collectors. Ten pairs are priced at about $5,000 each, offering buyers an inside look at the design process. Just one pair is priced at $50,000 and provides the dedicated collector with exclusive contact with the reclusive designer, access to promotions, and even a prototype of Sagacious Shu's next pair of sneakers.

All of these plans and schemes were in motion as of early January of this year. On January 31st, the first two cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Rome, just west of where Citron/Vert sneakers were meant to be manufactured. As the virus overtook Italy, spreading through the rest of Europe and then to the United States, officials realized the severity of the disease. Acute upper respiratory infections are one of the top five most common illnesses diagnosed at urgent care centers, but Covid-19 has been a respiratory illness like no other, overwhelming healthcare systems and threatening the lives of sick patients. To prevent the spread of the dangerous disease, the efforts to produce the inaugural pairs of Citron/Vert were brought to a sudden halt before production had even begun.

Although we are still living in a world focused on stopping the spread of Covid-19 and areas of it are only just starting to reopen, Sagacious Shu has found a way to push forward with the Citron/Vert launch. They may cut production to as few as 100 pairs, but all parties involved in the creation of Citron/Vert remain committed to getting the shoe into the hands of the public. The design, quality, and pricing scheme of Citron/Vert sneakers remain unchanged. Sagacious Shu is still prioritizing selling most of the pairs at the lowest price possible, with the luxury packages in place to offset those slim margins.

"We weren’t prepared to simply drop our commitments when the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Citron/Vert was always an insurgent project of sorts, an attempt to launch a luxury brand on an intimate scale," said Sagacious Shu spokesperson B.B. Shine.

The only aspect of the luxury sneaker that has changed is that the Citron/Vert now represents a bright spot of hope and perseverance in an otherwise bleak time. Not only does it show the tenacity of its makers, but it is a great example of providing people with gainful employment in the name of bringing consumers joy. And a little bit of joy is exactly what we could use right now.

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