Carrie Bradshaw, in a moment of financial panic, once memorably opined, “I spent $40,000 on shoes and I have no place to live? I will literally be the old woman who lived in her shoes.”
The self-styled “shoegal” wasn’t exaggerating. Miranda helpfully estimated that Carrie’s expenses on 100-some pairs of shoes, at about $400 a pop, had far outpaced any income the sex columnist was raking in. Carrie caught flak from more than her friends and bill collectors. A mugger once held her up on a sidewalk demanding her bag and her Manolo Blahniks. Another time, a friend shoe-shamed her for spending money on pricey pumps that were swiped from a baby shower. Carrie championed for the single girl’s “right to shoes” as a way of celebrating herself in lieu of baby showers or weddings and happily received a replacement pair. Show director Michael Patrick King further noted that Carrie’s “right to shoes” moment inspired legions of women to make their own personal gift registries.
These lows were mere blips in her long-running celebration of shoes. Bradshaw’s predilection for strappy Jimmy Choo sandals, Manolo Blahnik mary janes and Uggs (which were all the rage at the time) inspired a loyal nation of footwear fanatics. Her name-dropping put high-end shoe designer’s on maps outside of those belonging to fashion insiders. Liking chic shoes became more than an interest or an aspiration, it became a badge of female pride, a universal way to demonstrate style regardless of height or body type. One could at least stride fashionably through the the muddy worlds of jobs, apartments and men in a pair of Prada stilettos like Carrie and her friends. This was best encapsulated in the book and film “In Her Shoes,” a tale of two polar opposite sisters who only shared a footwear obsession and shoe size.
As Carrie announced to her Vogue editor, “Men I may not know, but shoes—shoes, I know.” Thanks to Carrie, so does everyone else.
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