Bear Stearns collapsed and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernake finally uttered the R-word (that's "recession"), but so what! Lots o' deep pockets gathered at the Hermès store on Wall Street to celebrate the launch of the limited-edition car designed by Bugatti and Hermès. The vehicle costs $2.3 million, so naturally partygoers had no reserves about shelling out upwards of $7,000 on handbags and $350 on scarves. Jeweler Waris Ahluwalia was one — we caught up with him at the checkout counter to talk about (what else?) shoes and money. Since shoes are the new black and the new black is très expensive, how much is too much to spend on them? "I think $20,000 is definitely too much. You can quote me on that. Absolutely way too much. That's absurd. You're paying $20,000 for a pair of shoes, that's insane. You should get your head checked. Anything under is fine," he said. So $8G is okay? "$12,000, $16,000. Yeah. Anything over twenty, that's absurd." Almost as absurd as a $2.3 million car! Or perhaps the time Ahluwalia was audited by the IRS! "They tore me apart," he said. "They kept going, 'What is this? What is this?' What do you mean, 'What is this?"' he added, jabbing his finger at imaginary receipts. Ahluwalia hasn't filed his taxes yet and would like to send the IRS this message: "I love you guys." Because over at the Cut we do what we can to help the rich during tax time. We accept commission in $16,000 shoes. (We kid, IRS guys. We don't get commissions. Please don't audit us.) — Maridel Reyes
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