My love of shoes came at a very early age. My mom used to tease me that even when I was a baby, I was stepping on my tippie toes, mastering my arch, getting ready for big girl shoes. When I was 5, she took me to get my first pair of patent leather mary janes at Ritchies, the childrens shoe store on ave B, now an ironically trendy bar.
When I was in my early twenties I had my first taste of the thrill of that have to have buy. A pair of turuoise miu miu. There would be many more affordable, and unaffordable shoes and styles to follow.
Vintage oxfords off Ebay, platform sneakers from 8th street, and of course my elevation from phase to phase, with the corresponding shoes to match. Meaning that I can think back to pretty much any age range, and automatically associate one pair of shoes to it; perhaps a symbol of certain parts of my youth that usually remain untapped.
But though my love of shoes dates back to the early ages of play time, and youthful obliviousness, it’s led me other places then just the store.
A few years ago when I was working at a well known apparel brand in their denim division, I was in charge of the donation boxes. For anyone that has worked in a fashion company, you know what I mean when I say that sample sales and donation boxes are akin to a hunger games type ritualistic game, in which lurkers ponce on the first thing they see, and others sit back, strategically waiting for that item to get to the top, so they can grab it, and either take it home, or retract it back to the bin.
But there was another box that I had to take care of as well. The Soles4Souls box sat right infront of my desk, every day, and evening, filling up, passing along to send in, restarting again from the beginning. A big empty box, filled with nothing but promise and hope.
I decided that I would start bringing in one pair of my shoes a week to donate into the box as well. I felt almost a responsibility to add my 2 cents; or in this case my shoes to a cause that literally sat infront of me every day.When I would turn that box in, and watch those shoes empty out, and move on, I would always be filled with the knowledge that I helped give someone something they needed, and it never got old, until the day I left that company.
Since then, I don’t have the box sitting in front of me anymore, reminding me of how important it is to give away that which we don’t need, and prompting me to do as much as I can. But I can do the next best thing, which is tell everyone about this important cause, and stress how something as menial as shoes can change the world.
The best part about change, is that no one is immune to it. Everyone can make it happen. And here are some ways how:
1) Make your own donation page, and send it to friends and family- for every one dollar, a pair of flip flops can be sent to a child.
2) Host a fun shoe drop off/donation party through Soles4Souls. Invite your friends over. Make some cocktails. Put out some cheese. Good times. I’ve hosted several clothing swaps, and this is an easy way to collect leftover shoes. And everyone leaves happy… with at least something.
3) Donate to MY personal page here. It takes 5 seconds, and what you get is a lot more then just a dollar missing from your wallet.
For More information on Soles4Souls and what they do check out their website
Soles4Souls is also a sponsor of the BKFW S/S 13, brooklyn fashion weekend, happening from Sept 27-30th. I will be attending the shows for BKFW, and with a theme titled ” Design grows in Brooklyn, Grow with Us”, I am curious and excited to see what these emerging designers have in store for their shows.
Soles through the Years