Thursday Shoes – Spotlight on Monique Maestas-Gower!
If you’re hip to the BlogHer fashion scene, you’ll surely recognize my next interviewee, Monique Maestas-Gower. She reigns as the first Events team member to grace the runway of our first-ever fashion show at BlogHer ’12, NY. In case you missed it, here’s a glimpse of her rippin’ it up in a luscious Vivienne Westwood gown and Jessica Simpson heels.
I chose Monique as this week’s victim because she is a true fashionista and lives/eats/breathes style….seemingly effortlessly. Though our styles are quite different, it’s pretty common for me to turn to her for advice before making any major fashion purchases. If I'm shopping solo I sometimes "consult" an invisible mini-Mo in my head: Would Monique like this?? With that said, I put together some questions and can’t wait to hear how she responds!
Enjoy the interview and please remember to share your Thursday footwear using hashtag #BlogHerLovesShoes! Or via tumblr: BlogHerLovesShoes.
MRA: We know you have quite a shoe collection. What are your favorite go-to brands? And yes, you may name more than 2, but less than 5 please.
MMG: Shoes are definitely a weakness of mine. For sneakers, I can always count on Converse Chuck Taylors. I even wore a pair of silver sequined Chuck Taylors at my wedding. For heels, my go-to brands are Kors Michael Kors and Vera Wang. They always fit like a glove and are the perfect combination of classic and trendy. I also love Borne flats. They are cute and supportive which comes in very handy when I am on my feet for 12+ hours a day during the BlogHer conferences.
MRA: How much money would you guess that you spend on shoes annually? (Be honest! I’m sure your husband will not be reading this post.)
MMG: Ha! I don't even want to think about it. To be honest I am a huge fan of stores like Nordstrom Rack, Last Call Nieman Marcus, and DSW where you can get in-season shoes for lower prices. I also try to shop sales like buying boots in late winter/early spring. I really hate paying full price unless it's a shoe that is TO DIE FOR which does happen on occaision.
MRA: I will now disclose to the masses that you have a fairly unusual shoe size of 5 ½! With such petite feet, you experience challenges some of us more average folks do not. Do you have favorite retailers that cater to your size and/or tips for others in your same smaller-size boat?
MMG: I do have really small feet and they are also very flat so there is the additional challenge to find shoes that are supportive and still cute. I recently discovered that Nordstrom's Rack does occasional Small Sizes Sales for sizes 4-6. They bring in additional inventory and sometimes offer discounts. Double bonus!! Online retailers are also a great option as most stores have a very small inventory of shoes that are under a size 6.
MRA: You can rock some serious heels. Please tell us the highest pair you own, as well as how many (or few) hours you can safely go in them.
MMG: I actually had to take out my measuring tape for this one and the results even surprised me! I have a pair of wedges that are 5' with a 1 1/2' platform. The majority of my heels/wedges are 4 1/2' with a 1'. There is just a couple that measure in at a measly 4' with a 1' platform. I can pretty confidently say that I can last an entire workday in the majority of my shoes. The key to lasting more than an hour in sky high heels are to wear shoes with a platform, thick heel, and make sure they are a good fit. I completely avoid shoes with sky high, super skinny stiletto heels. It's like walking in stilts and I'm not coordinated enough for that.
MRA: And this is clearly a rhetorical question but I must ask - Do you ever find yourself visualizing or fantasizing about what you'll wear for the Thursday shoe shot a day or two (or even more) in advance?
MMG: Of course! That's a given. I always have to make sure that I wear the best pair on Thursday otherwise Thursday Shoe Day wouldn't be so special. I also have to think about the outfit. For me, the shoes really inspire and anchor the entire look.
MRA: I'd love for you to share a picture of shoes you own (or would like to own) that are *YOU*. Think of this as a “shoemoticon.” I can already see a pair of Christian Louboutins on the horizon….
MMG: You're right! I wish I could say I owned a pair of Louboutins because that would be my shoe heaven. If I were to describe my shoe collection it would be girly and laidback - half of my shoes are sneakers and half are heels. So I would have to say these shoes best represent me.
And here is the weekly shoe shot....