Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

I'd rather go barefoot


Yesterday morning I spent an hour in Selfridge's shoe department having decided to let slip the dogs of finance and splash out on a pair of stupendous evening shoes - Jimmy Choo, Gina, Louboutin, bring it on. Brief, these shoes will go with a long dress, be worn climbing in and out of taxis, bearable to take an hour standing up for cocktails, followed by dinner and then quick to slip on under the table cloth if called upon to make a sudden move. Budget, £300+

There were exactly three pairs of shoes in Selfridge's which did not have towering, needle-thin spikey heels, I mean really, really high. The first pair (Chanel) were too narrow, the second (also Chanel) they didn't have in my size, and the third (Jimmy Choo) were £540. What?!

As Jess Cartner-Morley said in the Guardian yesterday:

After all, the whole women-and-shoes thing spun off the crazy chart ages ago. A pair of Jimmy Choos has become a ritual way to celebrate: a special occasion, a pay rise or even (for Rebecca Adlington) an Olympic gold. With this much symbolism invested in shoes, it is inevitable that they are beginning to look less and less like functional footwear.


If you look at the websites of these designers, they do in fact make shoes with lower heels, but Selfridge's buyers didn't order them, they told me, and where they did, they sold out at once. They always look baffled when they tell you something like this has sold out. Why would women want fabulous shoes they can actually walk in? Such a mystery.

8 comments:

greying pixie said...

I'd rather go barefoot too. But if spending that much it might be better to go to the actual shop in Bond Street to see the whole collection and not just the selection that the Selfridges buyer has chosen. You might pop into Ferragamo while you're there. They would definitely be my first port of call. I've never been disappointed with them.

Toby Wollin said...

I look at those shoes and I see...a visit to the ER with a sprained or broken ankle and six weeks in a brace or a cast, followed by a baseball-sized lump on my ankle(I've got them on both ankles so I KNOW)and the inability to wear anything but trainers, low tie shoes, or something my podiatrist refers to as 'sensible' for the next six months. After my last go-round, it took me a year, a set of orthotics and a complete cull of my closet, so although these ARE tempting, I definitely should not go there.

Sheila said...

Can someone explain to me why shops can't join the dots and realise that, if something sells out quickly, it means customers like it and they should maybe order more. Similarly, if things get left on the shelf, customers don't want them and they should order less. Am I missing something?

Linda Grant said...

And also how to turn base metal into gold:

I'm sorry, the larger sizes always sell out very quickly.

Why don't you order more?

The smaller sizes are more popular.

But if the larger sizes sell out more quickly that can't be true.

No, we order for the demand.

And then they sell out straight away. So the demand is greater than your estimate.

You'll have to talk to our buyer but she's on holiday this week.

sheila said...

I think I need to go and lie down!

Nancy (nanflan) said...

The last evening sandals I bought cost $20-$30 per pair. I got them at an outlet place and got 3 pair at the same time--silver, gold, and black. I sometimes need them for work events but always at the last minute.

I wore the black ones to a society wedding recently and they were perfect!

I can't see paying a ton of cash for something I'll wear a couple of times a year. I'd rather spend on my work pumps.

journo said...

I love a gorgeous shoe but I walk to the subway to take the TTC five days a week, then have to walk through Union Station to get to work.

I also find it hard to justify spending that much money on shoes when 1. it's going to be snowing in about two months and 2. I am so hard on shoes. I wear my shoes, not keep them as art.

rosaria said...

My oldest daughter (tall, model proportions) tried on lots of Jimmy Choo when she was in Bond St last week, and she commented that she was quite tall enough thank you, and she didn't want to look like an Amazon tottering on the brink of disaster should she have to walk more than 100 meters.

She looked in vain for something a little less lethal in height and there was v little in her size.