After you've helped convince women to spend $575 on a single pair of shoes, why not move on to very expensive milk? That's what George Malkemus and Tony Yurgaitis, Manolo Blahnik's top two executives, are doing. Milk from their Connecticut farm, Arethusa, sells for $4.49 per half-gallon—more than twice the national average—at Whole Foods and other stores. The Wall Street Journal offers an amusing glimpse into the lives of the pair's 350 cows, which eat only the finest hay, rest on Canadian wood shavings, and get vacuumed daily in a spa-like setting.
Not everyone is impressed: "We don't groom our cows," says a nearby dairy farmer who sniffs that his $2.79-per-half-gallon milk is just as good "if not better." Other rivals point out that Arethusa milk isn't organic, since antibiotics are used, but Malkemus counters that antibiotics are only used on sick cows. "Much like in the fashion world," he notes, "there's a great deal of jealousy and rivalry in dairy farming." But there's probably only one of these: a sign hanging above the cows' resting place that reads, "Every cow in this barn is a lady, please treat her as such."