OPINIONS

Why Shoes Matter In A Crisis Like This

17th March 2020

WORDS BY NATALIE YIASSOUMI | PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIKKO PUTTONEN

Creativity, art and design are the vital outlet of positivity and inspiration – and right now we need that more than ever.

We’re living through surreal times. While writing this from London, we’re all simply playing a waiting game until the inevitable crisis unfolds, while watching friends and fellow citizens across Europe, Asia and the entire world stay confined in their homes and see numbers of Covid-19 cases in their countries rise exponentially. 

During these eerie times, can our love of fashion or our soft spot for beautiful shoes, still claim a place in our lives, our budgets and the content we consume? Or does the uncertainty cast over the world by this global pandemic automatically render it all irrelevant? 

It’s easy to say that at a time when we and the people close to us are most vulnerable – the British Prime Minister did tell the nation to be prepared to lose loved ones after all – luxury shopping, trends and fancy shoes are simply the last thing on our minds right now.

Why keep scouring the new Bottega mesh anklet pumps if socialising is now looked down upon and you’re asked to self isolate? Is it in any way wise to spend a couple of hundred pounds on the new Amina Muaddi summer drop as our global economies are being compromised? 

Without a doubt there’s a degree of superficiality to all things luxury and trends and we need to remind ourselves of it on any day, let alone during a period of crisis. The shoes we all covet are definitely not the be-all-end-all in life, but at the same time we can’t just dismiss everything outside serious discussions on politics and global pandemic that has halted all of our lives. 

First and foremost we need to take this situation seriously, take precaution and find ways to help those most in need, but at the same time nurture and care for ourselves and within logical means, focus on the things that bring joy. This is why a dose of escapism and creativity can act as crucial and necessary reminder that life does and will go on. 

May these times bring us meaning and perspective, a real reshuffle of our priorities. We long for the days when our dilemmas evolved around toe shapes and comfortable lasts. However, with this said, we do believe that creatives’ work is important right now. With no way to avoid the tragic news, we are determined to balance it out by bringing you joy, inspiration, feel-good factors and hope.  

May this be a kind reminder that you are in charge of your own life and you have to do what is necessary to mentally and emotionally pull yourself through. So practice self care by turning your bathroom into a spa, dedicate an hour of indulging and browsing your favourite e-commerce sites. Create a wish list and treat yourself to a new season pair of shoes, which you’ll be able to wear when the weather gets the warmer and life goes back to normal. Because it will. Our wishlist includes items like Wandler’s hot pink sandals – also featured under mytheresa.com‘s dedicated ‘treat yourself’ category – Midnight 00’s tulle pumps, or Aquazzura’s rainbow-hued vegan leather platform sandals. What could say feel-good better than a pair of disco-inspired, bright-coloured extra high platforms? 

More so, some footwear designers are going the extra mile and committing to donating proceeds from their sales to helping fight the virus, so you can be supporting affected communities as you go shoe shopping. 

Sergio Rossi is among the first brands to make a big, applause-worthy statement by announcing that the full proceeds from the sales on its website will be go towards funding the fight against Covid-19, as part of its “Shoes Can Make a Difference” initiative. The brand has also made a donation of 100,000 euros to the hospital ASST Fatebenefratelli – Sacco in Milan, in order to help aid the rebirth of its home of Italy, one of the countries that has been hit the hardest by the virus spread. 

A dose of happiness in the form of Midnight00
Sergio Rossi’s Instagram campaign. Image courtesy of the brand.

In a time of unprecedented hardship, where we are confronted with our vulnerability, it’s crucial to rediscover the humanity that distinguishes us, our sense of brotherhood and strength to support each other,” said Sergio Rossi in a statement. 

Fellow Italian footwear designer Fabrizio Viti, who has just opened his first physical store in London, has also spoken out about the importance of supporting his Italian roots, where his shoe collections are being crafted in their entirety. To that end, Viti will be donating a percentage of sales from his website and new store to the Italian Red Cross, a charity chosen by his team in Italy. 

If ever there was a time to shop mindfully and from brands supporting the right causes, to treat yourself and stay inspired by looking at all things art and design, this is it. Filter out the unnecessary and focus on the positive – together we will get through this.

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