Saturday, April 30, 2011

MFO Shoe Series: Mariel Chua, New York

If you read Seventeen and Cosmopolitan Philippines, then you know their former beauty editor Mariel Chua.  You probably graduated from Seventeen to Cosmo reading her beauty reviews and taking note of her beauty picks. In 2007, she packed up her bags to move to New York. After editing, copywriting & marketing stints at  J.Crew, Avon and Hearst Publishing, and a gig at a New York resto, as most transplanted twentysomethings are wont to do, she has gone back to editing & writing. This time, for the online publications of Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Studio One Networks (Mariel actually go me to write at Studio One's The Style Glossy where I contribute articles whenever she assigns a topic to me, heehee).

Funnily, we met a month before we left for Singapore, at our despedida party! But Mariel and I hit it off so well, that we've stayed in touch despite the distance. And of course, there's always her blog NY Minute Now which I read even before we met, and continue to read, so I can keep up with what she and our friends Happy and Kat are up to.

I've asked Mariel (along with other friends in New York, whom you will all meet here soon) to share their shoe closets and bare their soles. Because I  know that you will find it interesting to see how real New Yorkers live - they usually walk a lot, and reside in tiny apartments. Which means, Sex & The City and The Devil Wears Prada? Fairy Tales, Baby! Unless you are a Park Avenue Princess, I guess. 

Not to say we won't be! Fairy tales do come true! Heehee!

About Mariel's closet:

My "shoe closet" is also my coat closet, storage closet, everything-else-closet, as many people living in New York (with roommates) can relate to. My clothes are in an 'open closet'—a simple rolling rack I've placed on one side of my room—and Sterilite drawers next to it. Off-season items are stored in a large pink plastic crate, on top of which are my speakers and snacks! I've actually just spring-cleaned the clothes and haven't gotten around to the shoes, so you'll still see winter boots when you open the closet (see photos).

How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Around 30, give or take flipflops and sandals. Back when I was a full-time magazine editor and had a bigger space back home, I probably had more. But, I usually try to keep a well-edited selection and regularly "purge" the contents of my closet. I do have items from way way back, along with favorites that I've taken to the shoe repair shop to have them reinforced.

What's your shoe size?

Which pairs are your favorites? Top 5 at most!
Surprisingly, my favorites are pairs I've had for a long time, with the exception of the violet Nike trainers my husband got me over the holidays. Here are the five I really like:

1) Silver Nike slip-ons
- I've had these since 2008, also from my husband (who, as you can probably tell, is a big Nike fan!). In New York, comfort has become key for me. That said, one should still have some semblance of fashion sense even when just walking to the deli or running errands. These, I like, because they go with everything and the silver is very NY.

2) Violet Nike Lunarlon
- I love how the sides of the soles look like pipe-in white frosting! And, the punchy violet hue just beckons to be worn.

3) Beige Zara pumps
- I've had these FOREVER! I got them from Rome on a junket and they're my comfiest pumps ever and they go with everything. They're actually half a size bigger so I've glued foam and gel inserts at the back, where the ankle hits. Last year, I had them repaired and reinforced and it cost more than the price of the pair; I just love them that much. They're already nicked and stained in places, and I'll wear them until they're totally not presentable.

4) Yellow Celine wide-strap platform sandals
- It's super cool that clogs, wedges,and platform shoes are supposedly trendy this season, because I've had these since 2007! I got them without realizing they were the exact ones on the Celine billboard in Megamall and this was the time when these kinds of things mattered to me and I actually paid attention. I'm more laid-back about fashion these days. Anyway, I love the deep yellow shade of these, and, they've survived many summer seasons.

5) Bejewelled light gold VNC strappy heels
- Now, as much as I go for comfort and gravitate towards cozy, metallic, leather, or suede flats, I still do own dressier heels. These were a gift from Frances (of Topaz Horizon), she gave me VNC gift cheques and these are what I got with them. They're surprisingly comfortable enough to wear all day at work. So far, it's a trend I've seen with VNC footwear—they're well-made and easy on the feet.

Ang hirap to cut to five faves! :)

If you could only wear one pair of shoes, which one would it be?

It's a toss-up between the violet and silver Nike shoes. I would probably choose the silver ones because they're sleek (and shiny!) enough to go with dresses.

What are your favorite shoe brands?

Zara, VNC, Kamik, Celine, any of the Target brands, and one day, Sergio Rossi, Roger Vivier.

What's in your shoe lust list?

I am in dire need of good black and gold flats. They're shoe-closet staples and I usually wear them to the ground, until they're stinky. I'll probably check out French Sole in the Upper East Side, as recommended by Kat Dy (of Kat Dy Finds). I have a feeling I'll end up buying some in Target though.

Where do you buy shoes?

Target is a shoe-in, pun intended. Anywhere, everywhere. Back home, a guilty pleasure was scoping the shoe aisles of SM Department Store, Robinsons Galleria, Landmark, Janilyn...

What's that one shoe you can't bear to give away or throw out?

I have these Kamik rain boots that are memorable because I got them on my first winter in New York and they've lasted through many snowstorms and outpours. Recently, I found a crack on the left boot and was a little bothered by it. They're still wearable, for as long as I don't wade in extra-deep puddles (which kind of defeats the purpose of wearing a rainboot, but oh well).

Kamik rain boots, left most.

I also have these white Hotwind pumps with colored leather bows from 2005.

6 year old shoes! Very well taken cared of!

While I stopped being a pack rat a few years ago, I still find it a challenge to get rid of certain shoes. But, as I've read somewhere recently, memories aren't items.


Mariel said...

Whoa! This is huge! Thank you for featuring moi and my closet! :)

Mariel said...

Just read the first part, aww, thank you :) I've beared my "sole," indeed! :)

Frances said...

I love you, Mariel, and I miss you! Your shoes are every bit as happy and capable as you!

Mariel said...

Aww! Love and miss you too, Neighbor! Thank you for always being a source of encouragement (and always being generous with the fashion and beauty goodies)!

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