Photo of the Day – August 24, 2010: Debbie Wilburn at the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market
As I wrote in Markets of New York City, the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market is where fabulous shoes go to find a new and worthy home. It’s as if Carrie Bradshaw emptied her closet every weekend and brought her gently worn shoes to the flea market. Jimmy Choos? Ferragamo? Prada? I regularly catch up with all of these dear friends on the tables of Debbie Wilburn at the Flea. In addition to fabulous shoes, Ms. Wilburn has racks filled with designer clothes. She recently had a blowout sale of Escada skirts and jackets.
Here’s a story for you: I stopped by to see what Ms. Wilburn had three weekends ago. I noticed a pair of handmade black suede loafers by John Lobb. I was simply drawn to the obvious craftsmanship of these shoes and the fact that they fit me like a glove. They also have a handwritten serial number and the name “Cherry,” which lead me to believe that they had been custom made for my shoe twin somewhere out there. John Lobb, Bootmaker was founded in 1849 in London and became part of Hermes in 1976. The company holds Royal Warrants to His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. Other clients have included Enrico Caruso, and James Bond. According to Departures Magazine, bespoke shoes start at $4000. Mine set me back $20, and I didn’t have to wait a year to get them.
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