Alice’s shoes from Shoe Biz – photos supplied by Alice
I met Alice when I was in 8th grade; I thought it was 7th grade, when I had just moved to Connecticut from California, but Alice reminded me recently that we actually met in 8th. She was my best friend and my lifeline, at a time when I was woefully sad to leave a California life that I loved, and move at the peak of my awkward middle school years. We were inseparable and Alice became a part of my family until she moved away to the Midwest – which, of course, devastated me. We kept in touch as best we could but it wasn’t until years later, when we had both graduated from college and Alice returned to the East Coast to try her hand at life in New York City – that we met again. Alice found her first job with Shoe Biz, a wholesale shoe company on 5th Avenue and 58th street, across from the legendary Bergdorf Goodman and not far from the entrance to Central Park. Their shoes were Italian, French, and Spanish, and Shoe Biz sold directly to department stores, including high-end boutique, Henri Bendel. Now living in Northern California with her family, Alice and I met last week in NYC and talked about life, our friendship, those years long ago in New York, and why Alice will never part from the shoes she still owns from her days working at Shoe Biz. Here is Alice …
“I had just graduated college and decided to move to New York.The year was 1983. I found the job at Shoe Biz through an employment agency, where the agent pulled cards from the catalogue as she tried to match me to an opportunity. She was about to pass over a job for a shoe model/receptionist (with a size 6 shoe) when I stopped her and told her that I wore a size 6! That was it – I got the job as a fit model and receptionist, trying on shoes for buyers – literally because my feet were the right size! … Continue reading
I started a new job a month ago. I love it and I am grateful for the opportunity. Like most new jobs it is also an adjustment: new schedule, new things to learn, new skills to sharpen – the key word is new. Clearly, the beginning of a job is a time for feeling vulnerable and unsure of oneself. The trick is to look to your clothes for protection and treat them like the armor they truly are. I often talk about the power of clothes. There is something so comforting about letting the right clothes do the talking for you – letting your clothes help you feel good about yourself, even when your inner-self is feeling a little shaky and unsure. Clothes can do that. For starters, choose clothing with good color and fit. The rest will take care of itself.
My Power Dress is a gray fit-and-flare knit I bought when I worked (most recently) at Talbots. Dresses are the best go-to’s because simple, one-piece dressing is easy and keeps the decision-making to a minimum. Mine is a seasonal favorite, perfect for fall, winter, and the early stages of spring. Gray is one of my good colors (as I discovered during my color consultation with fashion specialist, Rivka, and her partner Cindy Joseph). With it, I have room to experiment with my accessories. The best part is that it does the trick. I put it on, I feel safe and in control, and off to work I go.
If you are starting a new job or even if you are about to undertake something new and challenging and perhaps difficult, think about the clothes you will be wearing. Do they give you a sense of strength and protection to face your day? If not, look for something you love. It will lift you and carry you a long way.
Dress and necklace –Talbots; watch (from my Grandmother) – Longines; date book – Henri Bendel
Photo by Lauren Hagerstrom