Recently, I gave up wearing anything over a 4-inch heel. And with good reason. Said reason (or reasons) are aptly demonstrated by Melissa McCarthy in the opening monologue for this past week’s Saturday Night Live…..
I had just about written off ShoeDazzle.com as a site from which I might never purchase a pair of shoes, when lo and behold! Out with the old and in with the Zoe! I was pleasantly surprised to see that ShoeDazzle.com replaced the
hyperbolical, over-hyped, and just-plain-tacky “style” icon Kim Kardashian with celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe . (although Kardashian still retains a business connection to ShoeDazzle.com)
Rachel Zoe brings a much-needed sophistication to ShoeDazzle.com, and a real sense of Hollywood glamour. And it shows: a larger selection of heel heights, and all very stylish. No more frumpy shoes!
There have been some other changes too: more specialty boutiques, a tie-in with Chinese Laundry (one of my favorite brands,) and a daily deal called the “Daily Fix.” They have also made more styles available outside of your profile, so that you can more easily peruse their whole selection. The handbags seem to have improved as well, and there is less of a push to sell accessories. I’m also glad to see them phasing out the apparel.
And you can still reach a personal stylist by phone, if you’re having trouble making a selection or want some suggestions.
So, while I’m cash-strapped at the moment, and cannot take on a shoe club, ShoeDazzle’s changes have raised its profile among the various shoe clubs out there (and growing by the day.)
- ShoeDazzle Taps Rachel Zoe as New Celebrity Spokesperson (allthingsd.com)
- ShoeDazzle is Bringing Subscriptions Back…….(TechCrunch)
I didn’t know much about shoe mogul Steve Madden, other than that I really like his shoes. I love the designs, don’t have to consider lopping off my little toe or enduring horrendous blisters just to wear them for one day. I buy a pair,
they’re gorgeous, they fit perfect. So when I saw this article on Madden in today’s New York Times, of course I was going to devour it immediately!
A few things about Madden I didn’t know: I didn’t know he is only a few years older than me. I didn’t know he had a drug and alcohol problem. I didn’t know he served time for stock fraud. Or that he saved the Betsey Johnson brand. And I had absolutely no idea that Martin Scorsese (my favorite filmmaker!) is directing a film titled “The Wolf of Wall Street” that features the story of Madden’s stock fraud case.
About all this stuff: I don’t care! I also don’t care about claims from Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga that he copied a couple of their designs for his shoes. Because, honestly, we live in a world where everything is iterative, everything is a copy of a copy. There is very little that is truly original in fashion design, and what is truly original these days is mostly stuff that people aren’t going to wear. It’s clothing for the museums and design-architecture aficionados to ooh and aah over while the rest of us scratch our heads and say “I know that piece is influenced by the 18th century, but I’m not sure I could pull that off at the office….”
Or: “Damn! I love those shoes! but think I could walk in them? oh, I don’t think so!”
See, that’s the thing: big designers who cater to people who can afford them, don’t necessarily understand that there is a huge class (or classes) of people who want to look fashionable-stylish, yet cannot afford their stuff. We can’t afford it cost wise, and we can’t afford to wear it to our jobs or out on dates or to arts council meetings or wherever we go because the darned things are a little too precious for us to purchase and wear.
We’d all love to be Carrie Bradshaw, but we’re not. (maybe that’s why so many of us watched that show: we wanted to dress that way, but never had the jobs that Carrie did…..)
So, Madden really knows his customer when he says “For our market, we are Christian Louboutin.”
Indeed! It’s not that we don’t want Louboutins. It’s that, even if we could afford them, our lifestyles don’t allow for the preciousness of Louboutins. I can’t imagine having a $700 pair of shoes I could only wear once in a while. And then if I did, I’d be afraid some schmuck might steal them (as someone did to Carrie when she attended a baby shower where everyone had to take their shoes off.)
Madden shoes, aside from the style and comfort factor, wear like crazy! The are some of the best shoes in my arsenal when it comes to durability. That’s what makes me keep going back too. There’s nothing worse than spending good money on a good pair of shoes, only to have something go wrong with them in a short period of time. I hate that! I feel like I’ve wasted my money when that happens. But I never waste my bucks when I buy a pair of Maddens!
In the article Madden frets, though, about the 20-something stylemakers (really? who are they?) that don’t seem to be wearing his shoes. To me, the current generation of 20-somethings don’t seem to be all that into style (if Lena Dunham is one of their representative voices,) and sometimes that sense of style isn’t quite like the group before that helped to propel Madden to popularity. Although he does have Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in his corner, and their sense of style –which does a lot to embrace fashion trends, high style, and a woman’s need to wear her clothes more than a few times. (I have a Stylemint membership and often buy from the club. Love their stuff!)
So, really–perhaps it’s just that the current generation needs to wake up to his brand, not that they’re ignoring it. And that may come in time. But as long as I can wear heels without the potential of maiming or killing myself, I’ll be buying Steve Maddens.
- The Fashion Industry Has No Respect For Steve Madden (businessinsider.com)
- Steve Madden Leopard Combats | Yay or Nay? (lionsandwolves.com)
- Steve Madden Presents Perfect Spring Footwear! (jildorshoes.com)
So, for close to a year now I’ve been enrolled in ShoeDazzle, JustFab, and ShoeMint, three of the Internet-based shoe clubs that trade on celebrity endorsement to sell shoes ranging from $39.99 to $79.99. To be honest, I haven’t orded a thing from any of them. Here’s why:
UPDATE 2/22/13: Go here to read how ShoeDazzle.com has made many big changes, including Rachel Zoe as their Chief Stylist ShoeDazzle boasts Kim Kardashian as its celebrity spokesperson and offers bags and jewelry as well as shoes. I have been less than impressed with the styles of the shoes–either high-high heels or flats–and the quality of the materials. Usually I will magnify and inspect the shoes further, and find that the workmaship is on par with a pair of man-made material shoes that I might find at another low-cost all retailer. The bags and jewlery too do not impress.
JustFab provides members with style videos from Kimora Lee Simmons, and rocker chic styles from IronFist and Avril Lavigne’s Abbey Dawn brand. Now, I’ve got to say that I love the Iron Fist shoes (not so much the co-ordinating bags) but with my clubbing days behind me, a kitschy IronFist purchase doesn’t make sense for me. There are a bit on the high price side as well. The quality of many of the offerings also seems equal to mall-based low-cost retailers and mid-price department stores. Not for me, but if you’re a quirky rocker girl, have fun!
ShoeMint sucked me in after I enrolled in StyleMint, the tee shirt club fronted by the Olsen twins. ShoeMint’s celebrity is Rachel Bilson–who I know mostly from that Magnum Ice Cream commercial. But ShoeMint doesn’t need celebrities: the shoes are gorgeous, high quality, runway-styled beauties. If it says they are suede, you can bet you’ll get suede. As if that wasn’t enough, top shoe designer/craftsman Steve Madden worked with Bislson and stylist Nicole Chavez to produce the styles (I am a major Steve Madden shoe fan. Perhaps the
most comfortable heels in my collection are from Steve Madden. The quality can’t be beat.) And if I had the $79.98, I would order this pair post haste! However, being mostly a humble blogger and writer, my budget is drastically restricted this year. Although given the visible quality and craftsmanship of ShoeMint’s offerings, I would be more likely to buy from this club than the others.
So, that’s my final word on shoe clubs until I actually order something from ShoeMint (or somebody sends me a pair Never know. A girl can wish, can’t she? )
Spring is here! The weather’s getting warmer, the trees are budding and the forsythia is in bloom! Which means it’s time to put away the suede shooties and shearling booties (mostly) and start thinking pedicures and peep-toe pumps. That is, if it doesn’t snow the first week of April….
On the Spring 2012 Runways we saw a lot of what we’ve been seeing and wearing: sky
high-heels, chunky platforms, and barely-there flat sandals in every color of the rainbow (almost) including color block. This is definitely one of the most exciting springtimes for shoes I’ve seen in years!
But let’s face a few small facts: it’s hard to get around town in sky-high heels. Chunky platforms on over 40 legs aren’t always fun, let alone attractive. So what’s a woman to do?
My favorite fashion guru, Bill Cunningham, recently noticed that women in New York City (a place where it’s important to be quick on your feet) have put the huge heels in their tote bags, and are traversing the streets in ballet flats. If you have to move fast, nothing beats a good-fitting ballet flat! I have several inexpensive pair that I use for kicking around in the spring and summer, esp. when I don’t have heavy-duty walking ahead of me. That’s the great thing about ballet flats: you don’t need an expensive pair to look great.
That’s not to say that heels and platforms will go by the wayside. Not at all! And if you want to wear them, by all means do! I’m so looking forward to getting into my 4.5 inch red Guess platform sandals that I bought last year, even if I don’t wear them while traipsing through the streets of New York City or to the local grocery store — although the latter can be lots of fun, esp. if I want to turn a few heads…
Which leads me to another reason why you might want to wear some high heels every now and then. Not only can they lengthen your legs, but they’re great eye-catchers. Yes, even if you have a husband or a boyfriend, please just admit that it’s great fun to catch some good-looking guy eyeing up your shoes. It’s a thrill! I find it even more fun when the good-looking guys are a whole lot younger than myself (shoes are one of those things that are, well, ageless if you let them be.) This cute little feature from Glamour.com let’s you in on what goes through the brains of men when they’re looking at your shoes. Totally darling!