Great Stuff

Their Favorite Things: A Mano on First Ave

Red-hot and spiked; you’re pumped

October 27, 2009


I stopped into A Mano yesterday to chat with owner Nealy Blau about a new, locally based knitwear line she’s carrying (more on that later), and we ended up ooing and ahhing over a couple pair of shoes. It’s inevitable at A Mano, where artisan-made shortish, clever heels; super smart lace-ups and slip-ons; and boots tall and ankle-high come in surprising colors, with innovative details, and just about everlasting appeal.

Enter Elsa, a line dreamt up by Els Proost, the Belgian designer responsible for some great stuff at Dries Van Noten, Maison Martin Margiela, and Emporio Armani. The ketchup-red pump pictured here is dream-like indeed, and so smart. What to do with a spike heel, anyway? Especially in this season of mud puddles and soggy earth? Well, encase it in some Lucite of course.

Nealy says she wore these little numbers out the other night and felt like it was her birthday. And that about sums up the power in wearing something that really conveys an idea.

Oh, and confidential to those of you — I’m talking to you SG and LB — who are, like me, obsessed with just-the-right oxfords. The second pair of shoes in this briefest of slideshows is for you. It’s as if your little grandpop left you his most expertly crafted Italian pair because he knew just how fetching you can be in your heritage-minded menswear.

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