Gola Classic Plimsolls

Manolo says, the Manolo loves the simple classic plimsolls from Gola, the ancient British sporting shoe company (sort of like the Converse) founded in the 1905.


For the Manolo, who have been the fan of the crazy colorful hi-tech running shoes, this simple plimsoll, the Quota in classic white, is the sort of athletic shoe that will not make you .


If, however, you wish to express your excitement over the birth of George, the future King of England, then this Quota with the Union Jack would be the good choice.


The Decadant Phase: Diciannoveventitre Ultra-Distressed Sneakers

Manolo says, Slave! Peel the Manolo the grape, bring him his Diciannoveventitre Ultra-Distressed Sneakers, and order his palanquin brought around to the front. He is feeling like the man of the people today.

Overdyed, ultra-distressed high top sneakers with pre-rusted metal eyelets and dye-splattered rubber sole.

Diciannoveventitre Ultra-Distressed Sneakers


Cost? The mere $1,975


Olympic Gold Medalist Ryan Lochte Loves the Shoes!

Ryan Lochte Winged Shoes

Manolo says, 130 pairs of the shoes!

Mr. Lochte’s dream is to eventually become a clothing designer. “I want to be different, and fashion gives me that outlet to do that,” he said, lounging on a couch after a practice in loose basketball shorts, a T-shirt that read “Google Me” and black Dolce & Gabbana slippers. For public events, he steps it up: Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren have dressed him, and he was signed by Ford Models.


“Ho, I think I have about, a total of 130 pairs of shoes,” Mr. Lochte said, warming to the subject. “So you can say I like shoes.” (“Ho” is another Lochte-ism, kind of like the inverse of Homer Simpson’s “D’oh!”) For the Olympic trials this month, he plans to sport high tops with star-spangled wings, like an all-American Hermes. “Don’t duplicate!!” he wrote, posting a picture of them on Twitter.

While the Manolo admires the exuberant enthusiasm for the shoes…

Ryan Lochte Green Shoes

it is clear that these are shoes for those who desire to have what the “swag”.


Jeremy Scott Adidas Shackle Face-Palm

Ridiculous at any price.

Manolo says, no, these are not the clever fake, these are the Jeremy Scott x Adidas Roundhouse Mid “Handcuffs” sneakers, priced at $350.

And yes, the symbolism of the basketball shoe with the make-believe leg shackles has not be lost upon many outside of the world of fashion designers.

Adidas has sparked outrage and been accused of ‘promoting slavery’ by creating a new pair of trainers which have bright orange ‘shackles’ that fit around the wearer’s ankles.

The clothing giant is under fire for its August scheduled release of the JS Roundhouse Mids, which many have compared to the devices worn by black slaves in 19th Century America.

The seemingly innocent promotional material, uploaded to Facebook earlier this month, asks: ‘Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?’

But the shoes have sparked angry debate online, with many saying there is a more cynical tone to the advertisement.

More than 2,000 people have labelled the design ‘offensive’ and ‘ignorant’ and say the firm has ‘sunk to new lows’ in its ‘slavewear’ product.

Dr Boyce Watkins, writing for Your Black World, said: “Shackles. The stuff that our ancestors wore for 400 years while experiencing the most horrific atrocities imaginable.

“Most of which were never documented in the history books and kept away from you in the educational system, all so you’d be willing to put shackles on your ankles today and not be so sensitive about it.”

Sadly, people in the fashion industry–fashion designers, promoters, and publicists–are not known for their keen knowledge of history, and thus this sort of thing seems to happen with depressing regularity.

Although, rarely do these transgressions involve such aggressive stupidity…



Manolo the Columnist: Tennis Elastique from Bensimon

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post

Dear Manolo,

I would like to find some black sneakers that I can walk and do tai chi in, yet still convey a modicum of chic. Is it possible to be chic in sneakers?


Manolo says, the Manolo tried the tai chi once, and indeed and found it to be pleasantly revivifying, what with the sugar, and the milk, and the cardamom.

Oh, wait. Perhaps that was the chai tea.

Well, whatever. The healthful cup of tea and the brisk strolling along the boulevards of the city are about as far as the Manolo is willing to go in the way of the exotic health regimes. Certainly, he would never spend the hour in the park moving ponderously from the “Distended Crane” to the
“Perturbed Ostrich” pose, and back again.

But, to each her own, yes? And if the Manolo’s friend, and millions of Chinese grannies, find such things to be helpful, than who is the Manolo to object to them?

As for the sneaker chic, the Manolo would send his friend to the country that invented the chic, or at least the word “chic”, France.

Here in black is the Tennis Elastique from Bensimon, the classic tennis shoe of French ladies, now available in the United States from the Bensimon website. There you will find the lace-up version, and the much wider range of colors.

Bensimon Elastique Tennis Flats


Animal Collective Can Design Shoes Too

Apparently these guys can do it all. The cult band Animal Collective is teaming up with LA store Keep Company to create a collection of graphic sneakers. But wait, it gets more inspiring. All proceeds will go to The Socorro Island Conservation Fund to assist in its work preserving marine life along the coast of Baja, California. These guys seem to be able to do no wrong. Their music is fantastic, their side projects are like candy to my eardrums, and now they are stepping up as budding shoe designers. The collection will be released Saturday, March 26th.



Keep Company does the whole casual beachy sneaker look very well. And I have to admit, with Avery Tare’s mysteriously intriguing illustrations sprinkled throughout the natural canvas body, these shoes are pretty awesome. I would definitely smudge my lipstick for a boy who mixes up his perfectly polished shoe collection with these sneakers for a day at the beach.

N.B. The Manolo has asked his friend Trisha Marie to help him from time to time.


Fresh Horror: The Jefferson Slip-On from Native Shoes

John Varvatos Vintage Court Slip-Ons. Perfect in its way.

The Varvatos Vintage Court Slip-On. Perfection.


The Croc, Scourage of a Generation

The Croc, Scourge of God


The Jefferson Slip-On from Native Shoes

Jefferson Slip-On from Native Shoes. Horror.

Manolo says, because as everyone knows, if you mix the ounce of sewage with the bottle of
fine wine, you have the most tastiest cocktail ever!

P.S. The tip of the hat to Manolo’s internet friend the Nancy.


Manolo the Columnist: Onitsuka Tiger by Asics

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

In October I’m going on a three-week business trip to Japan. I’ve never been to Japan and so I have no idea what to wear when I’m not dressed in my business finery. What do you suggest?


Manolo says, sadly the Manolo has never been to Japan, Mysterious Land of the East, where peoples eat the raw fish and dress like Hello Kitty Lolita Samurai Warriors. Or perhaps like the Sailor Moon Gothic Rockabilly Shoguns. The Manolo cannot say for sure.

The problem is, that the most popular Japanophile websites and magazines prefer to highlight unusual youth subcultures at the expense of the more mundane. And thus even though we who have never visited Japan can easily distinguish between six types of Japanese Lolitas (Classic Lolita, Gothic Lolita, Princess Lolita, Punk Lolita, Sweet Lolita, and Grotesque Lolita) we cannot tell you what ordinary people are wearing on their days off.

Thus the Manolo’s primary rule for travel remains operative: that when travelling abroad one should not substantially change one’s usual mode of dress. Do not attempt to “go native”. Instead, you must do as the Victorian ladies and gentlemen did when making the Grand Tour, and maintain your own native costume even in the most unlikely of situations.

Here is the Onitsuka Tiger by Asics in the colors blue and mandarin. Who knows if the Japanese actually wear these? Who cares? They are super kawaii!

Onitsuka Tigers by Ascis   Manolo Likes!  Click!


Manolo the Columnist

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

Knowing that you appreciate the super fantastic shoe classic of any type, I wonder if you say something about the revival of the Converse Chuck Taylor type sneaker. My 13 year old daughter has a pair of tall Chuck Taylor she loves.


Manolo says, the Manolo loves the Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers! They are one of the greatest shoes ever invented, indeed, not just the great shoe, but also, together with the white tee-shirt and the Levi’s 501 jeans, one of the iconic pieces of American clothing.

If you are wondering whoChuck Taylor was, he was perhaps the greatest shoe salesman who ever lived. In 1921, after the brief professional basketball career, Chuck Taylor went to work for Converse as the sales representative. In 1923, he helped redesign the Converse All-Star basketball shoe, making it more flexible and adding the circular patch over the ankle to give it more support.

Then for the next 45 years Chuck Taylor traveled the country promoting the shoes he helped develop and the sport he loved, putting on clinics and basketball demonstrations. It was said that every basketball coach in American knew Chuck Taylor, and by the time he retired in 1968, 8 out of every 10 basketball shoes bought in America were made by Converse.

The great thing about the Converse is that they now come in the enormous variety of colors and configurations. Here is one of the Manolo’s favorites, the classic Chuck Taylor All-Stars Roll Down Hi.

Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars Roll Down Hi    Manolo Likes!  Click!


Whose Shoes? The Readers of the Manolo Know!

Manolo says, from today’s news photos comes this image…

Whose Shoes? Uncle Kimono!

Of the course, the regular readers of the Manolo know the owner of these Converse All-Stars and cuffed jeans, for they identified him in the recent episode Whose Shoes Wednesday.


The World’s Oldest Basketball Shoes!

Worlds Oldest Sneakers!  The Manolo would totally wear them!

Manolo says, from the Manolo’s friends at Boing Boing come news of the discovery of the world’s oldest kicks!

Gary Pifer a vintage clothing dealer found the 116 year old sneakers while combing through picked over items, that were contained within a victorian era trunk. “As I arrived late, I was told that all the good stuff was gone”, said Mr. Pifer.

He paid 50 cents for the brown high top canvas sneakers made by the Colchester Rubber Company. Later that night, Mr. Pifer was shocked to discover, during an internet search, that the brand went out of business in 1893.

“In a instant, I knew this discovery would be re-writing basketball and sneaker history, as these sneakers are 25 years older than the 1917 Converse All-Stars”, added Pifer. The Colchester Rubber Co. was located in Colchester, Connecticut and was in business from 1888 to 1893.

Naturally, this being the Age of Commerce, Mr. Pifer, who discovered the shoes in 2004, has already set up the company to market reproductions of these marvelous shoes.

And, the Manolo has to say, he would happily wear these shoes.


Manolo the Columnist

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

I’ve fallen for a guy. Me: a first year associate at a white-shoe law firm. Him: the lead singer in a emocore band. He’s also educated, smart, funny, and kind. The problem is that I’ve got to emo up my look a bit so I don’t stand out so much when I go to his shows. What would you recommend?


Manolo says, the Manolo imagines that if he were the first year law associate, submerged in the dreary sub-basement of his firm, buried under that mountain of meaningless petty paperwork which is the diet of the new lawyer, the Manolo would, like Keats, also find himself half in love with “easeful death,” or perhaps Morrissey, which is the next best thing.

And as far as the rock-n-roll fashions go, the emo movement is not the most egregiously offensive, as long as one can ignore the drippy, asymmetrical, dyed-black-hair-in-the-eyes thing.

What is there not to like about drainpipe black jeans and the black t-shirt? It is low maintenance, stylish, and yet dreary enough to satisfy the most devoted lover of My Chemical Romance or Tokio Hotel.

As for the feetwear, the Manolo would recommend the black, Converse, John Varvatos Vintage Court Slip-ons. The Manolo owns three pairs of these, so you know they must be good!
John Varvatos Vintage Court Slip-ons