Manolo says, while the Manolo was away from his computer enjoying his Friday night, many of the Manolo’s internet friends were debating what the Manolo meant by his terse reply to the question about the Manolo Blahnik sandals.
Some peoples have interpreted the simple “no” as the rude and condescending rebuke to the questioner. Some have compared it to the reply of the zen master.
In the fact, it was the direct, if somewhat brusque admission that it would be impossible for the humble shoeblogger to find the shoe for any price that closely approximated the color, shape, and detail of these magnificent and unusual Blahnik sandals, much less for under $100 of the American dollars.
The Manolo is only the simple man who loves the shoes, not the magician.
Why, you may ask, can the Manolo not find the bargain basement knockoff of these shoes?
The reasons are legion. First, the teal-turquoise color of the Blahniks is unusual.
Currently, by the Manolo’s count, there are 227 “blue” high-heeled sandals at the Zappos. Now, please go look at these 227 shoes and note how many of them are close in color to this Blahnik teal.
How many did you find? One dozen?
Here is the closest match in terms of the color.
On the right is the Constance by Nine West, the shoe that costs the mere $63.
Yes, it appears to be the same color as the Blahnik, but this is only because of the infidelity of reproduction of the computer display. The Manolo guarantees that if this shoe were put next to the teal Blahnik in real life, you would be ashamed to have thought it was the same color.
It is made of some synthentic man-made plastic, and so how could it possibly have the richness and depth of color achieved only in the finest of satins?
However, even if we do find the color match, we must then address the braiding of the back strap. This detail is not just pretty, but it is also very rare.
There are approximately 7,200 high heeled dress sandals in the inventory at the Zappos. The Manolo has not looked at all of them, but he can tell you that in the 2,000 he has looked at there is no braided back strap.
Combine the teal color with the braided back strap, two details which the Manolo’s internet friend particularly praised, and you see that it is impossible to find something similar for any price.
In truth, truly beautiful shoes are inimitable.
It is not just the color, or the materials, or even the individual details, but the totality that produces this beauty. And this is ultimately what justifies the high price.
Look again at the Manolo’s discussion of the Prada which seemed to imitate the Louboutin
Even the untrained eye can clearly see how the Prada looks common next to the exalted Louboutin. Both use the best Italian leather, and are assembled by the best Italian craftsmen, but one is so very much better than the other.
This difference is the hand and soul of the designer.
And it is why sometimes the best answer is the simple “no”.