The Outsider: Interrupting the Clinton Global Initiative to...
I do my bit for the critters by buying as many leather-free shoes as possible, so while my office mates are lusting after Burberry and Isabel Marant boots this season, I opted for the far crunchier (but still sort of cool in a bandage-y, Azzedine-y way) Vegan Wrap boots from TOMS. But unfortunately, the affordable little numbers (just under $100) spelled trouble the second I opened the box. Though I love a DIY project (e.g.. the paint-by-numbers kitten portrait I’ll be gifting my tot circa 2015), I have too much trouble getting out the door in the morning to be fussin’ with my footwear. And as the name implies—duh—they require a little wrapping.
But try as I might, I kept coming undone. Well not completely; there’s a chunk of Velcro that prevents that from happening. It’s just that for a shrimp, I have long legs. And in my attempt to stretch my new boots to my knees (avoiding that universally unflattering mid-calf mark), I was creating a disheveled zig-zag effect, and flashing skin in the process.
Which brought me to the Clinton Global Initiative. After writing to the TOMS website in the hopes of connecting with a customer service rep, I received the following message: TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie (above right) was in New York attending the former President’s annual power pow-wow this week. Perhaps I’d like some assistance from the creator himself?
Who wouldn’t? The thirty-something Mycoskie is adorable and funny, and has already created about a zillion companies, TOMS being only the most famous. And here’s even more fodder for the ol’ inferiority complex: For every pair of TOMS shoes sold, another pair goes to a child in need. In other words, my boot purchase means a kid in Ethiopia will receive a pair of rubber shoes that will protect his/her feet from diseases brought on by going barefoot.
So yesterday, I braved the Sheraton in midtown (soooo packed) to meet up with Mycoskie. Wearing a dapper vest and more jewelry than I’ve ever seen outside the vitrines of Bergdorf Goodman, he plopped down on a lobby couch to take a break from all the moving and shaking at the summit, which he’s attended three years in a row. “It’s great, but at this point, it’s become like a family reunion,” he says. “If I’m not careful, I get can stuck talking to a weird uncle for an hour.”
Luckily for Mycoskie, in lieu of endless chatter about important matters, I proferred my right leg instead. Within seconds, he was wrapping and chatting, chatting and wrapping. And here’s the master strategy, should find yourself in a similarly undone situation: Wrap ‘em super-tight, almost cut-off-your-circulation tight—preferably over skinny jeans or a pair of tights. Easy-peasy.
TOMS Vegan Wrap Boot, $98.
Photographs by Christos Katsiaouni