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I have more hair on my body than your average bear, and my voice is several octaves deeper than the rest of the staff at R29, but I love women’s shoes. And, I always have. When I was a tot, my mom had a specific pair of red pumps (brand: unknown) — and I was completely infatuated with them. These shoes to me were like toy trucks to other boys. I have very clear memories of stepping my teensy little feet into them and parading around the house like I was on my own personal runway. (Yes, I also took a gold Christmas-tree skirt and tied it around my waist while doing so). While my parents always let me be whoever I wanted to be (hence my extensive Barbie collection), I knew deep down that I couldn’t wear heels my entire life if I wanted to fit in. And, that meant strapping on the Velcro sneakers like all the other little boys. At least these said kicks had cool Disney graphics.
As I grew through elementary school, my love of women’s fashion blossomed, too. And, this was during a time when I was probably “supposed” to be outside with the other boys kicking around a soccer ball. But, no. If I wasn’t onstage doing theater (that’s another story), I was sitting in my mom’s closet or my girl neighbor’s basement playing dress-up. And, while I certainly adored draping myself in dresses and pearls, it always boiled down to the footwear. Shoes were always my favorite part of the outfit. The right pair elevated my looks and made me feel instantly more glamorous — an epiphany in stiletto form.
Fast forward to my young-adult years. While I stopped trying on women’s shoes (feet kept growing), I began paying closer attention to real shoes on the market — often helping my high school friends and mom shop for them on special occasions. So, when I entered college, my goal was to figure out how to make a career out of shoes. Which brings me to my role here at R29. While I love writing about bags, dresses, jewelry, and more, it's still the shoe stories I get most excited about. And, this adoration is further intensified when I spotted shoe-designer-of-the-moment Gianvito Rossi. As my colleague Ellen puts it: "You’re obsessed and try to sneak Rossi into every single thing you write." Yeah, so what?
While many people have a thing for the red soles of Christian Louboutin or the chicness of Nicholas Kirkwood, Gianvito is my shoe god. Fanciful footwear is in his blood after all — his dad is Sergio Rossi. And, while the Milan-based designer launched his solo line back in 2006, it's his most recent collection that's fueled my obsession. One look at his work and you'll understand why. Understatedly sexy, each and every heel is cool and has just the right amount of quirk — without being too over-the-top. Which is something nobody else is doing right now — in my opinion, anyway.
There's only one problem I have with Rossi's line – I can't try them on like I used to my mom's red pumps (stupid size-11 man feet). So, for now, I’ll just have to settle for staring at them for hours on end.
And, if you want to look with me, click through to check out a few of my favorite pairs.