Debbie Shoes.jpg

#99 Debbie Millman, Design Matters

Debbie Millman,
Design Matters

When I was first living in Manhattan, I used to live around the corner from this awesome shoe store called ECCO. It’s no longer in existence. And I used to go there all the time just to sort of window shop, and fantasize, because they were expensive and I couldn't really afford much of anything. But one day they were having a sale, and I saw a pair of shoes that I just thought were the most elegant shoes I'd ever seen. They were flat black very, very, soft Italian leather. But they had a leather bow on them—well not really a bow, more of a leather tie—on them, and I fell madly in love with them. Madly in love with them.

Turned out that I was a size seven and a half—they had only one pair left in the entire store—one of the shoes was a seven and a half, and the other was a seven. But I bought them anyway, because they were the most beautiful shoes I’d ever seen. And so the next couple of years I wore them all the time, and one shoe was always too tight. But I still loved them more than anything ever and wore them to death. I mean, I literally had the soles repaired a few times. And then finally, it was just time to say goodbye, and I've never actually found another pair like it until I was in China a few weeks ago. We went to this little shop in China, my host and I, and I found a pair of shoes that were kind of similar—not quite, but almost—and of course I bought them. So, that was about 30 years ago that I found those shoes, and it took me 30 years to find them again.