Every week a different FADER staff member will pick a clothing item or accessory that he or she has lately been spending a lot of time with—or would like to—and write a little love letter to it. We would’ve done a column on who we’re dating but that seemed a little bit much. This week Chioma Nnadi writes about Steven by Steve Madden sandals.
A few months ago my coworker, an avid shoe fetishist, forwarded me a link to a pair by Nicholas Kirkwood for Rodarte. The sky-high lace-ups are a mishmash of different elements, including geometric cut-outs and a fancy knotted suede peep-toe. The pièce de resistance though, is clearly the heel, a 4-inch tower of dripping molten wax. Walking on wax!? Absurd, surreal, and kind of genius. But how does one compete with a pair of shoes this intense? I've always been a little wary of statement shoes, mostly because I have gigantic feet, but also because I don't like the idea of an item of clothing wearing me. Surrendering my own sense of style to a pair of wearable sculptures seems a bit much. That's why I've been yearning for something more low-key to put on my feet these days.
I spotted these sandals after a long day of shoe shopping, endless pairs of death-defying platforms and vertiginous wedges. My feet were swollen, my head was spinning, and I was seriously on the verge of calling it a day—then the eureka moment came! Shoes that were simple, beautiful and most importantly, not too far from Planet Earth. There's a saying in German that equates level-headedness with big feet, and for me it's all the more reason to stand tall in my size 10.5 shoes, even if the heels are only a couple of elegant inches off the ground.