The first time I fell in love with shoes was when I was in my junior year of high school. The memory is obvious in my mind. When you asked me if I could tell you about this, the answer was Yes, immediately.
I guess I would have been about 16 or 17. And I was in a Nordstrom’s shoe department with my mom just looking around. I spied a pair of platform, peep-toe shoes, reminiscent of a 1940s style. And they were so 90s. (This would have been around 1997 1998.) They were covered with black, “Chinese silk”embroidered with golden dragons. So, so, so, so 90s. I fell hard for them. I saw them across the room and said, “You must be mine. I will have you. My feet need these.”
So I said to my mom, “I want those for junior prom. I don’t want a dress. I’ll wear a dress I have. I don’t want anything else. I don’t need anything else. All I want is those shoes.” Mind you, I had no date for the junior prom. I was just going with my friends, but it was an excuse to buy those shoes. My parents went for it. So that was the first pair of shoes that I lusted after.
Remember when Beyonce’s Lemonade came out? In the video for “Sorry”, she’s smashing the cars in that beautiful yellow dress with fabulous Yves St. Laurent (I think) that are a more contemporary redo of my 90 shoes. When I saw her wearing them I said, “Oh my god, I love those shoes.”
I still have them and I cannot fit my feet in them. They are the first pair that began my collection. They were the start of a life-long obsession.
—Victoria Pass is an expert in Visual Culture at MICA. She shares a love of Elsa Schiaparelli and collects John Fluevog with me.
Want to hear more of our conversation? Listen to our full discussion on my KindredSoles podcast.