Friday, November 16, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: Unfortunately More than Shoes Were Destroyed

This was the view from my stoop in  coastal Staten Island the morning after the storm

When I post by last blog entry at 7:49pm on Monday, October 29, I had no idea how things were about to change in a span of about 15 minutes. At just past 8pm I was called to the door by a family member. The street I had walked up and down so many times had turned into a angry river with 10ft of water that gradually increased. I stood on my stoop in disbelief as the car I has driven only hours earlier was snatched from me. First, the lights went on, then the trunk opened, finally the car spun around and started traveling down the river that invaded my block. My basement soon began to fill with water stopping inches from filling the first floor. As the initial disbelief wore off, the journalist in me grabbed my camera and sought to document the wrath of mother nature.

In the wake of the storm Internet and power outages prevented me from sharing these pictures on my blog. I managed to, in brief moments of cell phone signal, get a few pictures out on Facebook and Twitter. I also needed time to adjust to reality of life after the storm, a basement in desperate need of cleaning and drastically increased commuting times. Yet, all along I planned on sharing my experiences among the devastation that affected thousands along the east coast and beyond.

But first, my heart goes out to all those affected. In the wake of the devastation, houses completely destroyed and lives lost, I know I am one of the fortunate ones. While my family lost cars and possessions and our home was damaged, we remained safe and together. Our house still stands and luckily only the basement flooded.

I am also very thankful for the help and support of those around me, including strangers who volunteered their time and donated supplies to help my family in the recovery effort. While Staten Island is often the forgotten borough, starting a few days after the storm the outpouring of support has been astonishing.

The recovery efforts continue to this day, over 2 weeks after Sandy hit. In some ways I wonder if this area will ever be the same. Yet progress has been made and I would like to share how the storm affected us through pictures.

Since this is a shoe blog, I would be amiss if I didn't mention how my shoe collection faired.   Luckily, the shoes I most commonly wear were on the second floor and away from the water. However, I did have shoes I wore less frequently or was planning on donating that were destroyed. Unfortunately, that is one damage I did not photo document. 

My sneakers have been a symbol of the damage to my area. When faced with the water and dirt in my basement and the mud and debris on the streets I decided to only wear my old sneakers. While they lack the cushioning and support of my new sneakers, they have gotten so dirty I will happily throw them away when the cleaning is done.

On the left you see my sneakers before the storm. The right hand side shows the dirt and mud.

Unfortunately more than just sneakers or shoes were destroyed. These before and after pictures show my block during the afternoon of Monday October 29 and the after pictures are either from that night or the next morning. The before pictures show the results of some wind damage but nothing like the damage that was about to come. 

My car before and after it was spun around and floated down the street. Also note the cars on top of each other across the street. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: Please Stay Safe and Wear Appropriate Shoes

Through the Sole wishes everyone the best during Hurricane Sandy and that everyone is safe and sound. 

Hurricane Sandy starts to affect Midland Beach, SI, NY. Taken this afternoon.

This post is intended to share my experience through the lens of shoes as I have done with other less shoe related events, such as Election Day and the controversy over Susan G. Komen and Planned Parenthood.

So, what shoes are the best to during the storm? 

Given the dangerous conditions outside the best answer is what ever shoes will be comfortable for staying in (if you need to work, use judgement in deciding what to wear). 

I live in coastal Staten Island, NY close to our beaches. Earlier when winds and rain were calmer and it was more safe, I ventured out to see what it was like. I wore tall rubber rain boots. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Going Nude: Flesh-toned Flats and High Heels

I've seen nude pumps all over fashion magazines and blogs, but never actually bought them. With being away at college with tons of hilly walking, they seemed unpractical. Plus, many styles seemed too plain. Now that I am working and back in New York City, I found flesh-toned shoes are my most valuable shoe. They go with everything, make your legs look amazing, and don't have to be so plain or so tall.

I recent purchased nude Bandolino flats with a buckle from Famous Footwear for about $40.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Shoe History: The Birth and History of the Stiletto

Stilettos with the amazing tall and thin heel are synonymous with sexiness and femininity, but when was this famous shoe invented?

Ancient Greeks may have worn sandals according to History of Sandals and in the 16th and 17th centuries chopine, very high and difficult to walk in platforms, were fashionable, according to All About Shoes.

It wasn't until after World War II that the stiletto became all the rage. After the war, women left their jobs and returned to domestic life. As this shift occurred, heels became higher, according to Hilary Greenbaum and Dana Rubinstein of the New York Times.

The exact inventor of the stiletto is unknown. While Ferragamo, Roger Vivier and Perugia have all been credited with invention, the shoe was most likely designed by a mix of Italian shoemakers, potentially with French designers involved.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Truth or Dare: Madonna to Launch a Shoe Line This Summer

The Material Girl shows off her fashion and shoe sense.
Some of the shoes from Madonna's upcoming Truth or Dare shoe line. 

The Material Girl is joining the ranks of celebrities, like Jessica Simpson, Fergie and Rachel Bilson, by launching a shoe line, Truth or Dare by Madonna. The line includes pumps, heels, flats, and boots, almost all black in color with embellishments like lace, cap toes, and studs. The line will include styles Madonna is famous for, like over-the-knee boots.

Retailing from $89-$349, the line is aimed at woman aged 27 to 5o who are timeless but have sex appeal, according to the press release as posted on all about Madonna. The line will include over 60 different styles, according to the Huffington Post.

Madonna will make some contribution to the design of her line. The creative consultant behind the line is Arianne Phillips, who worked on Madonna’s film W.E. and is a longtime fashion collaborator of Madonna, according to Glamour.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Shoes for a Cause: Using Recycled Materials to Make Shoes for the Homeless in Detroit

Shoes are often thought of as frivolous, but serve an essential function- protection from the elements.

Students in Stephen Schock’s, a professor of industrial design at the College for Creative Studies, class are using recycled materials and creativity to serve the needs of the many homeless people in Detroit. These shoes are serving a critical need as there are not enough warm shoes available, leading the homeless to be at high risk for frostbite and amputation, according to Jennifer Conlin of the New York Times.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Royal Fashion: Kate Middleton Judges a Shoe Design Contest

An ABC News video on the contest.

The six students from De Montfort University show their designs.

Fashion icon, Princess Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge is known for her classic shoe choices. In nod to her taste, she was chosen to judge a contest of shoes designed by students in the footwear design course at De Montfort University in Leicester. The shoe Kate picked were custom made for her.

The contest is part of a tour of the UK by Queen Elizabeth for her 60th anniversary of ascending to the throne, according to Simon Perry of People.

The six students were chosen by a lecturer out of more than 100 applicants. Each designer had different inspirations, according to Lauren Paxman of the Daily Mail.

Tabitha Duffield designed feminine nude and pink heels including laser cut flowers and fringe. Kate is known for wearing nude pumps, especially in the summer

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Is High Style Worth Low Prices? The Drawbacks of Designer Discount Lines at Stores Like Target, H&M

A clip from CNBC's Luxury Boom explaining why you won't find Manolo Blahnik shoes at H&M.

Crowds lined up today to get their hands on Marni’s collection for H&M. Within an hour, some racks and even mannequins were empty, according to The LA Times.

Marni is the latest in a long line of designers in the past few years to make lines for a fraction of their regular prices for stores like Target and H&M. The trend is considered by many to have started with Isaac Mizrahi’s line for Target. Since then, designers such as Versace, Jason Wu, Missoni and more have made collections. Shoe designers, such as Dolce Vita and Miss Trish of Capri have also made collections.

Crowds for Marni at H&M 

Yet, some designer brands, notably Manolo Blahnik will not be showing up on mass retailer shelves any time soon.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Pin It! Through the Sole is Now on Pinterest

Pinterest is becoming a popular way to share your pictures and likes. It is quickly becoming a new way to pass time in the world of social media.

Through the Sole is now on Pinterest with two boards. The first, Through the Sole: A Shoe Blog, shares pictures from this blog, including recent posts and highlights from the past.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Update: Decorating with Shoes: Shoe Art and Motifs

The Scotch black pump tape dispenser

While I love buying shoes, sometimes working shoes and shoe motifs into other everyday objects is a fun way to show off my personality and interests. In December, I discussed using shoe motifs to decorate, including a red shoe tape dispenser.  Now, I just received a black pump tape dispenser as a gift and had to share.

Friday, February 24, 2012

New Nike Flyknit Sneakers: More Sock than Shoe

Continuing with the recent sneaker theme on Through the Sole, Nike has just released information on a new line of knit sneakers, which are unlike any shoes currently on the market.

The new sneaker line, the Nike Flyknit, is designed to be feather light, formfitting, and almost seamless.

The shoe was designed with runners in mind. Nike sought to completely re-imagine the sneaker and, with feedback from runners, came to the idea that the new shoe should be more like a sock, according to Nike.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Shoe Review: Nike Running Sneakers

My recent sneaker purchase, the Nike Zoom Vomero +5

Sneakers have been a recent theme on Through the Sole, as I recently wrote about the Nike sneakers Knicks’ point guard Jeremy Lin wears (he’s sponsored by the brand), and should New Balance shoes support Susan G. Komen for the Cure after the recent Planned Parenthood controversy. Since I recently went sneaker shopping, I want to share my pick and some sneaker shopping hints.

I purchased the Nike Zoom Vomero +5 in the Nike Outlet for around $50, a nice discount from the original list of $130.  These sneakers are designed to replace my Nike Zoom Vomero +3 which are very comfortable and supportive and have lasted for 2 and a half years, quite a long time for someone who is hard on their sneakers like me.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Comfort and Style: The Success of New Designs by Crocs

An ad for Crocs new designs, showing their comfort and style.

One of my biggest goals when shopping is to find comfortable and stylish shoes. I want to be fashionable but don’t want foot pain by the end of the day. Also, living in New York where rain is fairly common, I strive to have waterproof shoes. While rain boots do the trick, they look silly when it’s sunny and can be warm and inappropriate for some occasions.

Crocs has moved in and tried to fill this niche with expanding its line to include more style conscious but still comfy and usually waterproof shoes. The expansion has been profitable.

The brand was created in 2002 by three boating enthusiasts who wanted a lightweight material that was waterproof and slip-resistant. After a few years of profitability, in 2008, profits began to fall, partially because people disliked the look. For example, there is a Facebook group “I don’t care how comfortable Crocs are, you look like a dumb***”, and a website dedicated to their elimination.

However, starting in 2010, profits began to rise again, according to Andrew Adam Newman of the NY Times. It is projected the company will make over $1 billion in 2011. Only 45% of that profit comes from the traditional model, showing the success of Crocs expansions.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Linsanity: The Sneakers Knicks Basketball Star Jeremy Lin Wears

Knicks’s point guard Jeremy Lin has skyrocketed to international attention. Now people want to know more about the previously unknown Ivy League graduate. Of course, I wanted to know more about his shoes of choice.

According to a recently released Nike video, Lin’s favorite sneakers for hanging out are the Nike Airforce 1. You can purchase your own pair for $59.98 at Finish Line.  His favorite basketball sneakers are the now discontinued Nike Shox BB4. Lin is currently sponsored by Nike.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday Through the Sole!

Through the Sole was started on February 8, 2010, after its second year, I wanted to look back at the highlights. I have written about a wide array of topic, from the economy to shoes made of cheese.

This year, the number of readers of Through the Sole has greatly increased, spiking during the late April and early May posts about the shoes of the Royal Wedding. Through the Sole was one of the first sites to show pictures of Kate Middleton’s wedding shoes. Seeing my readers’ interest in the Princess of Wales, I continue to produce related content, such as Kate’s other shoe choices, the shoe choices of guests, such as Victoria Beckham, the shoe choices of other royal brides, and even her sister, Pippa’s shoe choices.

The shoes of celebrities have been a big draw to Through the Sole, with Lady Gaga’s shoes also being a popular read.

In the past year, I have expanded my review of shoes, focusing on being budget-friendly while still providing comfort and style. Thus, I have reviewed lines for Target and shoes from Lands End. I have also shared my finds from discounters, like T.J. Maxx and outlet stores.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Controversial Shoes: The Susan G. Komen Off and On Funding of Planned Parenthood

Sneaker by New Balance that helps to fund raise for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation

Shoes can be used to support a cause or charity, but you want to make sure that the money is going to a worthy organization.

Recently Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, which is the nation's premier breast-cancer advocacy group, came under fire when it decided to stop sending funds to Planned Parenthood because it was under Congressional investigation, a violation of rules Komen recently enacted. The decision was overturned yesterday, but the legacy of outrage and controversy remains.

Planned Parenthood provides a broad range of health services, including abortion, to women who often would not be able to pay for the services. The funding was to be used for cancer screenings, according to the NY Times and The Washington Post.

Many shoe companies and stores have partnered with Komen to raise money for breast cancer. Sneaker brand, New Balance, has partnered with Komen since 1989. They have guaranteed a minimum donation of $500,000 a year through this year. Other previous partners include Payless Shoes, which in September and October of 2011 rose over $4 million through special earrings. Hunter Boots , The Brown Shoe Company, and have also partnered with Komen to raise funds.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Can Shoe Color be Trademarked? The Signature Christian Louboutin Red Sole

Christian Louboutin shoes are known around the world for their signature scarlet red soles. They've been seen on celebrities, such as Victoria Beckham at the Royal Wedding, and on popular TV shows, like Sex and the City. However, can one company monopolize this popular color?

I’ve discussed a proposed law to copyright fashion designs, but can color be seen as distinct? 

 Christian Louboutin and Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) have been locked in a legal battle since April 2011 over the use of the color red, specifically on the soles on shoes. Louboutin has been using red soles since 1992 when the designer saw an assistant painting her nails red, according to the Telegraph. In its 2011 resort collection, YSL included four shoes that were completely red, including the sole. However, the exact shade of red is different from that which Louboutin uses, according to the Telegraph. When Louboutin saw the shoes, he sued alleging that the shoes were virtually identical. Louboutin sought an injunction on the sale of the shoes and damages of at least $1 million.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The High Heel Index: Does Heel Height Predict the Economy?

We’ve talked about how Michelle Obama fashion choices can influence stock prices, but are high heel heights correlated to the well-being of the economy?

Researchers at I.B.M. used social media to determine that high heel heights are dropping. In fact, the median high of heels mentioned in 2009 was seven inches and fell to two inches in 2011. I.B.M. believes this information suggests that the economy may begin to come back, according to Eric Wilson at the NY Times.