This Gucci Shoe Has Us Scratching Our Heads

Every now and then, I stumble across a very special piece that makes me stare at my screen for about 20 solid Mississippis, cock my head, stare some more, and then finally decide that said piece deserves a 400-word examination. This Gucci shoe is one of those pieces. Listen, I'm all for weird Gucci shoes. It's Gucci, for Chrissake...a name that has become synonymous with "good" (i.e., when you ask someone, "What's Gucci?" and they respond, "Everything's Gucci! What's Gucci with you?" — and then you go get sandwiches). The brand has always been on an impressive winning streak lately and is a true pioneer when it comes to bizarrely beautiful footwear. Gucci knows no bounds. For me, it can do no wrong! That is, until it went for an all-too-literal zebra shoe. Honestly, I had doubts when Gucci first released its furry loafers. The shoes were confusing! I wanted to like them, but they seemed impractical for the kind of person person just trying to make it through life (and the subway). But then, a lot of amazing people wore them in imaginative, creative outfits and I totally understood the allure. I get it, though I still wouldn't buy myself a pair — because, again, subway. But let's get back to the shoe at hand. Honestly, I like the heel itself — zebra print is replacing leopard spots in our closets and the Mary-Jane silhouette lends well to jeans and skirts. But I got lost when I saw the tail. First, an interlude: I think it's important to mention that the post-ironic fashion movement is my favorite thing happening right now. You know, when people can't quite tell whether or not your too-cool outfit is a joke. That being said, I can't confidently say that the tail-heel will take off, even with Gucci's prior success in the hairy-shoe game. Take away the Gucci name and you're confused. Add it back in and you're still confused. Maybe that's the whole point of this lil' guy? Gucci girls show up to garden weddings wearing librarian glasses and sequined prairie dresses. They don't care if the groom's grandmother can't figure them out. I am willing to concede that I am the grandma in this situation — if any brand is going to take a stab at a heel with a tail and make it the next cool-girl item, Gucci is sure as hell is the brand to do it. Think about it this way: if you wear 'em, you're almost guaranteed a, "What are thoooose?" Backed by a solid hairy-shoe résumé, the response "Gucci" will make the haters question their judgement. So whether or not I'm currently on-board, I'll let this kooky shoe marinate. Never, ever say never...the early 2000s are a testament to that. (Not to mention, compared to the loafer, this heel would make it through my commute without picking up a whole pie's worth of pizza crust. Score.)

Lesley Zebra Leather & Fur Pumps, $1,290, available at Saks Fifth Avenue.

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