Posts Tagged ‘dsw


Stepping Up, and Stepping Out

It’s really easy to forget how incredibly lucky we are.

Whether we blow our money on expensive takeout, tumescent rent, or simple daily wastefulness, we often–no matter how frugal we may fool ourselves we are–live lives of excess, whether or not we can afford it.

Vanessa Minnillo and Kelly Rutherford at DSW Presents: Step Up & Step Out’s Champagne Brunch, Photo Credit:  Kristen Somody

Vanessa Minnillo and Kelly Rutherford at DSW Presents: Step Up & Step Out’s Champagne Brunch, Photo Credit: Kristen Somody

And then we see a glimpse at the people who truly can’t. The people who struggle for that every carton of milk, every metrocard, and realize we are blessed. And it’s that blessing that makes it our duty to stop obsessing about ourselves and start contributing to the world around us.

This past weekend, I had the honor of being a guest at DSW Presents: Step Up & Step Out, an event that started out a champagne brunch and started out the hottest shoe sale of the year.

It was held at the super-fancy W Hotel, and began with a VIP champagne preview brunch and a designer shoe sale featuring labels from DSW Shoes and interactive style lounges. Sales helped raise funds for the Step Up Women’s Network program in New York.

Film and television personality Vanessa Minnillo served as honorary chair, accompanied by shoe-lover and Gossip Girl star Kelly Rutherford! The event’s host committee was lead by DSW spokesperson and renowned stylist Bobbie Thomas. The DSW event benefit the female empowerment charity Step Up Women’s Network,and Vanessa spoke at length about the importance of having women role models in her life.

The network raised money through sales of fabulous shoes – and the day was all a very good time, as VIPs tried on fierce stilettos and sipped pink champagne. But it had a bigger message: Indulge in the fabulousness of our lives, but remember to share our blessings, and be there for the next generation as the generation before has been there for us. One day, not so far away, they will be raising their own glasses…in equally smashing stilettos…and making a difference for someone else out there.


Rap Star Meets Roman

If gladiators listened to hip hop, I’m sure they’d be digging Baby’s Phat‘s new Ayana sandal. I scored a pair while venturing the craziness that is DSW a few weeks back, and I’ve had trouble keeping them off my feet ever since. I have to make a conscious effort not to wear them more than three times a week otherwise I might ruin my shoe cred. This is not as damaging as losing your street cred, but equally embarrassing.

In the past, Baby Phat was never on my radar,  but these glam-tastic glads have changed my opinion of the brand—the jury is still out on Kimora Lee Simmons. They easily transition between day and night, making them the perfect summer accessory. Wear them with capris to a beach shindig, or match them with a cotton dress for a casual night out. Available in black, silver and bronze at and

Now if only we could get Russell Crowe to wear them.

Baby Phat Ayana in Bronze


Knockoffs vs. The Real Thing: Does it Matter?

My friend Jill can’t understand my shoe budget. When I debuted my new Lanvin ballerina flats one weekend at the movies, she launched a full scale offensive about my frivolous spending habits, making sure to point out that the shoes she was wearing (which had heels, mind you) had come from The Gap and had been purchased for a mere $29.95.
It got me thinking. Was I a fool for spending $480 on a beautiful pair of flats when I could have bought a similar pair for hundreds less at The Gap? I sat there in the theater, Jill crunching popcorn in the seat next to me, enduring those ridiculous commercials they play now before the movie starts, and stared down at my beautiful satin shoes, almost willing them to reassure me: “Don’t worry Katie! We’re worth the money! She doesn’t know what she’s talking about–we’re Lanvin!”

A week later I was at the Beverly Center in L.A., shopping with my best friend, Teo, when we found ourselves within credit-card charging distance of the shoe department at Bloomingdales. A little shoe birdie had alerted me that the new gold gladiator sandal by Giuseppe Zanotti was blinking away, just feet from where we stood. Teo saw my eyes fixate on the shoe display and said, “Come on, let’s go to DSW, they have all of those shoes and they look just as cute, they’re just not as expensive.”

The needle on my little mental record player screeched to a stop. I looked at Teo. Was she serious? “Come on, give it a try, we can always come back,” she said. Oh boy, she was on a roll. Maybe she saw the doubt in my eyes, maybe it was Jill’s lecture the week before… “Ok,” I said, and allowed myself to be led away from the light, towards the mean, nasty shoe discount store, that I’m sure had to be somewhere in the bowels of the Beverly Center.
When we got there, I perused the aisles of discount shoes. I could have been suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, but I did see some cute possibilities. Teo convinced me to buy a pair of gladiator sandals by a designer I’d never heard of. This is what I’ll say about them: They had the look of the Giuseppe Zanotti sandals, I wouldn’t say they were as cute, but they were a very affordable $39.95.
Skip to two weeks later. I’m totally depressed, the DSW sandals I bought broke the third day I wore them. So much for $39.95. If I multiplied that price by the money I’d have to spend replacing those shoes after 3 wears, would I get the price equivalent of my original Giuseppe Zanotti sandals? Who knows?
After a bit of a think on the subject, I came up with this: Perhaps $480.00 is a lot of dough to spend on a pair of flats, but if you work hard for your money and spending it on shoes makes you happy, why not go for it?
It’s like that Sex and the City episode where Samantha and Carrie drive to “The Valley” to get their hands on a cheap knockoff designer bag. It’s a good idea in theory, and it may fool your friends, but in the end, won’t you still be one that knows you bought a fake? I’d rather invest in something that is the real deal, because let’s face it, people around you may not know your shoes or your bag is a knockoff….but you will, and where’s the thrill in that?

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July 2020