Gina Shoes RRP £215 Charity shop price £35
I talk about shoes often on my blog. I sometimes think it would be more appropriate to just dedicate it to footwear, seeing as that is definitely a passion of mine. What can I say, I appreciate a good shoe, and I like to shout about it!
Funnily enough, a shoe brand that's always been in my periphery is Gina. Probably a little past their heyday now, I remember as a teen Gina shoes were bigger than Choos, heck, they probably would have continued to reign as the shoe du jour if a certain Ms Bradshaw hadn't brought the Blahnik to everyone's attention. Despite this, I've always had a penchant for the craftsmanship and delicate shapes afforded by Gina shoes. They are truly beautiful pieces of work.
And truly expensive, too. Totally always out of my price range, they're an item I've had to file away in the 'one day when I can afford it' bracket. I've never really had a need for a Gina shoe, I don't wear party shoes enough to be able to justify buying the classic strappy sandal, and I think if I was to invest in a pair, I would have wanted a heel, as opposed to the (more practical) flats.
Established in 1954 in London by master shoemaker Mehmet Kurdash, Gina remains the only luxury British footwear brand creating, by hand, bespoke footwear in London today. The name Gina derives from Mehmet's muse, the iconic 1960's film star Gina Lollobrigida. The opening of their first store in London in 1991 set the tone of a brand that would define both the nineties and the noughties in terms of go-to, luxury footwear, being coveted by Royalty and celebrity alike.
I actually almost missed these as I was leaving one of my favourite local charity shops, but happened to glance in the window on my way out and clocked them. I was in the window getting them out about five seconds later (I did ask first!) and they truly are a thing of beauty. For starters I couldn't believe they were my size, which was thrilling enough, and when I tried them on, they felt like slippers; they are so soft and incredibly well made, they feel as light as a feather but also sturdy and the heel feels supportive and not at all wobbly as some stiletto heels can do. They are a mule shape which isn't what I would normally go for, but I put them on with black skinny jeans and they just worked. They felt fresh and different from what I would normally wear, and the perfect in-between seasons shoe. I will enjoy wearing these with rolled skinny or boyfriend jeans when it's warm enough and not raining (wouldn't want to ruin them!)
The upper is sort of zebra print which, given my love of animal print, suits me fine, and the monochromatic colourway will make them really easy to wear. They cost £35, which is way over my charity shop budget, but I think they were partially this price because they still had the Harvey Nichols sticker on the sole bearing the original £215 price tag. They have never been worn, that I can see, and are simply beautiful. So I decided they would be a worthy investment!
What's been your best charity shop find?