Choo-ed Manolo Up and Spit him Out

Okay, so when I go on tour I make sure to visit my favorite stores in all the cities. The list isn't usually too long and I spend a lot of time (if I have any spare time at all), in my hotel room. I want to contrast two cities.
Let's flash back to Dallas. I had a minute in between booksignings so I high-tailed it over to Jimmy Choo in Highland Park Village. I can't remember what I had on, I think some brown pants with a matching military jacket, and I know I had some Manolos on my feet, not flashy ones, but the ones I travel in. The minute I walked into the store, all three people in three people looked up, including one woman I had not met before (her name was Omaira and she was quite the snazzy dresser). The other two, called out my name lovingly, "Nina". Of course they would, I'm a regular. (Check the archives). We exchanged chit chat about shoe trends, and then I noticed the absolutely fabulous lizard bags they were doing this year. Took my breath away. But a little pricey. (Hell, what did I expect, I was in Jimmy Choo).
Jim swept into the back as only Jim can do and came back with a few pairs of shoes that he insisted I had to get on my feet. I wasn't taken at first, but when I put them on, I gotta tell you, He was right on the mark each and every time. Those shoes made my ugly dogs look like Cinderella's feet after the Prince had given her a personal pedicure and sucked her toes until the last midnight gong had chimed. (Which ones? I loved Memphis with the sexy tassles and Jem with the coins, and the funky purple and green Kendal Sandals with the brooch on the front and the peekaboo toe.) We talked some more, they asked my about my new book and feigned over me appropriately. Anyway, I decided NOT to purchase anything this time, but they thanked me, cleaned up the shoes and I moved on. Being a woman on a shoe-diet I have to survey all my options before I make my summer purchase.
Fast Forward two weeks to New York. Last time I was in New York I had absolutely no time, so I made sure this time to make time to visit Manolo Blahnik. I had never been there before, heaving gone instead to Bergdorf's Shoe Salon. I was wearing very nice jeans with a cut cutaway top and a tiny buttery leather jacket, Manolos on my feet (again), and not my traveling ones, and I carried a Limited Edition Louis Vuitton denim Bag. The store is narrow and on a side street and you take a few steps down to enter. I had been gulping down water all day and had to pee so bad I was sure it was backing up into my eyeballs. Not a soul looked up as I walked in or even said hello. I was two feet away from one sales rep that was helping another woman and she didn't even give me so much as a "Hello," or "Ill be with you in a minute." I walked to the back of the store and asked if I could use the restroom. The sales person looked annoyed, and then acquiesced. Yes, she could take me down on the elevator, but someone else would have to bring me back.
Well, I took care of what I needed to, then came back up to look at the shoes. Again, no one asked if I needed help. Finally, I picked up a pair of shoes and guess what, someone shot up behind me so quick it was like they thought I might run out the door with the sample sized shoe that was obviously too small for my foot. "Can I help you?"
Finally. "Yes, I'll see these, those and those."
She paused.
"Have you ever worn our shoes before?"
My escort was being incognito, but even he choked.
I heard that screeching sound in my head.
I looked down, then pointed down at my feet. "These," I said. "Are yours."
The woman coughed and basically said, "Hubba, Hubba Hubba....I haven't seen those before."
"I bought them in Dallas." I told her my size and my fuming turned to boiling.
Would she have asked the same question if my skin wasn't so butterscotch or my hair flaxen and silky?
I'm not one to make everything racial, but....
Well, I proceeded to try on many pairs of shoes, expensive ones, boots. Then I asked her if she shipped.
You should have seen that woman's face light up. I glanced at my watch (should have been another clue, the one I was wearing was not a fake).
I sighed heavily, surveyed the shoe-mayhem I had created around me. I threw my driver a wink and then said, "Let me think about it." I walked out and left every shoe I had touched mis-matched and unboxed.
Move over Manolo, you are off my list. You have forfeited the second place on my favorite shoe list to Mr. Guiseppe Zanotti. And I'm going to order me some Jimmy Choo's.


Anonymous said…
Well, at least they let you in the store (maybe Oprah paved the way for you)....

Anyway, nice move. Usually class trumps race in the high end, but in NYC there is a lot of class. In Big D (land of the $35K millionaire), the high end knows who is legit and who is fronting. Sorry you had to do it, but when I bought my Patek Philippe a few years back, I got a similar vibe at a store in NYC. When I flew to Chicago the next day, they were loving brothas with a little money and the 4-figure watch somehow felt a a lot better in Chi-town.
Anonymous said…
But should we boycott a designer because sales people (way down the chain away from the designer) don't know what "customer service" is? I think a nice letter would be one management would gladly like to read. They can't be everywhere, and critic everything. However, if we let them know about it, change may come about. Remember Denny's. Now if you don't hear back from them or they blow you off...blow them off and tell the world.
CydneyR said…
Ughhh, good for you Nina. I don't like those snobbish sales clerks who probably have less money in the bank than you do. They should just provide service and not size you up based on appearance or skin color...
CydneyR said…
Anonymous, speaking of Denny's, I NEVER EVER went back to that establishment. Not since 1993 or 1994; Never again. Plus their food wasn't that edible anyway.

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