I was in my exercise clothes, when my friend called and told me I had to go up to Dillards to meet Vince Camuto. No way….I had to look glamorous to tell him about the Sole Sisters Film project. But a woman has to do what she has to do in 100 degree weather. I would have downed a Synergy Kombucha, but thanks to Lindsay Lohan claiming that it was what raised her alcohol level when she was in home detention, my favorite drink was off the market. I resorted to water. And went to Dillards in Northpark, clean but unglamorous to meet a charming man and his lovely wife.
My supportive daughter, Fonya, and husband, Allen went with me. There were lots of women buying his shoes, standing in line for his autograph. He graciously talked with everyone. I hope he shares his story with the Sole Sisters Film Community at www.solesisterfilm.com We want to know the story behind his shoes–what motivated him to design women’s shoes and how he thinks women feel wearing them. Mr. Camuto, please tell us your story in your own words.
Well, schools still don’t read Vogue. There’s something ironic about art school graduates in those drab black robes. After working long hours day and night for years to graduate college, a grad has to wear a large, unattractive black gown on that special graduation day. It takes a bold woman to say, I won’t blend into the crowd.
Last night at the Art Institute of Dallas’ graduation, a few young women said,“Woweeeee….look at me, look at my shoes….I am ready to step into the world!” And with these shoes, they definitely are.
I just returned from Sherie Johnson’s graduation from the Art Institute. I have been filming Sherie for SOLE SISTERS for a while. I found her shoes at a small boutique near my home on lower Greenville. The bright colors, the unusual design and the personal hand-made look made me say, “I have to meet this woman.”
But no one seemed to know where she was. The salesperson said, “Once in a while she comes in with a paper shopping bag full of shoes. We buy them from her, and they sell. That’s all we know.” Her MySpace page was handwritten on the sole of the shoe which I bought, even though it wasn’t my size. She didn’t respond to my messages, and her phone number was unlisted. But I kept trying. Everyday for a month was a “Where is Sherie?” day.
And then I found her. She was a struggling student trying to make ends meet. She was given up for adoption at birth and had been in and out of foster homes all her life. At 17 years old, she was on her own. This young woman had a dream that no one was going to deter. Sherie wanted to get a degree in fashion design.
For several years she has juggled work and school, earning money to put herself through the Art Institute of Dallas. Tonight, she graduated, and now she will continue to work, design shoes, and let everyone know that she has a Happy Sole.
This video is for Sherie and the other Sole Sisters who refused to enter the world in that drab black robe and insisted on adding their own personality into their step. Don’t you love those shoes with attitude?
This week has re-energized me. Working with my college interns, Andrea and Katherine has been as uplifting as wearing the coolest high heels in my closet. These young women know how to take ideas and run with them. We have been social networking, developing our website and laying the groundwork to launch our Sole Sisters Film Project.
What I love is to see my interns blossom into Fashionistas and gaining confidence everyday as they experiment with their looks.
Andrea has been wearing her Grandma’s stylish heels- PURPLE with bows. I keep admiring them and wondering how they would look on my feet. Katherine has been showing off her new multi-print flats that she found at DSW. Everyone who sees them goes—wow.
The week went by so quickly that I thought today was Wednesday, not Friday…..
We look forward to hearing your shoe stories!
Oh, by the way, today I am wearing a stylish strappy platform sandal that I hope I don’t break my neck in.
Welcome to the Sole Sisters blog!
My name is Cynthia Salzman Mondell, and I am a documentary filmmaker who has made over 40 films. Some have aired nationally on television, and some are shown in museums like the SIXTH FLOOR Museum about the life, death and legacy of President John Kennedy. Another is FUNNY WOMEN about women comedians like Gilda Radner, Lucille Ball, Totie Fields, Moms Mambley, Lilly Tomlin, Mo’nique, Victoria Jackson, Wanda Sykes and more. Many of my films are about women and women’s issues and interests….like SISTERS OF ’77, DREAMS OF EQUALITY, GUTS, GUMPTION AND GO-AHEAD and THE LADIES ROOM. I love all of them.
When my Mom got sick with pancreatic cancer, my sister Ann and I found brand new red high heels in her closet. We told Mom that she had to get better so she could get up and dance in those shoes. She smiled, tried , but didn’t get well. Those shoes allowed her to dream and hope. SOLE SISTERS is dedicated to my Mom and to all those women who have special relationships with their shoes. Please share your stories….happy, sad, empowering. I want to create a global community where women connect with their shoe stories, and, like my Mom, feel hope and are uplifted.
- Cynthia Salzman Mondell