A $4 Million Shoe Budget


In the Los Angeles Times this week, I read that Danielle Steele spends four to five  million dollars a year on shoes for herself and her daughters. This was revealed by a longtime shoe salesman at Barneys.

Fuck! This puts a lot of things in perspective. It makes me feel better about wasting my money on shoes, and it makes me feel terrible as well. Danielle Steele is obviously a billionaire, but how can one justify this expense? It seems pretty inexcusable, but so is spending $500 for shoes when so much of the world is starving. The whole shoe thing is out of control. The LA Times tried to lay the blame on Christian Louboutin, who says it’s not his fault. The shoes pictured above sell for $1,400 at Barneys, but he’s not putting a gun to anyone’s head. Maybe they should raise the price to $20,000, since the women who keep this brand in business will still pay up.

I once had to read a book by Danielle Steele, back when I read screenplays and manuscripts for a living. I was appalled at how awful her writing was, even though I expected it to be pretty bad. I remember one line I quoted to my friends, that was something like “Peter gave his customary smirk, but then he always did.” I couldn’t get over it. She must be so important that she doesn’t need an editor! She has sold 550 million books, and yet she can’t actually write!

But now that I’ve learned more about her, I’m beginning to see why she needs all those shoes. She’s been married five times, once to a rapist and once to a heroin addict. She’s had all sorts of huge melodramatic problems to overcome, including the death of a troubled son. She’s involved in several worthy charities, and she’s said to be ‘shy.’   She certainly knows the meaning of hard work.

I would like to ask Danielle Steele if those shoes make her happy. Mine don’t make me happy, except of course for the Vivienne Westwood boots I can’t walk in. I think I’m a better writer than Danielle Steele, but I could never finish a whole novel, even a crappy one. I’d like to think that some day, we’ll all realize how meaningless our shoes are. But I know it’s a long way off.

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4 Responses to A $4 Million Shoe Budget

  1. Suebob says:

    I don’t understand what you can do to 1/4 yard of ANYTHING to make it worth $1400. I have machined precision aircraft parts down to the thousandth of an inch for much, much less.

    My shoes are full of meaning. Comfy, comfy meaning. My favorite all-time shoes were these cheap-ass kid’s Chinese hiking boots. On sale, they were 2 pair for $30. They felt like clouds and had these grippy soles that really made hiking fun. They wore out in about 3 months but hey, $15 – no great loss. If I could find those again, I would weep with happiness. And start hiking again.

  2. Sister Wolf says:

    Let us find you another pair of those shoes! Give me a longer description and I’ll hunt them down. This is one of the very few things I’m good at!

  3. Mark says:

    Sometimes I just want to cry. Now is one of those times.

  4. Angie says:

    When I worked at a bookstore in Pasadena I was alarmed to find a woman badly dressed in a trenchcoat and white sneakers (as in ‘sneakers’ like my grandpa would wear) walk in out of nowhere and start signing books.

    Turns out it was Danielle Stelle and she was in the area and decided to autograph a few of her books.

    Somebody said she just did that from time to time.

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