The Cows that Shoes Bought

Manolo says, this is the most unusual article the Manolo has read all month.

“Passion becomes the first thing in both of my businesses, whether it’s a new collection I’m selling to Neiman-Marcus or talking to Ernie about a bull or selling semen,” Malkemus said Friday.

And that is perhaps the best fashion-related quote ever to appear in any article ever, anywhere!

And now you must see it in its context…

She’s a kept woman – a showgirl – living large on the East Coast thanks to the fortunes of Manolo Blahnik shoes.

It must be said she’s never worn a pair of the mile-high stilettos.

She’s a cow.

Vivian, a 9-year-old Holstein, makes her home at a showcase cattle farm begun in recent years by the two men who own Manolo Blahnik USA.

She took a blue ribbon Thursday at a dairy show here and visits Madison Oct. 2 to 6 for the World Dairy Expo, which bills itself as “the international meeting place for dairy.”

That a wildly successful shoe merchant – whose product was made famous thanks to TV’s “Sex and the City” – found a Midas touch in a different realm is simple, as he tells it.

Fifty-three-year-old George Malkemus, president and co-owner of Manolo Blahnik USA, said it’s about a passion, hiring the right people and listening to them.

Some of his top people are Wisconsin-bred experts who were reared on the state’s dairy farms and educated in its schools.

“Passion becomes the first thing in both of my businesses, whether it’s a new collection I’m selling to Neiman-Marcus or talking to Ernie about a bull or selling semen,” Malkemus said Friday.

The reference is to Ernie Kueffner, 56, who grew up on a dairy farm in Hartford, Wis., and earned a business degree from Marquette University in 1973.

He’s part of a brain trust that has led to successes that Malkemus’ Arethusa Farm, in Litchfield, Conn., has had in breeding and showing cattle.

One of Arethusa’s cows, Veronica, a Jersey, was supreme champion at the World Dairy Expo in 2006. She was the top in her breed there in 2005. She also was reserve supreme champion – or No. 2 overall – in 2004.

Champion show cows made from Manolo Blahnik shoes! Usually it is the other way around.

Truly we live in the age of miracles and wonders!

One Response to “The Cows that Shoes Bought”

  1. Phyllis October 11, 2007 at 7:31 pm #

    I wonder if he’s ever accidently picked up the wrong line and talked to Neiman Marcus about bull semen.