At the debut of “Cobbler to the Stars” Pasquale Fabrizio’s long-awaited $7,500 glass slipper shoe, the question among women in attendance is not “Would you buy it?”— these are rich women after all, who think nothing of dropping serious cash on serious kicks — but “Would you wear it?”
Almost everyone wondered about breakability: How does a glass slipper not snap in two? There are other slippers in the world made entirely of glass, but those are purely decorative and cannot actually be worn. Fabrizio’s slipper has an acrylic insole that looks like but is more pliant than glass. The glass in his slipper comes in the form of Murano beads infused with 24-karat gold leaf and a handblown swirl of glass that coils around a metal heel.
Two women conclude that with such an ornate jewel of a shoe, the simpler the accompanying clothing, the better. “They go with all your little black dresses,” says one.
“Yes, all your little black dresses,” says the other.
Two more women admit that they’d hoped Fabrizio might take a hint and “gift” them the shoe. “Showing up barefoot, that would have been too much,” says one.
“That would have been pushing it,” says the other.
All night long, women swear their allegiance to one version of the glass shoe or another. There are five designs. Some like the black. Others, the purple and gold. Almost nobody makes hooker comments. Almost everybody gasps at the sight of the slippers arrayed on pedestals under spotlights in their own cordoned-off area of Fabrizio’s San Vicente Boulevard workshop.
“Making this shoe, it’s been a passion, a drive, a madness,” Fabrizio admits. The glass slippers have been years in the making. He received the finished shoes a few days ago. “For four hours it was, like, get out of my way. Outside the birth of my children, this was it.”
“They’re gorgeous, but I don’t wear heels,” says Karen Golden, who is married to the graphic designer who conceptualized the sleek black outer box that comes with Fabrizio’s glass slippers. Inside is a clear, bulletproof case. And inside that case is a small black-velvet pillow on which the shoes rest.
“I’d wear them. In a heartbeat,” says her 14-year-old daughter.
One of Fabrizio’s regular customers, 62-year-old Billie Green, having left behind her stiletto-wearing years, says she would absolutely wear the shoes if she were 10 years younger. “I’d buy five pairs,” she says.
Certain skeptics remain unconvinced. Two lovely 20-ish British girls sipping champagne under a heating lamp in Fabrizio’s chic little rooftop patio declare they doubt they would wear the glass slippers. “I’d be worried that the foot bed wouldn’t flex,” says the one in the Louboutin heels.
She has a point. Beautiful as the glass slipper is, you have to wonder why a guy renowned around the world for his ability to tame even the most torturous Jimmy Choo would create such a painful-seeming shoe.
Even the master himself is at a loss for words when asked if the slippers are comfortable. “Ask them,” he says, pointing to a couple of tall, stunning, reed-thin women who are modeling the shoes.
The beads in the ankle straps make clicking noises as the women walk.
“They’re not too bad, actually,” one reports.
“Sure, they’re comfy,” says the other.
She is nonchalant as yet another photographer genuflects at her feet. What does comfort matter when your legs look a mile long, your toes dainty as gumdrops and you’ve got seven grand strapped to your ankle?
Nobody walks in L.A. Certainly not Cinderella.