"No, I am not a collecor." So begins a 2,000 word essay in today's Telegraph by Tamasin Day-Lewis (sister of actor Daniel), a British TV chef with an obsession: Manolo Blahniks. For the past 35 years, she has not purchased any other kind of shoe. Her first pair were bright purple wedges, she recalls. "I have no idea how I found the money - my allowance was small and I was not yet at university - but it must have been scraped together from payment for a modelling job. Though I do remember Manolo appearing at the top of the stairs and offering me a generous discount." Ah, yes. A discount. Of course! Day-Lewis continued to buy Manolos — boots, which she climbed a mountain in; snakeskin heels under her wedding dress; black silk lace-ups that prompted a man to cross a room at a party, kneel at her feet and ask to kiss them. She wore pink peep-toe kitten heels when she was pregnant. Shopping at Manolo Blahnik is a ritual. "I can never really afford them, but, I tell myself, I can't afford not to have them," she claims.
In fact, she insists, "I often end up buying a pair when I am most broke, for after the initial guilt comes renewed optimism and the satisfying, if scrambled, logic that they are an investment, that they will give you pleasure, the next best thing to happiness." Now she's got her daughter hooked on the brand. We're not one to judge (we love bags), and on one hand it's great when you find something that works for you. Listen. It's a (relatively) free country, with paved roads and perilous sidewalks. Feet must be shod. Apparently you're getting good quality for your money. But when you're collecting shoes that cost anywhere from $500 to $1700 per pair, the only question we can think of is what the fuck?