My friend Dawn is a woman of extravagant gestures. She makes a decent living as a graphic designer and has made some good real estate investments, but she’s not rolling in it, per se. Yet she never buys cheap. Once or twice a year, she will set out to do her clothes shopping, and it’s never an inexpensive expedition. I have to admire her for this, because we probably spend the same amount of money on shopping each year, but my closet is crammed with all sorts of impulsive purchases. Hers is filled only with items she adores passionately, and there’s a high tariff for the right to hang in her closet. Let’s just say she knows true love when she sees it. Meanwhile, I’m thinking every toad could be a prince.
Dawn does her research thoroughly and she often knows exactly what it is that she’s looking for long before she ever sets foot in a store. Well, she had set her sites on the shoe shown above and nothing was going to stop her.
If you are ever going to stride into Prada’s flagship Soho store, you want to do it with Dawn. She has the diva presence down pat, being 100% Trinidian princess, and in no time she had three store employees entranced and running through the boutique trying to find those shoes. She had the ad—the problem was they didn’t have the shoe yet. They tried to persuade her that there were other shoes that were just as good, but no other shoe would do. I picked up a floor model, turned it over, and gasped: $1000. Although I’ve certainly run up that sort of receipt, I could not even begin to imagine spending it on one pair of shoes.
As it turned out they had one pair, a sample that was on the floor mannaquin. Well, it may not happen at H&M, but you can bet your bootie that when you are plopping down a grand, those shoes were off the mannequin in no time flat. Problem: They were samples, not made to be worn, and the heel architecture was wobbly. Dawn was distraught in a very funny and charming way—she’s the sort of person who can say the most outrageous things and get away with it.
Suddenly, the manager appeared with a pair in the most gorgeous sky blue. “And when exactly were you planning to bring those out?” Dawn demanded. He sheepishly said that they were sitting on a high shelf, as a display. To all of our relief, they were perfect. Sale made. Now, I know why I never got a sales person to so much as raise an eyebrow at me in Prada. I could never stomach paying the price of admission, but for Dawn the joy that these shoes would give her was priceless (she was already imagining the openings and galas that they would attend together)
And I can tell you that if you want every clerk in every pricey boutique in Soho grovelling at your feet, just try walking around with a super-sized Prada shopping bag. For me, THAT was priceless.