I'm a bit of a shoe collector. Don't ask me how many pairs I have, because I truly don't know, but the number is rather high. I love getting inspired to shop for new shoes based on what my favorite celebrities are wearing, which is how I decided a few years ago that I needed velvet boots. A singer I admire stepped out wearing a gorgeous pair, and I thought I absolutely had to have the same ones, regardless of price or fit. (I said I have a lot of shoes, I didn't say I always make the best shoe decisions.)
I happened to be in London for my 30th birthday soon after deciding on these shoes that were, of course, designer, and, of course, difficult to find. I'd resigned myself to just finding a similar pair of velvet boots when I decided to pop into a boutique selling some of my dream shoes. Just in case. The boots weren't on display, but I asked about them to see if maybe — just maybe — there would be a pair in the store. One of the salespeople checked the back, only to tell me she had one pair and it wasn't my size.
I slipped my feet into the exact boots I'd been dreaming of, and in that moment, I felt like Cinderella finally finding her glass slipper.
Having never shopped this particular brand before, I didn't actually know what size I wore, especially since they weren't American sizes. Deciding to shoot my shot, I told her to bring out the lone pair from the back. Just in case. She was skeptical, because they were two sizes larger than what I originally asked for, but she brought them to me anyway. I slipped my feet into the exact boots I'd been dreaming of, and in that moment, I felt like Cinderella finally finding her glass slipper.
The very surprised salesperson told me that not only was that the last pair of boots they had in the store, but it was the last pair in the world. The very last pair. That was when I learned how rare some designer shoes are. Knowing that if I didn't purchase those shoes that very moment I'd never get them, I scraped together every pence and pound I had to bring those boots home.
It felt like kismet finding those shoes in a completely different country after I'd already resigned myself to not getting the pair I wanted. Since then, the boots have become my power shoes. I wore those boots to an event where I lucked into meeting a singer I love listening to. I wore those boots to cover a red carpet event honoring some living legends. And I've worn those boots to see the exact celebrity who inspired them on more than one occasion.
They're more than just a pair of shoes. The story of finding them always makes me smile, and every time I wear them I feel like my best self. They're my special-occasion shoes that demand to be worn only every once in awhile. (They are velvet, after all, and are delicate.) I've managed to create a special memory each time I've worn these shoes, which just adds to the special story behind how I found them.