Interesting article from washingtonpost.com about Mr. Nagrani's socks. Seriously, who here wears $125 socks?
Haute Hose by Vivek Nagrani, Just the Thing to Cool Your Heels
By Robin Givhan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 24, 2006; Page C01
Sock designer Vivek Nagrani stretches to reach a corner shelf in his tiny showroom east of Times Square and pulls down a handmade birch box that he refers to as his "sock humidor." You may laugh at the notion of socks being compared to expensive Cuban cigars. He does not.
There are four pairs of Tibetan cashmere socks in mouth-watering vegetable shades curled cozily inside. Nagrani removes a pair of basil-green-and-heather ones and gently unfurls them. "Feel this," he coos.
The socks are as soft as a kitten. Nice. But then Nagrani says that each pair costs $125. Do the math: You are staring at $500 worth of men's hosiery. You begin to yearn for the good old days, when sartorial panache could be had with a four-in-hand purchased from Countess Mara for less than $100.
But socks, in certain quarters, are becoming an alternative to the power tie as a man's point of distinction. "Men who dress up are beginning to treat the socks like they started treating ties 20 years ago," says Trish McHale, the executive vice president of marketing for Gold Toe Hosiery.
Nagrani's gaze lingers over his wares. What is that look in his eyes? Pride? Affection? No, it is something closer to despair. Nagrani, a man who loves socks the way some folks love their pets, admits that he ended up having to give these socks away rather than sell them. It turned out the fine cashmere could stand up to only five washings. That would mean that each wearing would cost a man $25 and that seemed steep even for Nagrani, who ordinarily does not flinch at charging exorbitant prices for socks. A pair of his basic cotton socks, manufactured in either Italy or France, costs $30. The average price of a pair of socks sold in the United States this year was $1.52, according to the NPD Group, a market research firm.
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