Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Les Tropeziennes

There is just one word to know about 2008 women's summer footwear in Paris:


They are everywhere.
I initially scoffed at them, referring to their gladiator-sandal look. But then I got hip to the trend. Had to get me some of them way-cool shoes, to be in vogue and comfortable -- a rare combination when talking about shoes in Paris.

I thus found myself today in Sylk, a boutique on rue de Rennes, where a mini-stampede was forming near the back corner of the store by the tottering stack of shoe boxes.

"Wait! Attendez, mesdames, j'arrive!" shouted the saleslady at the cash register. Women were rummaging through boxes, examining the pointures and the modeles available in the must-have shoe of the summer.

The energetic young saleswoman squeezed her way into the crowd. "Whom can I help first?" she smiled, a bit breathless. One by one, she asked the clients what style, color, model, size. "Une bride ou deux?" [One strap or two?] The tall woman in front of me scarfed up the very last pair of 41s -- my size. I waited in the opposite corner, surreptitiously eyeing her to see if she actually was going to buy them after trying them on. Damn. They were perfect. I left.

Foiled but not stumped, I wandered down rue Saint Placide. Yippee! A hot-pink sign on this shoe store vitrine promising Tropeziennes aplenty inside.

Then, crestfallen, I read the hand-printed sign taped on the door. "Re-opening at 3 pm." Aw, c'mon! It was 1:30. Those lunch breaks...

Onward, foot-fashion soldiers, to the next of many shoe stores on the street. Lots of les Tropeziennes -- whew! Tan, gold, silver, black, white, or faux snakeskin -- the top-sellers.

I scored a pair: 39€. Genuine leather. Bee had just bought the same pair at Jonak, this boutique, yesterday.

Tropeziennnes. They are everywhere! The mad rush before August vacation is making them hot-hot-hot.

"So," I asked the salesclerk at Jonak semi-innocently, "are you selling a lot of Tropeziennes lately?"

"Ah oui!" she enthused. "Beaucoup beaucoup. You could say it is THE shoe of the summer."

I just love asking those rhetorical questions.


Isabelle said...

If I'm not mistaken, last summer (or was it 2 summers ago?) the spartiates were THE shoes to wear; to my untrained eyes the tropeziennes and the spartiates really look alike!
Ah! fashion and its mysteries!

Dave Lovely said...

And what about those vespasiennes? Oh wait, those are something else, aren't they...

Evelyn said...

This is what I see...multiple tan lines across your foot!

A Clear Blue Sky said...

Can anyone explain why everybody wants them, apart from the fact that everybody else is having them and thus they are the trend? As a guy, I just don't understand these shoes... They don't seem pretty or 'hot' to me. Or is it just my lack of fashion-instinct?

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Isabelle, You're right -- I don't really understand the difference between spartiates and tropeziennes. Maybe just the marketing?

dave, all I know is I wouldn't wear tropeziennes into a vespasienne. Not that the latter is meant for those wearing the former. I think.

God, Evelyn, I never thought about the tan lines. Camouflage as you walk across the zebra crossings!

clear blue,
they actually are rather attractive, on, as long as your feet underneath look good. I saw a slim woman in a black mini-skirt wearing a black pair of tropeziennes with double straps at the ankle and, well, I'm sure a lot of men were... interested!

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