The black crew-neck men's T-shirt, made of crocodile skin, was sniffed out on the racks by a blogger at the Awl Monday, who wrote, "Yes. It finally happened. Congratulations to us, and to the Hermès men's store on Madison Avenue for just hanging it quietly on a shelf with some rather more normal clothes. (I mean, expensive clothes! But everything looks cheap next to this price tag.)"
The Awl posted a sneakily-snapped image of said price tag but not the shirt itself, explaining that Hermes prohibits the taking of photographs inside its store. But the item walked the runway in Paris as part of the Hermés men's spring collection in June of 2012.
Yahoo! Shine confirmed the price with an Hermés sales associate, who said that, while it was company policy to not give out exact prices, the cost was, "just under US$100,000." It's a fact that could make any sane shopper faint - though the typical Hermés customer may not be as fazed (and is most likely not browsing through the racks as one would do at, say, the Gap).
This is certainly not the first time the French fashion house has caused sticker shock. Last year, a solid-gold Birkin bag made to look like crocodile skin was priced at US$1,980,034. In 2011, a rare Birkin bag, also made of crocodile skin and featuring an 18-karat white gold and diamond clasp, sold at an auction to an anonymous bidder to what Women's Wear Daily called a "record" US$203,150. Three other crocodile Birkins at that auction sold for US$113,525; US$95,000; and just over US$80,000.
But a T-shirt that costs as much as an Audi? Yep, now that's true, too.
Oh, and, as the Awl notes, "we should point out that the sales tax alone would be around $8000. (I mean, obviously you would get it shipped out-of-state to not pay that tax, but still!)"
Hermés did not immediately respond to Shine's request for comment on the price or the making of the shirt.
But crocodile-skin fashions, according to PETA, are an expensive and particularly nasty business. "One of the reasons these products are so cruel is it can take several animals to make one item; it can take three to four crocodiles to make one handbag," PETA spokesperson Ashley Byrne told Yahoo! Shine, adding that she imagines it would take a similar amount of animals to make one of the Hermés tees.
"It's absurd to equate this with a luxury product," she said.