Message from Princess: The highs & lows of shoes in 2009
Happy New Year’s! With 2010 mere hours away, it’s that time of year when everyone thinks about the upcoming year and what it holds. Of course, we also like to take a moment to look back at 2009 and all of the crazy, interesting and otherwise memorable events that happened throughout the year. Shoes are no exception. There’s always something new going on in the world of footwear and we definitely had plenty to talk about in the past year. So, before we jump into 2010, let’s take one more look at some of the notable shoe news of 2009. I’m also going to share a few of my own shoe purchases. Each can be classified as a high or a low, as you will see here:
High: The number of survey respondents that reportedly remember their first pair of shoes over their first kiss, reported by Telegraph UK. 92% off 1,000 women say they remember the first shoes they bought with their own money, but less than 2 in 3 (which I guess would be around 67% or less) remembered the name of the person they first smooched. Personally, I’m a bit skeptical. As much as I love shoes, I’m a little vague about the first pair I bought. I had a part-time job at 16 and, back then, I often had the luxury of devoting entire paychecks (albeit small ones) to clothes and shoes. I think it may have been these brown leather MIA platform sandals that I loved and wore and wore until I could wear them no more, but I’m not certain. I definitely remember the name of the person I first kissed though, so I must be in the minority on this one.
Low: The amount Titan Industries Inc. reportedly paid to buy shoe company Penny & Kenny Shoes LLC, who filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. There was a motion filed to sell all company assets for $150,000, including the Penny Loves Kenny trademark. While that’s a lot of money for the average individual, it seems like a bargain for Titan, whose mix of brands include Betsey Johnson, L.A.M.B., Bebe and Badgley Mischka. Penny Loves Kenny will provide a “purely juniors” brand to their lineup, something they lacked before.
High: Despite a struggling economy, people are still buying shoes. There are a few theories on why we’re still seeing strong sales in this area: shoes are generally considered more of a necessity than things like new handbags or dresses, they are often more moderately priced and have a lower cost-per-wear than other purchases and they can instantly spruce up an older outfit. Of course, they also make us feel good and women “get an emotional lift from shoe shopping in a way they do not when trying on jeans and cocktail dresses.” Eileen Lewis of Zappos also notes that many consumers are purchasing shoes in bright colors like red and yellow, which can provide an uplifting boost.
Low: The infamous Barbie cankle comment made by Christian Louboutin, who has partnered with Mattel to “serve as a yearlong godfather to Barbie, not just rethinking her fashion wardrobe and physical attributes, but also art directing her in different lifelike situations”. Actually, I don’t think he ever used the word “cankle”, but a Louboutin spokesperson said “He found her ankles were too fat,” which sparked a frenzy across the net. Many Barbies laughed it off, but unfortunately one Barbie didn’t react so well to the news:
“What? Christian Louboutin said I have fat ankles? You mean THE Christian Louboutin, my godfather, right? He really said that?”
“No he didn’t. Seriously?! I don’t have cankles…do I?”
“OMG, I have cankles, don’t I?!”
Her beau Ken wasn’t too happy either…
“Dude, why? This is all I’ve been hearing about. I told her she’s Barbie, she’s perfect, but she won’t listen. She’s even talking plastic surgery now – and she’s already plastic! I can’t talk her out of it. Thanks, man, thanks.”
Louboutin later clarified, saying “…fat ankles she didn’t have, she just could have had thinner ankles. That’s all.” and Barbie was somewhat consoled. Luckily, all was completely forgiven when she saw the Barbie shoes he designed and the ultra-pink pair he made for real-life dolls, the Christian Louboutin Claudia:
High: Speaking of Louboutin, I’d say the shoe of the year would have to be his Bridget Strass:
It’s been seen on a multitude of celebrities, featured in the upcoming Sex and the City 2 movie, worn by Kandi on The Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion and by Jennifer Lopez in the AMA and MTV Music Video Awards performances of her song “Louboutins”. This shoe is definitely hot, for good reason.
Update: Check out the Christian Louboutin Bridget lookalike shoe that I found.
Low: J.Lo’s said new song “Louboutins”, which I’m not really feeling. Theoretically, a song about Louboutins could work, but the execution of this one seems a bit off. All I seem to hear is “part-time lover” mentioned a few times, followed by a repetitive string of “Louboutins” – 45 times to be exact. It’s the type of song with the potential to get hopelessly stuck in your head. Apparently, Christian Louboutin loves the song and was flattered to hear about it, but I have to wonder – was this song simply born out of Lopez’s love for the shoes or was it a brand placement deal struck between her and Louboutin? After all, having a song featuring his brand name would serve to further entrench his shoes into pop culture, thus furthering his quest for world domination:
Yes, I’m totally speculating, but you never know.
High: The buzz generated by Alexander McQueen Spring 2010 shoes, which had to be the most talked about shoes of the year. I’m sure it’s hard for designers to continuously come up with new and different shoes that stand out, but these certainly did. Although they don’t seem very wearable in real life, it’s no surprise that extreme dresser Lady Gaga was one of the first to don them, in her video for “Bad Romance”.
High: The number of celebrities jumping on the shoe design bandwagon. Victoria Beckham, Heidi Klum, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (Olsenboye for JCPenney and Elizabeth and James), Dinah Lohan, Fergie, Nicole Richie and more celebs either started shoe lines or announced them in 2009. Plus, Britney Spears promoted for Candies and designers like Christian Siriano and Jimmy Choo created lines for budget-friendly Payless and H&M, respectively. Now we have news that Lindsay Lohan will be expanding her 6126 leggings label to include a full-line of apparel, cosmetics, handbags, jewelry and, yes, shoes.
Now, here’s a few shoes I purchased this year that I’d like to share:
Low: The price I paid for this Betsey Johnson Layla heel, which I adore. They originally retailed for $225, but I happened to spot them on clearance at Victoria’s Secret, inconspicuously listed as “floral sandal”. They were listed for $89.99 at the time and they had a 20% off coupon, which I missed, but they were later marked down to $79.99, which was much lower than I ever saw anywhere else. I opted for the black version, figuring it would work with more outfits, but I still kind of covet the pink pair. Unfortunately, it appears they are sold out everywhere online.
High: The amount of shoe love I have for this Naughty Monkey Resurrection heel, which I purchased in champagne. I got a good deal on these as well because Shoemall briefly had a 30% off coupon, which reduced them from $74.99 to $52.47. They are really pretty, particularly the detail on the back, and they are still available (sizes are very limited in champagne and red). Coupon code 15AMAZON takes 15% off.
High: My neon yellow shoes from Wet Seal. Ok, I admit it, I actually got these because I was inspired by an extra wearing a similar pair in the N.E.R.D. video “Everyone Nose (All The Girls Standing In The Line For The Bathroom)”. I had a hard time finding anything like them at the time, but spotted this pair on clearance at Wet Seal for a mere $5, so I figured I had nothing much to lose. I didn’t expect the quality to be high or anything, but the main issue is they are so, so uncomfortable, like right when you put them on. I also tried them on with a few things and nothing seemed to look right. Thus, I haven’t worn them at all. So, why am I calling this a high?
There is one little shoe princess who has a penchant for raiding closets and happens to love this pair. It tends to be the one she picks out nearly everytime she feels like dressing up, which I suppose is because they are super-bright and shiny and very yellow, which immediately attracts her eye. Of course, she usually wears them for a very short time and abandons them after they slow her down a little too much. But, I must say, it’s been priceless to watch her clomp around the house in them.
I happened to try them on with some black leggings and it finally worked. Someday, if the right mood and occasion somehow meet, I’ll probably wear them…just as long as I’m not doing any walking.
I hope everyone has a fabulous New Year and here’s to plenty more shoe buzz in 2010!