The New York SHOE POST!


Time out from food/flower posts for something I know at least a few of you were just hoping I would feature… a little (?!) New York City shoe splurge! I have to admit I was rather surprised by the number of shoe enthusiasts/fetishists among readers following my Florence shoe splurge post last year. I even got private emails asking me to photograph Mrs. MM’s and The Kid’s shoes from the same shop and post them which I never got around to doing! I did so well last year buying nearly every color of driving shoe in Italy that I really couldn’t in good conscience look at a casual shoe for myself on this entire trip to New York (that doesn’t count sneakers though, which I have had great difficulty buying an 11 and ½ size in Manila, so I stocked up on those). So luckily for Marketmanila’s female readers, this post is about women’s shoes… You never know when serendipity will strike shoewise, so you just have to be open to the possibilities… A trip to the Johnny Sea Cargo office to get cardboard boxes, and a stop around the corner at Elvie’s turo-turo (post in the days ahead) led to browsing at a store window that had interesting designer items featured. A quick trip into the store unearthed a potential treasure trove of goodies…

Lined up along the walls open shelves with boxes and boxes of name brand shoes, arranged by size. Turns out this store purchases closeout sales and on this given day, a shoe2LOT of the shoes appeared to have come from the previous 1-3 seasons of shoes from the department store BERGDORF GOODMAN! Yikes, talk about potential JACKPOT! If I died and were ever reincarnated as a salesman, I would want to be assigned to BERGDORF GOODMAN, really. Oh, but then again, maybe LA GRANDE EPICERIE in PARIS would be nice too…but I digress. A quick glance yielded some familiar names, even for me – Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Prada, among dozens of names I have never even heard of! Frankly, this was credit card burnout material, if you ask me… So while the “girls” were browsing, I headed over to the men’s clothing racks and was shocked to see David Cenci, Malo, Zegna, private label Bergdorf Goodman linen shirts, jackets, vests, etc., all at 60-80% off their original prices! At any rate, Mrs. MM had trouble finding stuff in her size at first, but there is just something about shoe shopping that once the “tipping point” is breached, it seems shoe after shoe after shoe looks appealing… And I have to warn you, this is the Imelda shoe ukay-ukay equivalent. No certainty here, no gurarantee you will find something you like. There was a lot of crap. But hidden gems were of course awaiting a post on Marketmanila… heehee. Thankfully, the total shoe count at this store was just 5 pairs, despite the 70+% discounts, it was still a substantial bill…

From left to right, Mrs. Marketman found this very smart looking pair of Silvia Fiorentina pumps in a light tan with an off white stitching on it. Very dignified, if you ask me. shoe3She needed some “you take me seriously, now…” shoes and this fit the bill. Original price $280 marked down to $125 and we bargained it down to $90 or so. Yes, tawad allowed at this store if you are bulk buyers… :) Saved 70% there, not counting 8+% tax on shoes over $110 bucks. Next find, a pair of suede half boots(?) in black with a contrasting light blue stitch. Perfect for travel in the spring or fall, these sleek shoes were from Lambertson Truex, originally $365, marked down to $150 and bargained down to $120, saved 70% again… The third find is a pair of sandals in dark brown leather from Proenza Schouler, originally prized at a whopping $445, marked down to $150, and bargained down even further, saved close to 80% there.

The Kid, whose feet are now a full size larger than Mrs. MM, was totally amazed by the choices, but they were kinda “old” for her, if you know what I mean. She got a kick trying on high heels but as I said to her, until you can carry them like you mean it, shoe4you can’t buy them… so, what does she end up with? This pair of really cool sandals with naturally died red leather straps. Turns out they are a stunning pair from Robert Clergerie, originally priced at $340 but we got them for over 75% off that. Finally, Mrs. Marketman got a fourth pair, the utter buy of the day, a beautiful pair of dark or chocolate brown Christian Louboutin pumps with a long strap that wind around one’s ankles. With the classic bright red soles, these shoes are legendary among those for whom these matters matter. This pair was originally marked at $725 (gosh, even I agree that is utterly unconscionable) and we got it for over 75% off that. Oh, and did I mention, they have handbags as well? Also at 50-75% off. And I didn’t do too badly either. Two summery linen shirts, one from Ermenegildo Zegna and another the house label of Bergdorf Goodman, both in THE light green color of the season, for 75% off original prices. The store? GABAY’S at 225 First Avenue, NY NY 10003. Between 13th and 14th Streets, (212) 254-3180. It’s hit or miss, but that day, let’s just say it was a MAJOR NUCLEAR HIT!

About a week later, we also hit a private sale of a shoe line called Delman. Let me explain this. My sister, who lives in New York, gets notices of when all the sample, warehouse, end of season sales occur. This is an organized business and people who are on shoe5their mailing lists get postcards announcing what amounts to New York City’s best insider sales. If you know someone in New York, make sure they let you know when the sales are… I had never heard of Delman but it seems to be a major supplier to some of the snootier department stores. This sale, held in a mid-town showspace, had HUNDREDS, if not THOUSANDS of brand new pairs of shoes, market down 60-80% on the last day of the sale (surreptitiously taken photo here of the sale area). The Kid went a little wild here. She is becoming a real shopper and there is something both scary and amusing about watching her “attack” the rows upon rows of shoes in boxes stacked on the floor. I just sat on the sidelines watching her view, try, pick, test, walk in dozens of different pairs of shoes. The price points here started at $30 and up and this was more her comfort zone (not to mention Dad’s!). She ended up with several pairs from sandals to flats to more formal shoes. She had been eyeing heels all throughout the trip, so when she spotted a sample shoe marked down 90% and which had a one or 1.5 inch heel, she had this look like, “pleaasssse.” Go figure. At least she carries them well. Never buy at full retail in New York. And when your own “princess” starts shopping at the same shoe stores as her mother, kiss your retirement nest egg goodbye. :)


27 Responses

  1. Hey MM! Fantastic post! Thanks for sharing your family’s love of shoes as much as you love food and travel. Your finds are all worth it. They are all beautiful pieces. Who doesn’t love shoes? I think every Filipino has Imelda Marcos blood in them, at least when it comes to shoes. I already wrote down these leads and the next time I’m in NYC I will definitely visit these places. Oh boy, I can’t wait to check out an “affordable” Christian Louboutin in that place. Mrs M’s CL is such a steal, I’m so jealous! This article is giving me such an adrenalin rush. Never heard of this places, and thanks to you, I now have a new shopping place to go!

  2. This post had me at shoes. I took down all the names of the places you mentioned because even though I will not be going to New York in the near future, I have a best friend who lives there and, well, you fill in the blanks :)

  3. Hi MM! First time to comment, long time lurker. About the Delman shoes? The label is legendary even Hollywood covets these pairs. Its famous for those ballet type of shoes with the cap toe design that Coco Chanel did and got known more for it. These were worn by Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face, Sabrina et al. Very comfy, chic and classic American style. And you write very well too, extremely entertaining.

  4. 8am having tea having a good laugh on this post. At theboat I could not bring many pairs of shoes i love due to space.. basically my day to day are my birkenstocks…. until one day a friend offered to buy me pair (oh oh) I explained I do have a love affair for shoes but if you have a tiny cabin and smaller storage for shoes…but I just enjoy unpacking my boss shoe collection

  5. hello MM…I’m totally impressed with your taste in your shoes and Mrs MM and Kid obviously have good taste as well. I love shoes too but I’m totally real simple: just flats! flats! flats! And I do go for outlets. Having had a major surgery and rehab, prosthetic fittings, eventually in quaint new hampshire and jersey, my prosthetic foot could only bear to wear flats, rubber soled shoes/flat leather..aerosoles, camper, rockport.. I had to ditch a few good brands with little heels on them. I did check out some good ‘ol nice leather shoes of unknown but very very good quality when we did Italy/firenze a couple of years back but got hooked on bags instead…totally envy mrs mm r. clergerie shoes! until i change my prosthetics to accommodate heeled shoes, i’m set on bags, and books, and kitchen gadgets for the meantime! Your post was a fun read!

  6. This post reminds me of my Paris trip but instead of hoarding shoes, I did so on bags. When customs opened my luggage, they asked if I was selling those bags and they got a good laugh when I said that no way was I going to part with any of those after having wrestled with the sale hungry Parisians for the 70% off items on those mad, humid sale days.

    Thanks for this post!

  7. Congratulations on this milestone, MM. There’s no more turning back after getting your daughter’s first pair of heels. :-)

  8. Hi MM,

    A shoe enthusiast/fetishist is called a “bootist” :) One is a bootist if he/she: (1) forgets people’s names but remember their shoes, (2) has more than 10 pairs of black shoes, (3) often uses the words “love” and “shoes” in the same sentence, (4) has a system for displaying shoes in his/her closet, (5) on the way to the grocery, has at times ended up at the shoe store, (6) believes that shoes are the most important part of completing an outfit, (7) has a standing pedicure appointment, (8) knows the next season’s shoe trends before they hit the stores, (9) people who know them have expressed concern about their “bootism”, and (10) often day dreams about shoes :)

  9. OMG! this post is just pure wish-i-was-there temptation! i love shoes, but i love bags even more…do you have any photos of your bag finds?

  10. Show me a Filipino woman who says she does not love shoes and I’ll show you a liar!
    Even my 5 years old goes gaga over shoes!
    Here we have sales every June and November of designer shoes as well.
    My husband dreads these sales because we have a 22 year old daughter as well.
    Just last week we had one of these shoe sales and by the time we finished,our car boot was filled to the brim with shoes,seriously!
    My husband has given up on us after all what can 1 male do against 3 determined shoe addict women????

  11. I ended up smiling at this post. I too have a daughter and it just amazes me that they seem to grow so fast. I can’t help but feel a little bonding in this post with the ‘daughter’ post as I am looking forward to those days when I will probably end up shopping for shoes with my daughter in the same size or probably smaller than her’s. =)

  12. well MM, what can i say about this post?!!! its “shoe heaven” for me even if i am just reading. thanks for posting. i love shoes!!! i’m beginning to scrap my plans of going to Los Angeles and instead go to New York na lang this coming August because of your postings… you are a bad (good!) influence…hehehe….

  13. Heehee. I knew there were a bunch of shoe fanatics out there. Chinachix, sorry, I didn’t photograph the bag section which was smaller than the shoe section but they had some nice ones as well, about 50% off.

  14. Hey MM, does Mrs MM and the Kid have a closet just for shoes? I LOVE shoes too and am thinking ot having a closet made just for my shoes. :)

  15. Funny, that this post got such an enthusiastic response. All Filipinos have an extra SHOE gene, not just Imelda. NYC is shoe shopping heaven next to Paris during their summer and winter sales. I’m off to Paris on the 27th scheduled to hit the first day of the summer sales, how embarrassing is that.
    Anyway, FYI “Mrs. Delman” is your favorite pastry chef Maida Heatter.

  16. Thanks MM for this article. I’ll definitely go to that store next time I’m in NY. What can I say…I’m a Filipina and I love shoes!

  17. drool… drool… drool some more… hehehe! luv the Silvia Fiorentina light tan pumps

  18. Wow! As a woman who loooves shoes, I can identify. Yup, I definitely have the Imelda gene. Speaking of the lady, I once saw her at Market Market back in 2004 with a full entourage of body guards, yayas and hangers on. People were taking her picture with their camera phones, and she gamely obliged. And- I can not believe I did this- I went up to her, shook her hand and said, “Madam, my name is _______ from Naga City, and I love your dress!” She smiled at me and said, “Why thank you iha, I love it too.” I am lame, lame, lame!

  19. Hello! I’ve found your website while searching the net for Loubutin’s around the world. I live in Doha – Qatar, but i’m brazilian, and my husband is a Qatar Airways pilot. He’ll go to Manila next week, and i’ll really apreciate if you could give us some advice on where to get designers stuff over there. Also i’d like to know the directions to paradise (that place where you’ve found those shoes with 75% discount!!!). Is in NYC??? Sorry, i didn’t understand clearly where it is….
    Pleeeeeeeeeeease, share with us the discover of the century!!!!
    Thank you and congrats for your blog!!!

  20. Flavia, yes this post is about a New York City shoe store, called GABAY’s on first avenue, the address is in the post above. There are several luxury goods stores in Manila, but I don’t think Christian Loboutin is one of them, and luxury goods in Manila are quite expensive at the moment…

  21. Oo nga naman, does your family have a shoe closet? Or a shoe room? How about pictures of your shoe room? :)



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