By Claudine Zap
Forget about the power suit. For a bunch of young politicos, it's all about the power shoe. When Reshma Saujani, a candidate running in the New York Democratic primary, admitted to wearing a Kate Spade wedge to pound the pavement, the news inspired a stampede of searches.
The three-inch, round-toe, black-patent wedge called the "Halle," has become the "it" shoe for a circle of female political types, according to a story in the New York Times. Word of the must-have item caused a run on the shoes on Yahoo!: One-day lookups for "kate spade halle" spiked 625%. Shoe lovers voted with their feet with searches on "Kate spade wedges," "kate spade wedge shoes," and "kate spade halle wedge."
Think of these kicks as pantsuits for the feet: They're practical, they wear well, and they look good. With apologies to the "Sex and the City" clan, you cannot barnstorm in Blahniks.
The wedges have a following on the Web as well. The online shoe store Zappos features one happy customer's comments: "For the heel height it's really comfortable." Over on competitor Piperlime, the best-selling shoe is a "Rachel Zoe pick," who explains: "It's a nice alternative to a pump. And a comfy way to look chic." If you're looking to snap up a pair, you may be out of luck. There have been a run on the shoes since word of the gal pols' best-kept shoe secret got out. Talk about retail politics.
Of course, other public figures have had a focus on their footwear, for better or worse.
Shamed former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, is definitely guilty on one front: His expensive taste in shoes. Documents recently surfaced that showed the showman purchased, along with pricey ties and handmade suits, stacks of shoes from Allen Edmonds for $1,200.
Sarah Palin's introduction back in 2008 as the Republican candidate for vice president led to a run on the Alaska governor's glasses, her hairdo, and yes, those maverick fire-engine red, peep-toe, Naughty Monkey pumps. The heels were described as a shoo-in for clubbing, and New York Magazine pointed out that Paris Hilton was also a fan of the footwear.
First Lady Michelle Obama may have mis-stepped when she showed up at a soup kitchen in sneakers that retailed for $540. (Insert Marie Antoinette analogy now.) The French-designed Lanvin athletic shoes looked like a very upscale version of the Converse low-top: Except instead of canvas, the shoe was made of suede with a pink metallic toe and laced with grosgrain ribbon. No doubt about it, FLOTUS is an uncompromising fashionista from head to toe.
The same cannot be said for her counterpart. The president throws opening pitches in "mom jeans," and shoots hoops in old-school Nikes. The focus is decidedly off of his feet. And the commander-in-chief would undoubtedly agree: That's a good thing.