Archive for May, 2008
posted by: Shomore in Shoe History Corner
One of the tourist attractions we took in while Shoesense was in Seattle was the Underground Tour. The dusty underground tunnels were not much to look at. Thankfully we had a wonderful, humorous tour guide who was able to captivate and introduce us to Seattle’s rich history. The tour ended in Rogue Alley whereby we came upon the subject of today’s shoe history corner.
Shoesense mentioned this already, but Nordstrom the department store actually started off as a shoe store. The picture below is of the Wallin and Nordstrom Shoe Store, founded in 1901 (John Nordstrom is pictured in the front left). The shoe store was located on 4th Ave and Pike Street, not far from where Nordstrom’s flagship store is located today.
The story of John Nordstrom is particularly interesting. Nordstrom hailed from Sweden. When he arrived in New York, at the ripe age of 16, he had a whopping $5 in his pockets. Nordstrom headed west to make his fortune in the Alaskan gold fields. With a little luck, Nordstrom earned enough money so that he and his Alaskan friend, Carl Wallin, could open a shoe store. By 1959, that store which would grow into the largest independently owned shoe store in the nation before eventually transforming into the publicly traded department stores that we know today.
For more company history, check out Nordstrom’s website.
While many are paying attention to the red carpet festivities of the Sex and the City premiere this week, I’m dipping back a little farther to the even more sartorially grandiose carpets of the Cannes film festival.
Specifically, there’s one trend that was all over the place, and it’s what I like to refer to as Cage Shoes.
Cage Shoes are fairly self-explanatory, but there were some excellent examples at Cannes. Enough to inspire some hypothetical Cage Matches.
First Round: Madonna’s Louboutins
vs. Naomi Campbell’s shiny silver numbers (seen here between Maestros Dolce and Gabbana)
Second Round: Svetlana Metkina in Balenciagesque sandals
vs. herself, this time stepping out in gladiator style.
Round Three: Laura Bickford (Oscar-winning producer of Traffic and now of Benicio del Toro’s Che Guevara biopic, Guerilla) in the Louboutin Rodita (last seen at the Met Costume Institute Gala)
vs. Lily Donaldson in a black satiny version clearly following the same trend.
So, readers. Who wins each of these matches?
Though, really, regardless of who wins, the clear winner is Cage Shoes in general. They’re everywhere, ready to snap their sexy S&M-inspired bars around all our feet.
Update: For those interested in the shoes featured in the SATC2 movie, here is a post just for you.
We’ve seen pictures of Carrie Bradshaw wearing the Dior Extreme gladiator sandals (left) and the python heeled Proenza Schouler (right, available at Net-A-Porter for $685) in the SATC movie (btw, are you as excited as I am that it’s almost Friday? ).
But what happened to some of her favorite shoe brands? Never fear, Carrie stays ‘Choo’ to those shoe brands as well.
For a SATC Movie ad, Sarah Jessica Parker is wearing the seven strapped Jimmy Choo Atlas sandals, $750 at NetAPorter .
Remember the episode called ‘A Woman’s Right to Shoes‘? It’s the SATC episode where Carrie was asked to remove these silver Manolos while attending a baby shower. At the end of the party, she’s shocked to discover the shoes were stolen.
They were the Manolo Sedarbys and the style is making a reappearance in the movie in the form of the Manolo Blahnik Sedarby Zebra d’Orsays. It’s a real sticker shock if you recall that the shoes on the show were going for $485 and that Neiman Marcus was selling the zebra version for $675 AND they are already sold out.
I don’t think it was a coincidence that Melania Trump was seen wearing the same Manolos at the NY Sex in the City Premiere.
Update: Ms. Meghan is reporting that these blue Manolo Blahniks with huge silver buckle have a central role in the movie. They also happen to be the first shoes that Manolo made expressly for SATC.
Reminder: Relive your favorite SATC episodes. Enter our SATC goodie bag contest where we are giving away a SATC essential dvd set to help jog your memory of your favorite episodes.
Now that summer is officially upon us, I’ve noticed lots and lots of women wearing variations of essentially one model, which looks more or less like this:
For easy mental reference, I call this “the bib sandal,” a thong sans décolletage, if you will, all naked at the toes and all business up at the ankle. The one pictured above is the Kenneth Cole New York “Hampton Beach,” $129 at Zappos; there are plenty more, of course. They create the illusion of pointedness without the aggravation of pointy shoes: a win-win situation, if you ask me. The women I’ve seen in this type of gladiator-light sandal looked spiffy and put together (not to mention comfortable) in their breezy linen capris or summer-weight jeans, or gauzy flowing skirts. Here are a few more for your browsing pleasure:
A classic look that will go well with just about anything, but especially with flowers in your hair and a big smile, the K. Jacques “Cyrus” sandal is $178 at Shopbop.
The Frye “Mary” beaded edge thong comes in four colors (black, white, gray, and wine) and is $158 at Shopbop. A truly classy look with lots of fun details (buckle, beads, heel cutout) which makes this sandal a winner in my book.
If you want more of an evening look, there’s this Pelle Moda “Arion” model with loads of rhinestones and pearlized leather, coming in four color combos (black, silver, bronze, and platinum gold); it’s $116.10 at Zappos, or if you’re just looking for the gold version, $62.48 at Endless. (And for those of you who live and sleep in high heels, they also have a high-heeled version of this sandal for $133 at Zappos). Oh, while you’re at it: check out this identical twin (IDENTICAL IN EVERY WAY, people!): the RSVP Adrianne sandal (available for $70). My mind is officially boggled!
For the Marc Jacobs fans, here’s a simple and sleek version in a low wedge, in green or tan, on sale for $206.50 (down from $$295) at Shopbop.
The Kate Spade “Kip” sandals, in red, green, or black, are positively dreamy–though, at $264, they’re kind of pricy. Still, I love the print, the skinny-bib effect, and the strategically placed studs. (Very similar concept but different execution here, in this Lauren by Ralph Lauren “Edie” sandal in Kelly-green patent, $89 at Endless:
.) I’m sure you can find your own favorite versions with a little bit of prodding–Happy Sandal Shopping, shoe lovers!
I’m just back from a long-ish trip to the lovely city of Seattle, and what can I say–I’m in love! I’m an East Coast gal, through and through, but seeing Seattle made me doubt my allegiance. True enough, I was lucky enough to get some freaky weather, where by “freaky” I of course mean “sunny”–a rare occurrence, I was assured, in the life of the otherwise easy-going Seattlites.
Seattle ranked high also according to another measurement in my book–one you won’t likely find in Zagat or Michelin, but one you deeply, deelpy care about: it scored really well on my Shoe-O-Meter™–the scale according to which I measure cities as shoe-friendly, or rather, shoe-lover – friendly. On that scale, consider New York a five-shoe-star city, with its abundant offerings; Philadelphia, where I live right now, probably ranks an aspiring three on that scale (barely there, if you ask me). But Seattle? Oh Seattle approached four, I would say. Not only is Seattle the home of the Giant Shoe Museum (which you’ll find deep in the belly of Pike Place Market), but also the place where an intrepid young John W. Nordstrom, fresh off the boat from Sweden, eventually set up a famous shoe store which bloomed into the multi-billion retail giant that we all know and love today. I scoured the sales racks both at Nordstrom and at Nordstrom Rack (oh! many hours of delicious fondling, gazing, trying, handling, sizing, and otherwise drooling over some of the choice selections). I almost wanted to make out with this shoe, ironically entitled ‘Bad Girl’:
Ok, and maybe I licked it, a little (well, I wanted to, anyway)–but I remembered I can’t honestly walk in those heels and regretfully bid adieu to my plush rosy-cheeked paramour.
Apart from Nordstrom, Seattle’s shoe-star rating is maintained by a large supply of walk-friendly shoe-stores, a variety of choice upscale boutiques, some other large department stores such as Macy’s, the Shoefly Guy chain. A most excellent selection that did my heart good.
I returned to my two-and-a-half shoe-star city with renewed energies and revitalized shoe lust. Philly may not compare to NY or Seattle in terms of footwear retail, but by golly, I’m going to make the best of it. And if all else fails, I’ll always have the Internets!
(Btw, the Nanette Lepore ‘Bad Girl’ Sandal is currently on sale for $203, 40% off, at Nordstrom).