Photo; Shandra Beri
Saks, Neiman's, Barney's; it's like going to zoos to look at people from another dimension who have no concern or awareness that the price of a shoe could feed a whole family in most parts of the world for a year and leave them enough money left over to buy a house and a cow. I love it, am fascinated by the spectacle and when I am there mingling among the rich and sleeping, I imagine filling every square inch of space that is not filled by merchandise, mannequins and blind consumers with the 3rd world people who are exploited to manufacture the luxury items. 'Hello, I'd like you to meet Zhang Li. She breathed in toxic fumes without adequate safety gear while gluing in the 7 thousand rhinestones on each one of your ridiculously high platform shoes. They are beautiful aren't they? Zhang Li is very happy they bring you fleeting pleasure even though her eyesight has degraded from doing such close work for 17 hours a day. No, no, Zhang Li is not crying because she's not paid a living wage, she's crying because she's happy! That will be $3700.00. Will it be cash or card?'
The truth is, Barbra Streisand was standing right next to me while I took these photos and I actually stopped myself from taking her pic because her manner was so gentle, smiling and sweet- like your favorite Nana. I tried, but I just couldn't be mad at her for shopping there.
I have a complicated relationship with consumerism. It's a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other- but not for the reasons you might think.
Hey, check out those shoes...