When I was a little girl and went shopping with my mom, I was always happiest in the shoe section. I’d grab the highest heel in the smallest adult size I could find and slip my tiny toes into them. Then I try to balance as I stood up, and strutted around the store; pretending I was older, and glamourous.
So from the moment I was old enough to actually own heels, I’ve barely taken them off. But living in Paris, it presents a challenge. I walk everywhere, every day. 25,000 steps some times. I knew I needed to find a heel that would work in Europe. I couldn’t head out on a date in a chic, black dress and sneakers! Audrey Hepburn would never do such a thing; therefore I could never do such a thing. Paris, to me, is time travel. I feel like I live in a vintage movie set, and thus I must dress accordingly.
A fellow Francophile friend told me about Sarah Flint. Sarah is a young designer and possibly my soulmate. Her retro-loving heart and mine are definitely connected on some level. I first went into her shop in SoHo in Manhattan last December and everything was so lovely, I decided instantly to become a client.
Her motto is “I believe in design that inspires, quality and style that endures and comfort that keeps you moving. Always.” She designs everything herself, using a lot of vintage pieces worn by great women for inspiration and then has her shoes hand-crafted in Italy. Sarah Flint has no wholesale markup, so you are paying for exactly what you get: quality, beauty, craftsmanship. But what makes her different is comfort is her priority as much as style. Her shoes have shaped insole to support the natural arch of the foot and extra foot padding. You can truly go places in them.
The French way is to buy only a few things of great quality and keep them forever. So while old me would have ten different pairs of inexpensive black heels, new French me decided to invest in one pair I could keep forever, and actually wear without being in pain.
Sarah’s inspiration for the Parker heel came from vintage shoes from her grandmother! They have polka dot mesh and a block heel for extra comfort. They come in flats, 50cm, and 85cm heel heights. I love the 50cm; it’s enough to feel like you have a heel on but easier to spend all evening dancing in. Also, French men are short. So I’ve had to kiss a lot of my 4″ stilettos au revoir.
I wore these out for the first time the other weekend with some girlfriends here. I was storing them in the box because it’s just so pretty! I felt like it was Christmas morning opening them up and finally slipping them on. I walked around a mile and a half from chez moi to Esmerelda, a little cafe behind Notre Dame. Easy breezy, comfortable.
Afterward, we headed over the Seine because the sunset was so beautiful we didn’t want to miss it. There are not many heels that easily navigate on cobblestones, but this block heel did the trick! I felt like I was in an old movie, sitting on the bank of the Seine with my gorgeous suede and mesh pointed heels hanging over the edge of the Quai.
By the time I got home, after apero and sunset, and strolling around Paris until we found the most delicious pizza spot, it had been hours on my feet. They are were still happy; my pedicure still totally intact! I thought about all the other shoes I had bought over the years; how they sat unworn in my closet because I knew they would hurt my feet ten minutes into the evening. These heels were certainly an investment, but one I would be getting sincere value from.
Did I mention they come in navy?
Oh la la…