The Manolo, he pulls our chain

This letter opens his weekly column for Express Night Out:

Dear Manolo,

I’m a small town girl with big time dreams, who has just been given the job of a lifetime. The next eight weeks will be super demanding and I’ll be in the limelight a lot. All of my friends say I have a sort of “sexy librarian” vibe. What would you recommend to make me seem a little more sophisticated and polished?


Har. But his answer is priceless:

[O]n the one of the hands, you wish to give yourself the making over so as to seem more fashionable, while on the other of the hands you do not want to lose that refreshing American naturalness which others recognize as the heart of your charm.

In the other words, how to be more Catherine Deneuve without sinking your Molly Brown.
Karolina by Kate Spade

How to pull off this transformation? The Manolo recommends Karolina by Kate Spade, a classic black-patent pump (you can also get it in grey or black satin) with a lowish throat and a 3½-inch heel. At $259, you might not want to wear these while field-dressing moose, but once in a while, the all-American girl ought to try on some Italian shoes.


  1. Tatyana »

    6 September 2008 · 7:38 pm

    Well, Kate Spade is not Italian, nor are her shoes and handbags. And she, herself, is both – all-American girl from Kansas and celebrated talent of the international fashion world…perfect fit.

  2. CGHill »

    6 September 2008 · 7:41 pm

    If the Zappos blurb is to be believed, these are manufactured for Kate Spade in Italy, but point readily conceded.

  3. Tatyana »

    7 September 2008 · 1:12 pm

    If they were manufactured in China (as majority of fashion product now is), would you call them Chinese shoes?

    It’s the thought that counts. If the designer, the patternmaker, the operational specifier is an American – these are American shoes.

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