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Consumer Willingness to Pay for Kitten Heels: A Guide to Pricing

| 7 min read

Key Takeaways

  • The re-emergence of kitten heels as a trend caught the attention of many when launched by aspirational luxury brands on the runway. The kitten heel trend has evidently trickled down from the runway to retail. While demand in luxury retail peaked in Spring 2022, mainstream retail picked up the trend only later on in the season.
  • Overestimating the consumer appetite for kitten heels has led to an over-saturation of the style in the market. Demand has remained steady in mainstream retail, however, brands and retailers overestimated the demand which led to a drastic increase in supply. This caused decreasing hit rate in spite of consistent demand. 
  • The exit price point for kitten heels in the US mainstream retail market goes up to $140. However, over 90% of the total number of styles in 2022 range within $100. Of these, styles priced between $40 – $60 have shown outstanding performance generating more than twice the demand compared to any other price range.
  • Euromonitor International projects that the UAE’s fashion market will record a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of about 7 percent from this year until 2027. Additionally, we will provide an overview of the pricing for kitten heels that are in demand in the UAE mainstream retail.

Reemergence of Kitten Heels

The resurgence of kitten heels in the fashion industry is impossible to ignore. These training heels are being showcased on runways by leading designers and are being included in the wardrobes by fashion icons.  

As the popularity of these stylish and functional shoes grows within the fashion industry, it raises the question of whether consumers and retailers are prepared to fully embrace the trend. This article will delve into the secrets behind their increasing popularity, examine the current state of their demand, and analyse the obstacles and possibilities that await this potential wardrobe essential.

Luxury brands with the aspirational appeal, including Christian Louboutin, MSGM, Christian Dior, Prada, Khaite, and Miu Miu, showcased the kitten heel on runways between 2020 and 2022, quickly building a strong following of early adopters. As a result, these influential brands have been instrumental in reintroducing kitten heels to the fashion world. Establishing them as an essential items in the collections of every fashion-conscious individual.

Kitten Heels on the Runway




The kitten heel trend appears to be gaining further momentum, with Versace, Celine, and Roger Vivier featuring them in their SS 2023 Collection. Jil Sander, Carolina Herrera, and Adeam included them in their Pre-Fall 2023 Collections. Thus, indicating the enduring popularity of the trend that is potentially set to become a wardrobe staple.

Celebrities Spotted wearing Kitten Heels

1. Maude Apatow
Maude Apatow, known for her role in the TV series “Euphoria”, was seen wearing the Miu Miu Slingback Kitten Heel Loafer Pumps at the Miu Miu ‘House Comes With a Bird’ Screening and after party in Los Angeles in the month of March 2022.

2. Emily Ratajkowski
American model Emily Ratajkowski, popularly known as EmRata was seen weaning the Khaite Davis Black Leather Knee Boots at the SNL after-party back in October 2022. 

3. Rachel Zegler
Snow White star Rachel Zegler made her fairytale appearance at the Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2023 fashion show in Paris wearing the J’ADIOR Slingback Kitten Heel Pumps.

4. Kendall Jenner
In January 2023, supermodel and socialite Kendall Jenner made an appearance at the Sake Ceremony hosted by Nobu Matsuhisa and Meir Teper to inaugurate the Grand re-opening of Nobu in Dubai wearing the Lady Napa Tall Kitten Heel Stiletto Boots from The Row.

Kitten Heels’ Performance in the US Market

The kitten heel trend has evidently trickled down from the runway to the retail. While demand in luxury retail peaked in Spring 2022, mainstream retail picked up the trend only later on in the season. 

Visibly, the demand remains quite consistent in mainstream retail. However, the demand in luxury retail is highly influenced by Fashion Weeks. For instance, we observe the launch of AW ’22 and SS ’23 Collections on the runway stimulate a surge in the overall demand and hit rate of kitten heels in the US Luxury retail. 

In luxury retail, the hit rate of the styles launched in the first half of the year trailing the A/W ’22 collection performed extraordinarily well with a hit rate of over 40%. The rest of the year, the styles retailed reached a hit rate of only about 25%.

On the other hand, while the demand has remained steady in mainstream retail, brands, and retailers overestimated the demand which led to a drastic increase in supply in the third and fourth quarters of 2022. This led to a decreasing hit rate in spite of consistent demand. 

Pricing for Kitten Heels – US Luxury Retail

The range of luxury kitten heels can extend up to about $2,000 in retail. However, the majority of styles produced in 2022, more than 95% of the total, fall under the $1,400 price point. Those within the $200 – $400 range, have exhibited strong performance luxury. Top sellers from high-end luxury labels like Stuart Weitzman, Vince, Tory Burch, Khaite, Veronica Beard, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klien, Badgley Mishka, etc. are represented in this price bracket.

Click here to learn what products are performing well between $200 – $400.

Pricing – US Mainstream Retail:

Kitten heels in mainstream retail are typically priced up to $200. However, the majority of styles produced in 2022, above 95% of the total, fall within the $140 price range. Of these, styles priced between $40 – $60 have shown outstanding performance, generating more than twice the demand compared to any other price range. Consumer-loved brands & retailers within this scope of pricing are Amazon, DSW, Zappos, Kohls, and Nordstrom Rack among others.

Kitten Heels’ Performance in the Middle East Mainstream Retail

In the first quarter of 2022, kitten heels emerged as a trendy choice of footwear in Middle East mainstream retail. The demand has remained consistent over the past year in this market, with consumers embracing the trend.

As a result, the hit rate of styles launched in the second and third quarters was quite steady. However, in the fourth quarter, the hit rate severely dropped due to a surplus supply of styles. This was showing a curve similar to the US mass market. This is once again a result of overestimating the increase in demand.

Pricing – Middle East Mainstream Retail

Kitten heels are a popular choice of footwear in the Middle East mainstream retail, with some styles costing as much as $800. However, the majority of styles produced in 2022 fall within the $100 price range, accounting for more than 90% of all styles. Among these, styles priced between $40 – $60 have been selling three times as much as those in any other price range, reflecting a similar demand trend observed in the US mainstream retail. Top-selling retailers in this price range include Amazon, Shein, Namshi, Noon, Sivvi, and Max Fashion, among others.

Keen on gaining consumer-first insights on trending fabrics and other attributes across markets? Click here and schedule a demo with Stylumia.

About Stylumia

Stylumia is a cutting-edge platform that delivers consumer intelligence to fashion retailers. It provides them with valuable real-time data and competitor analysis. Thus helping brands make informed decisions about buying and stocking products in the most efficient and effective way possible. This leads to a boost in their sales margins and optimising assortments for greater revenue and profit. Therefore, Stylumia is trusted by some of the world’s largest and most successful Fortune 500 companies.

With Stylumia, fashion retailers can conduct comprehensive market and competitor analyses across various dimensions such as assortment, price, discount, category, color, size, options, and strategy. By leveraging these insights, retailers can identify lucrative opportunities and make informed decisions that will drive their businesses forward. In short, say goodbye to missed opportunities and hello to greater profitability with Stylumia!

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