Of information and asymmetry and heels

In some market transactions, one party is privy to more information than the other, and this particular asymmetry, apart from giving a blog title to Megan McArdle, shifts the balance of power to that party, which explains, as Tim Harford once said, why you can never get a good used car.

Tulipan by Marcello ToshiWhich is an odd concept to open a bit of shoeblogging, but the motivation here comes from this tweet: “I wish shopping sites posted pictures of shoes on feet. like these? would either be super cute on, or hideous on.” I picked it up via retweet from Virginia Postrel, who knows from information asymmetry, and decided I’d throw the question open to you guys. The shoe in question is “Tulipan” by Marcello Toshi. From here down, it’s a pretty simple peep-toe pump, but that “petal-like detail” around the heel throws me: is it really as ghastly as it seems viewed by itself, or does it have potential as part of an actual outfit?

And taking the larger question: would there be an advantage if an online shoe vendor came up with an application which, were you to provide them with photo and measurements and such, would show you what a shoe would look like while you were wearing it? Would you willingly participate in a scheme like that? And would you pay a buck or two more on your purchase to the vendor who offers it?

Just me thinking out loud on a long weekend, and when I think out loud, often as not it ends up here.


  1. Teresa »

    7 September 2009 · 4:14 pm

    Good heavens! I have no idea what to think about those shoes. Well, for one thing I guess I should say I seldom wear open toe shoes because I don’t think any of them look good on me and I don’t need a computer program to tell me so… but those petals or whatever! I can see those hitting my ankle bones and giving me blisters after walking a short way (much like athletic high top shoes used to do. LOL).

    I forsee the day when the computer measures your foot in 3 dimensions, then the online shopping place shows your foot in the shoe… then they still get it wrong because no one thought about what happens when you actually move your foot. It will be even longer before they get to that point. heh.

  2. Lynn »

    7 September 2009 · 9:48 pm

    I like the pictures of just the shoe. At least, I like the pictures on Endless.com because they show it from almost every angle including the insole.

    The shoe you show here is not my type of shoe at all so my opinion probably doesn’t count as much as some others but I think it’s hideous.

  3. Jim »

    21 October 2009 · 5:17 pm

    You can see what they look like on feet here:


    They’re a bit strange – my wife tried on a pair and I must say they look better on display than on the feet. A little too much Peter Pan and Wendy I think. Overall, a very talented designer and a great line of shoes, but a bit off the mark with this one.

  4. CGHill »

    21 October 2009 · 5:26 pm

    “…too much Peter Pan and Wendy.” Wonderfully apt.

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