By: Ellen Cans
A lawsuit has been filed against Santoni, the posh Italian shoe and handbag brand founded in 1975.
As reported by the NY Post, Santoni North America is being slapped with a lawsuit by a well-heeled client who alleges that the Madison Avenue Boutique in Manhattan tried to bill him nearly $7,000 for a custom order, which it repeatedly botched.
Justin Mills alleges that he struck a deal to purchase a pair of handmade, $4,400 Italian shoes from Santoni in the fall of 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic began– but never got what he ordered. The Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit claims Mills paid a deposit of $2,200 for a pair of Oxfords, with a single seam in the back. “You pay this much because it’s something you’re going to use every day, and to [have] last for a really long time. That’s the idea,” said Mills. The 30-year-old, who attends law school in Tennessee and often visits New York City, says he didn’t get his order. He says he was rather given a different style shoe, which is “priced at thousands of dollars less, a double monk strap with toe cap” as per court documents.
“I was a little surprised actually, since it was the entirely wrong type of shoe from what I ordered,” he said. When he notified the store, it agreed to remake the order “due to obvious error”. At this time he also requested that the new pair to be made wider in the toe, to alleviate foot pain, Mills said in the court papers.
Due to the pandemic, he wasn’t able to come to New York for several months. When he finally arrived, eager to pick up his order, he says he was in for another disappointment. “The fit was too tight,” Mills said.
Now, the law student, who is representing himself in the case, is seeking $20,000 in damages. A Santoni manager vowed to redo the shoe and get it right, but Mills says it’s too late. He laments that for months he met with nothing but silence from the company, and when he spoke to the manager in December, he got another unwelcome surprise. Santoni allegedly wanted Mills to pay up the $2,200 balance on the order, and was charging an extra $2,500 to make the repairs, claims Mills. Mills refused to pay what would come out to a total of $6900 to get the custom-made shoes. “I wasn’t gonna do that — spend another $2,500 on top of what was supposed to be the total,” he said.