Michele McKirdyCopywriter ExtraordinaireManolo Blahnik Manolo Blahnik | BiographyBiographyJune 2008 Manolo Blahnik. Just saying the name will conjure fantastical creations and unique Making his ﬁrst break in the United States with a collection in Bloomingdales in if not divinely inspired revelations in footwear. Plagued as we are by mass-market 1978, Manolo went on to forge partnerships with the likes of other fashion giantsClient: runningwithheels.com and generic products, Manolo’s designs are more akin to a tidal wave of an artisan’s such as Perry Ellis and Calvin Klein. The 1980’s brought further success and more creativity than to a breathe of fresh air. Every pair is distinct. Every pair, quite creative collaborations with awe-worthy designers such as Oscar de la Renta andAn insightful look into the artisan and craftsman literally, has Manolo’s hand in it. It’s no wonder then that the haute couture ladies of Carolina Herrera.behind one of the most glamorous and idolized Sex and the City fame deigned to ﬂy across the world’s televisions in his shoes andfootwear lines of this century. at the same time brought his name to the attention of the masses. Even if the price Often, designers catch the attention of Hollywood stars like Lauren Bacall and even of a pair of these shoes would require some women to eat tuna for a month-many will get an opportunity such as gracing Bianca Jaggar’s feet on her infamous entrance on a happily sacriﬁce. This man, although he had no formal training said “I didn’t need white horse into Studio 54. However Manolo Blahnik has managed to not only main- it (formal training) because I have the best taste in the world.” tain, but explode with his legendary status upon the world’s stage for over 30 years. So what makes this man so unique? So just who is this man that has incited such a devout and devoted following? As with anyone of his status, it would be easy to assume that the man was merely a ﬁgurehead, a name on a label; and that the real work and design lay with unknown Born in the Canary Islands in 1943 to a Spanish assistants. However, that assumption would not only be a misunderstanding; it could mother and a Czech father, Manolo was raised on a also be considered be a lack of appreciation of the creativity of a true artisan. banana plantation; with no real neighbors to speak of, aside from the sea. So how was his creativity Manolo Blahnik does not leave the post of designer after the sketch has been com- sparked? The art of shoemaking; using ribbon and plete-for him, often within minutes. Although his sketches often become part of his lace was taught to him by….his mother. ad campaigns, this man goes many steps further and sculpts and ﬁles in wood a shoe last himself. Think you don’t know what a shoe last is? Think again. Writer’s note: Manolo Blahnik learned from his MOM. I should pay attention! Like many young students, Manolo was sent to the University of Geneva with the decidedly more academic pursuits of studying law and politics. However, like most young academics, Manolo had other ideas about his future and would eventually enroll at L’cole des Beaux Arts. in Paris. A meeting with Diana Vreeland, the Editor of American Vogue would forever alter the course of Manolo Blahnik’s life. Instead of pursuing theatre designs, as he had originally intended, he was instead intensely encouraged to pursue the design of shoes. Although he ﬁrst began his shoe career in men’s designing for Zapata’s in London; he soon found himself sought after by the likes of Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall. Client: runningwithheels.com
Michele McKirdyCopywriter ExtraordinaireStella McCartney Stella McCartney | BiographyBiographyJanuary 2009 Imagine this scenario. Industry naysayers would Following in the footsteps of other famous designers, Stella graduated from the rejoice at your failure. The public at large, largely prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Unlike most graduatingClient: runningwithheels.com skeptical of your artistic competence eagerly awaits students, however, Stella McCartney’s graduation runway show featured supermodel a dismal showcase of your material. Added to this, stars like Naomi Campbell, Yasmin Le Bon and Kate Moss. Oh, right. Did I mentionDaughter of legendary Beatle Paul McCartney everyone knows who your father is. Really. Your Paul McCartney happened to be in attendance as well?ﬂaunts the stereotypes and becomes a phenomenal father is a musician of international acclaim anddesigner of her own accord. has transcended generations with his musical If that wasn’t enough of a wow factor, the entire collection was bought by a London inﬂuence. The pressure is on. Who are you? boutique and designs were licensed to retail powerhouses such as Bergdorf Good- How do you separate yourself not only from the man and Neiman Marcus. Naturally Stella McCartney received some slack about her rest of the design world, but gain respect that most ‘models’ and the fact that her collection made front page news-was it only her father’s would rather not give? star power that brought her such acclaim? The answer? You are Stella McCartney. She proved the doubters wrong. Your father is former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney. Your designs are intuitive, In 1997, Stella was named chief designer of Chloe. Her predecessor, Karl Lagerﬁeld gorgeous and utterly real. You make it work-on your terms. was not impressed with the choice of the design house, saying “Let’s hope she’s as gifted as her father.”. However, when Mounir Moufarrige, the president of an Stella McCartney’s design career is a study in a parallel of opposites. Born soon established brand like Chloe thinks that you have what it takes to revive his brand? after the breakup of the acclaimed Beatles group, Stella would travel her super- You take him up on it! star parents Paul and Linda as they toured in the group Wings. What could have erupted into developmental chaos from a jet-set lifestyle was tempered with a deep Triumphantly marrying romantic pieces and delicate petticoat skirts with the ﬁne parental desire to see their children lead a more real lifestyle. tailoring acquired from her years on Savile Row, her ﬁrst collection was a commercial success and critically acclaimed. Her mother’s inﬂuence was immensely apparent. Exposure to the jet-set rock n’ roll lifestyle as well as an idyllic life on a farm raising “My mom always collected thrift-shop stuff…especially Italian slips.” An article in sheep, horses and vegetables no doubt set in motion the inspiration for the dichoto- the Washington Post agreed with Moufarrige’s assessment, saying “Chloe has not just my that would be the style of Stella McCartney. Inspired immensely by the artistic gotten substantially better. It has been transformed.” ( for the full story visit here ) photography of her mother Linda as well as her advocacy of animal rights, Stella would ﬁnd a way to combine the whimsical and the humane into her creations. Stella’s entrée into the fashion world came at a much earlier age than most. Al- though for most elite fashion designers, creating their own clothing in their early teens is not an unusual feat, interning for Christian Lacroix at age 15 and then ﬁne tuning her technical skills on London’s famed Savile Row does lend an air of preco- ciousness and perhaps even questions of “daddy-connections”. Client: runningwithheels.com
1 2Michele McKirdyCopywriter ExtraordinaireConverse Spec Ad2009Copywriting & Art DirectionImage selected from stock photography.Love written on sneaker inspired classic imageof Converse, an eternal staple in the volatileworld of fashion. 3 L.O.V.E Classic L.O.V.E Vintage L.O.V.E Always, Converse
Michele McKirdyCopywriter ExtraordinaireBoston Marathon Spec AdJune 2008Collaboration withCreative Director Pierre PilonInspired by a stream of conciousness while run-ning 26.2 miles, this ad encompasses the peaks,valleys and ultimate success of completing one ofthe world’s most difﬁcult marathons. “Tried..Can’t breathe...Double Vision. Joy! Tears. There’s the ﬁnish...” Boston Marathon PAIN? YES. SATISFACTION? GUARANTEED.
Michele McKirdyCopywriter ExtraordinaireING NYC Marathon Spec Ad2009Collaboration withCreative Director Pierre PilonInspired by my approach to race day, the ad ad-dresses the essence of endurance athletes-everyrace is against yourself. “This is My race. Follow no one.” ING New York City Marathon PAIN? YES. PRIDE? GUARANTEED.
Michele McKirdyCopywriter ExtraordinaireRoger Vivier Spec Ad2009Collaboration withCreative Director Pierre PilonAfter seeing several photographs of Ms. Bardotwearing shoes from Vivier, this inspired Pierre andI to create an ad where one would see that youonly need Roger Vivier’s shoes, and nothing else. “Mais c’est tout Monsieur Roger?” ( but that’s all Mr.?) Roger Vivier | Paris “It’s all you need mademosielle...”
Michele McKirdyCopywriter Extraordinaire You have 30 students. 50 lesson plans.Invisible Children Organization A student with bruises on his arm.Rollover Ad Spec!""# www.invisiblechildren.orgClient: Invisible Children.OrgCreated for the non-proﬁt organizationInvisibleChildren.Org, the ad engages educatorsthat may be overwhelmed with children from adamaged foster system. The purpose of the ad is toinform educators of the resources and understand-ing that the non-proﬁt provides. Who do you tell? What are the laws? Where do you turn? www.invisiblechildren.org Resources. Interactive Forums. Workshops. You want to help. We’ll show you how. www.invisiblechildren.org
Michele McKirdyCopywriter ExtraordinaireCole Haan & Nike Air: Cole Haan & Nike Air: Fashion Fusion!Fashion FusionFashion Feature There was a time, in the not-so-distant past, when as connoisseurs of shoes you had Chicago-based company has built a reputation over the past 70 years of high class2008 exactly two options: and quality. Although introduced as a more conservative men’s shoe label, Cole Haan has adapted to the ever imploding and exploding world of fashion by branching outClient: runningwithheels.com 1) Style into the realm of women’s footwear. 2) ComfortThe arena of couture footwear and athletic comfort Cole Haan was purchased by Nike in 1988, a bold move for the primarily athleticof Nike collide to present exceptionally comfort- Style? Perhaps we’ve all made some questionable choices-like the icky jelly-shoes, focused Nike. While operating almost autonomously from its parent company, Coleable high fashion footwear. Reeboks with the Velcro straps, and the way too obviously fake animal-print heels. Haan has re-emerged as a younger and hipper label, with groups like Country, City, Don’t worry, you’re forgiven! I am guilty of many of these fashion “sins” too, but Resort and Evening that appeal to ladies like us. we can all breathe a little easier knowing they WERE cool…and we weren’t alone. After all, they were trends and had their moments…even if some hurt like hell, (and What is really phenomenal about the Cole Haan partnership with Nike is the tech- usually they did). nology that enables you to be comfortable AND still in high fashion. I’m talking about Nike Air Technology. That’s right, the same technology that enables me to run for miles and miles is available in stylish (read: non-athletic) shoes. So just WHAT is Nike technology? Well, of course I didn’t expect Nike to have the secrets to their success on their home page, so I did a little detective work for you, (they did need a patent for this stuff). Comfort? Now unlike style, this is REALLY something that was unheard of. Even in ‘classic’ shoes comfort can be something of an urban myth. Sure, you LOOK great in your vintage black pumps, but what no one else knows is that there are band-aids around your toes and a cushion on your heel. Comfort used to be something relegat- ed to your grandmother’s nurse-style shoes or, even worse, found on fellow profes- sional women. Yes, I’m talking about those ladies in pantyhose, skirts and sneakers, (the ones that scream Melanie Grifﬁth from Working Girl). I know what you’re thinking. These women are wearing those athletic sneakers for comfort and to save their shoes for the ofﬁce! All right all right, I know it’s true and even necessary. But why should we have to choose between fashion and genuine comfort? Good news – we DON’T. In the past few years the label Cole Haan has introduced Nike Air technology into a wide variety of its shoes. Formed by Trafton Cole and Eddie Haan in 1928, this Client: runningwithheels.com
Michele McKirdyCopywriter ExtraordinaireSave 2nd Base Save 2nd BaseFashion Feature2008 2nd base. Sadly enough, it’s a place not enough of my According to the web site, Kelly “was mischievous…she was no saint and never set beloved Red Sox team got to in last night’s game against out to be…she was utterly human, with a big, giant heart.”Client: runningwithheels.com Tampa Bay, so no World Series this year. Yeah, I know. Big heart+quick wit=the birth of Save 2nd base t-shirts. Second base. A baseball I’m a Red Sox girl smack in the middle of the Yankee euphemism for ‘the girls’, ‘the twins’ or, perhaps simply, your chest. During a 2005The Kelley Rooney Foundation honors the kingdom (i.e. New York City). Breast Cancer Philadelphia 3-day walk, members of the Kelly Rooney Foundationlate Kelley Rooney ‘s with and sass with witty wore these shirts, much to the delight and appreciation of all those around them.and in your face fashion promoting breast cancer A few things you should know about me: Not a t-shirt kind of girl? No worries! This spunky and direct message is availableawareness. on ﬂeece blankets, hats, bags and even a polo shirt for men! Did I mention capris, -I like to live dangerously (Red Sox gear in Grand Central=serious guts) hoodies, and little doggie shirts too?! -I have an offbeat sense of humor (Spamalot, anyone?) -I like weird t-shirts (Napoleon Dynamite is leading my t-shirt collection at the moment) Why do I think this is so unique and amazing? This message is not limited to Octo- -Although I am a smart aleck, I am really a total mush. ber. You can use the bags year-round; wear the t-shirts on the weekend to the park and also to the gym. We can make this message an every day event, not something Everywhere you look this month, you’ll ﬁnd PINK. Ribbons, hats, shoes, etc. You you think about once a year. know what it stands for-breast cancer awareness. Research. Remembrance. I see it also. It does make you think-who do I know that’s been affected by this? We like being unique. We like making a difference and making an impact. And, Should I do something? Unfortunately, in our busy lives, these thoughts can be well let’s face, we often like to do something or wear something that starts a conversation. intentioned, but ﬂeeting. See it, wonder about it, then on to the next meeting. What better way than to make a purchase that makes people ask you “So, what does What if, though, a reminder stared your RIGHT in the face. And at the same that mean?” time…made you crack up? You know you can’t forget that crazy subway rider that burst out with an off-key rendition of “Silent Night” in the middle of July. What if Writer’s note: I am personally looking forward to men trying not to blatantly look at it was a t-shirt that made you consciously stare at someone’s chest? my chest and me saying “it’s for breast cancer awareness-tell your sister!” Kelly Rooney lost her battle three years after her diagnosis on July 11, 2006. Her I can see it now, through the computer: raised eyebrows and a slight headshake. legacy is a powerful one. The Kelly Rooney Foundation I admit it, what ﬁrst caught my eye on the web site was the ﬁtted t-shirt with two baseballs and the words ‘Save 2nd base” emblazoned Spunk, sass and good sense of humor-THAT is to me, the most important part of on the front. The baseballs were…how should I say this,‘strategically’ placed. herself that she has left behind. Knowledge is power. Laughter is strength. Yes, you guessed it, the baseballs are ‘front and center’ commanding the attention of anyone passing by, and inviting them to read the words. Help raise breast cancer awareness with the most powerful combination in the world. And, you know, save 2nd base. This is deﬁnitely “pink with a wink”! This t-shirt, attention grabbing ($20) and a little saucy, is more than just sass, it’s a For more information on Save 2nd Base and to purchase these awesome items, strong message about breast cancer-and YOU. please visit: www.save2ndbase.com Kelly Rooney was only 40-years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. To learn more about Kelly Rooney and what the Kelly Rooney Foundation is up to She was a mother of ﬁve kids, a sister, an aunt wife and a daughter. Not content next in their never-ending quest, please visit: www.kellyrooney.org. with enduring chemo and radiation, Kelly wanted to know how to prevent her daughters from experiencing her pain.
Michele McKirdyCopywriter ExtraordinaireBeverly Feldman Beverly Feldman| BiographyBiographyAugust 2009 A native New England gal from conser- know exactly what is going on with her one-season only exclusive shoes. vative Massachusetts town, you would Visually? Beverly “designs to attract attention” (source). Leopard prints, jewels,Client: runningwithheels.com never have guessed that Beverly Feld- ‘bling’ aplenty, there is no such thing as over-the-top for a Beverly Feldman shoe. Not man would turn out to be the globe- surprising that Hollywood stars like Halle Barry and notorious socialites like ParisAn insightful look into the artisan and craftsman trotting, gregarious, whirlwind shoe Hilton are devoted followers.behind one of the most glamorous and idolized designer extraordinaire that she is today.footwear lines of this century. Beverly is inspired and follows no one’s inclinations but her And she’s hilarious. Who else would say own. Following no trends (can you tell?) Beverly Feldman something like “The circle of life is to shoes are unique, like the designer. Beverly creates what she get married, get divorced, and then have would wear herself and what she believes her customers will a great time with younger lovers. That is love. She does admit to following one thing-glamour. Always how to stay young and gorgeous” in the moment, always changing, forever versatile. Her personality.“I have just sent this to a lot of my important Well, until Beverly turned 13 and started drawing, sketching and illustrating hercustomers and two of my foreign press agents. way into her eventual creative schooling at the Pratt Institute in New York. Then it She has a blog. As in a real-person’s this-is-what-I-did-today and by-the-way-I-met-Thank you for writing such a wonderful a-really-hot-way too young-Spanish-guy. Said Spanish man being taken advantage became quite obvious where her talent lay. Even before graduating from Pratt with aarticle about me.” - Beverly Feldman major in Shoe Illustration & Design, Beverly’s whimsical, bold and glamorous style of-apparently (haha!). This blog is beyond rare. This is a celebrity blog actually had caught the eyes of a few very important people at magazines such as Mademoi- written by the celebrity themselves, not a paid writer. She wants to lose 10 lbs and selle and Glamour. Shortly thereafter, Beverly found herself appointed as a shoe admits that being a blonde is a full-time job. She writes about her favorite stores, illustrator for both magazines. restaurant, her dogs and latest love exploits. Beverly’s personality, quirks and pas- The ability to envision an artistic rendering is a rare talent; the ability to take that illustration and translate it into a functional, beautiful, affordable product is almost unheard of. Plus, she’s funny. Oh, right. More on that later. Beverly took these extraordinary abilities illustrating and designing ornate and fabulous shoes to the design houses of names such as Doris Weston, I. Miller and Andrew Geller (source). At the age of 31, Beverly founded Lucky Lizard Trading Company in Alicante, Spain. An established brand of over 30 years with a distribu- tion in more than 50 countries, Beverly Feldman has proven to be a forced to be reckoned with. So what is Beverly’s inspiration and just what makes her tick? First, she is hands-on. Hands-on meaning she is in the factories in Spain nearly all of the time, overseeing and revising, revising, revising. She knows and wants to Client: runningwithheels.com
Michele McKirdyCopywriter ExtraordinaireHow To Buy Running Shoes How To Buy Running ShoesAugust 2009 It’s mid-August and they seem to be everywhere, those people. You know who I It also resists wear and tear. Every time you take a stride and land on your feet, yourClient: Runningwithheels.com mean. Jaunting, gallivanting, occasionally shufﬂing, they’re moving along on side- feet absorb 2-3 times your body weight (source). Talk about wear and tear! walks, city streets and country roads. It should be ﬂexible enough to bend slightly with your hands, but strong enough toThe no-brainer guide on how to buy running shoes support the impact of running.for new runners and fashionistas. Runners. They’re everywhere! Sort of like the U.S. Post Ofﬁce, no weather seems to deter them. You’re intrigued, you might admit. Maybe you would like to run a mile Upper or two. Perhaps a little afraid? Where do they get those…sneakers? Clearly there This part is quite visible as well! Wrapping around and over the top of your foot; you must be some sort of ‘training regime’ that you are unaware of, a secret society of can see a combination of materials like leather and/or breathable materials that make information and expertise. Perhaps this is all a little over your head. the shoes really comfortable. The upper also includes: -the tongue (that weird, padded part just below the laces keeps the pressure off top of Oh no, dear reader, it’s not! You my friend, the fearless connoisseur of couture foot- your foot) wear, survivor of samples sales, can absolutely ﬁnd the best running shoe for you. -padding around the inside of the heel to prevent irritation against the achilles ten- You already have the skill set: get the facts, gather some terminology and go into don that store armed with information! Midsole Ok, you admit. This sounds good. But, um, how? Probably the most important part of the shoe-and the one you often can’t see! This is the part of the shoe that provides the cushioning and stability between the upper and Like the shoe shopping connoisseur that you are, you must go armed with informa- the outsole of the shoe. This is where you’ll ﬁnd cool materials like gel & air technol- tion. You know what I mean. Would you go into Stuart Weitzman without knowing ogy that help to keep your foot in the right place (and not rolling to the left or right). the latest styles or how the shoes ﬁt? I didn’t think so! The heel counter So, much like any shoe shopping expedition, we at RunningWithHeels want you go This is-you guessed it; right around your heel. It is built into the upper part of the into stores with conﬁdence. shoe and is usually very ﬁrm. This ﬁrmness makes sure that the heel of your foot doesn’t move around too much (more stablity, more control, more comfort!) In this case-I mean a running store. Yes, a running store. But fear not, in this two- part series, we’ll tell you what you need to know about a running shoe, your foot and Insole what to know before you go into a running store. On this inside of the shoe, this piece also provides stability and support to your feet and is usually removable. You can change to add custom inserts (like orthotics) or Your Running Shoe insoles with just a bit more padding (if you desire) like Dr. Scholls. There’s a lot going on in that spiffy athletic shoe. Let’s Now that you know the basic parts of a shoe, we have to prep you pre-shopping! simplify and break down the parts of a running shoe. There are a few things you need to know about yourself before you go: -Your feet Outer Sole -Your Budget This is visible bottom of the shoe. It usually has a Your terrain textured or ‘wafﬂe’ design to provide traction (i.e. you Your Foot. don’t slide across the sidewalk/street while running).
Michele McKirdyCopywriter ExtraordinaireWhat’s That On My Foot? What’s That On My FootJuly 2008 While sitting on the New York City subway recently, I glanced up and was read- BLISTERSClient: Runningwithheels.com ing one of those bizarre advertisements that are placed just below the ceiling of the Ok, ouch. Chances are 99% of you have had them in some form and man-they can cab. You probably know the ones I’m talking about-”Get out of Jail Now!” and “Get HURT! But all right just in case you haven’t (lucky stiffs you!):The no-brainer guide on how to buy running shoes Your College Degree in 3 Months Online!”. The picture showed a distorted foot withfor new runners and fashionistas. the big toe bent painfully inward (um, ouch?). The advertisement claimed that the What IS a blister? doctor’s ofﬁce could perform a simple surgery to correct this “potentially painful” It’s a bubble of ﬂuid under the outermost layer of skin. It usually looks like a soft issue…(potentially painful? Ya think?!). bubble. Seeing this ad got me to thinking: I think that’s How long does it last? a bunion. But wait, what IS a bunion? Do I have Usually for about 3 to 7 days. So chances are you’ll be able to put up with them! one? Would I need surgery? Why do we get them? Writer’s note: Blisters are caused by friction. For example, if you wear new heels that are a bit too I am an avid athlete, so my feet get a little bit narrow in the toe box or are too small overall and chafe against your heel, chances rough-housed with the running/swimming/bik- are you’re going to get a blister! When getting a blister, you’re probably going to feel ing. Oh yeah, and the high-heel wearing/running it when it’s happening. Just that feeling of rubbing and a bit of uncomfortable pres- around the city thing too! sure will give you an indication that a blister is forming. Blisters usually ‘drain’ them- selves so it’s not necessary to try to expedite the process (see below!) This made me think. If a college-educated woman like me is not quite sure about some basic foot facts, maybe there are some others out there in need of more info How to NOT treat them? too? In addition, I KNOW there are others that do things to their feet that they #1 Do NOT pop blisters. I know it’s tempting. Like a pimple you almost can’t help shouldn’t (i.e. popping blisters, ignoring ingrown toenails). So, in the spirit of the yourself. It shouldn’t be there, so if you “dispose” of it all will be better, right? Ah, season of open-toes shoes and putting your best (and nearly naked foot) forward, I’ve no. First-hand experience here-learn from my mistakes! I “relieved” myself of one compiled a brief list of “Ouch, what IS that on my foot and how should I take care of and man oh man! That huuuurt! Raw skin next to a shoe? Yeah, do NOT do that! it?” facts. Of course, I’ve included some signs to watch out for, preventative mea- Even if you think popping one will make you feel better, it’s also inviting more chaf- sures and perhaps when you should go see a doctor. ing and possibly infection (and you deﬁnitely don’t want that). Here are some basic “foot” facts: How TO treat blisters? Each foot has 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 tendons (whoa). Feet contain a This is the easy part. quarter of the bones in your body-can you imagine that? That’s a small space to take At any Duane Reade/CVS/Rite Aid basic band-aids or more speciﬁc ‘moleskin’ or on the brutal force we put them through every day! (source) padded band aids can be applied to help relieve the discomfort while you continue So, here are a few basic foot issues that come up and how to deal. At ﬁrst you may on your way. think (well, duh, I know what a callus is), but what you may not know is what is causing your problem-and how easily it can be ﬁxed!
Michele McKirdyCopywriter ExtraordinaireMuleos Product Review Muleos Product ReviewJune 2008 So, next to peep-toe shoes, mules are my favorite heels (I’ll get into my peep-toe The main idea of course is versatility. You want to be able to use Muleos and thenClient: Runningwithheels.com obsession soon!). Classy and versatile, backless heels can be worn with just about remove with ease. Two style options are offered and of course I had to try both. anything; from the classic black pants at the ofﬁce to those dark denim jeans thatMuleos: Satin straps that promise to take mules you saunter with into a favorite bar. Straps:from heel slapping to heel hugging get a thorough These look just like the straps you ﬁnd with your ‘strappy heels.’ They have a leather-review by yours truly. Just one problem though. I’ve noticed it at the ofﬁce when I have been running like appearance and come complete with holes to adjust with and a buckle to tighten. down the tiled ﬂoors (did I mention I’m also known as a whirling dervish?!) and the soles of my beloved mules are slapping against the back of my feet, sounding a very Writer’s note: These also come in pairs in a cute little mesh bag with written and obnoxious beat. Perhaps you’ve experienced it on a night out on the town when the picture instructions on how to use them. Keeping track of the individual straps and wine has been ﬂowing and you feel that it’s time to get those ‘dancing shoes’ on. Essentially the idea is to ﬁrst hold on to the buckle and then wrap the strap under- Kind of difﬁcult to groove to techno or bounce to neath your shoe (check here for the picture instructions). Then, fasten them just like Kanye when you’re worried about shoes ﬂying off a typical strap. your feet and whacking and innocent bystander, right? Or, even worse, you’re afraid that the jeans So, did it work? or slacks you’re wearing will get caught underneath Well, wrapping the straps underneath the shoe and around my ankle was a your foot and you’ll trip on...your pants. Ok, yes, no-brainer. My friend Carolyn complimented me on my ‘cool new shoes.’ that’s embarrassing and also a pretty deﬁnite Glam- Versatility: check! our magazine “Don’t”. My only complaint? The straps need more holes already made within the strap. Four What to do? There’s nothing like backless heels, yet holes weren’t quite enough to tighten the straps around my ankles and the heels it’s unlikely you will be running around with a spare pair of heels in your bag. weren’t quite as ‘secure’ as I would like them to be. Just a little too much ‘ﬂopping’ for my comfort. Although you can force the buckle through the strap to create When I was asked to try out Muleos; I admit I was a bit curious. Would they actu- another hole, it kind of defeats the purpose of ‘easy.’ A few more holes would ally work? How DO they work? Are they practical, useful? Or, would this product make this great! be more akin to the Topsytail hair product of the 90’s-an interesting concept, but not something that you actually needed to make a separate purchase for? Well, only one Option #2 way to ﬁnd out-try ‘em! Ties So who came up with this idea, anyway? Very similar idea to the straps, but these look more like satin; perhaps a better option for a ‘dressier’ evening out. Same approach to securing them to your feet, except I In 2006, Michele Hickford came across an issue much like what I have just men- tied a knot instead of a buckle (look here for picture instructions). tioned-backless shoes that were just not cooperating with her cool jeans (perhaps it’s something with the name Michele? Just a thought…). Although she initially impro- So, did it work? vised and used men’s shoelaces to anchor her heels to her feet, she would quickly Again, wrapping the satin straps around my shoes and feet? Easy as pie. Just like come up with the concept of Muleos. shoes with satin straps already, you need to really make sure these are secure or
Michele McKirdyCopywriter ExtraordinaireZakkerz Product Review Zakkerz Product ReviewClient: Runningwithheels.com A few days ago in Manhattan we had a mini-blizzard. Yes, in April. And a week (Writer’s note: These are VERY strong magnets! No need to ‘force’ them together, it’s before that days of torrential rains ensued. Oh that’s right, in Manhattan. City grime, unnecessary and possibly detrimental to your ﬁngertips.) dust and questionable substances litter the city streets. How do they work? Have I mentioned that I’m a commuter? That’s right – I live across the Hudson The directions on the web site are simple and straightforward, but after testing them River in Hoboken, New Jersey. The not-really-Jersey-but-clearly not-an-NYCer. out I am here to put in my own two cents! Yes, I am a bridge and tunnel, NJ transit-riding, bus-taking kinda gal so I get a lot of time with those New York City streets. And unfortunately, so do my pants. 1) Roll pants leg to desired cuff length (read: short enough to not drag along the (That being said, with the economy in uber-crisis mode, money is an even more pre- ground but long enough so no one asks you when the next ﬂood is coming). cious commodity than ever and I love my pants!) 2) Next, place one magnet on the outside of the pant leg and the other on the inside of the pant so that the match up. You’ll hear a quick ‘snap!’ sound and know that the So imagine this scenario: You’re trudging to work Zakkerz are on properly. on Monday (yes, I said trudging) sporting either the 3) Two zakkerz per each leg should be enough. But, just in case you have extra wide ‘working girl’ sneaker look or donning the prima pant legs, you might want to add a 3rd Zakkerz for peace of mind. ballerina-style ﬂats. Like any self-sufﬁcient city But what do they look like? woman, you are clever enough to ‘roll-up’ the legs Colors: Zakkerz actually come in a wide variety of colors from khaki and denim to of your pants into precise cuffs. This works well, of black and brown. There are even a few cute patterns like stripes and ﬂowers. course, until you realize that halfway through your Lengths: In addition, Zakkerz come in two lengths. ‘Original’ is for light weight/nor- trek not only have the cuffs semi-unrolled but have mal weight fabrics and ‘Long’ is for heavier weight fabrics. also managed to scrape along the ground and drag How much are they? half of the street’s grime along with you. You then Full sets of four are around $30 per set and additional ‘extra’ sets of two pairs are ﬁnd yourself exclaiming something along available for $15. the lines of “@&#$*!”. Where can Zakkerz be purchased? There is indeed another dynamic at work here as well – your shoes! You wouldn’t Available at a few retailers online, your best bet is to go straight to the source at: think of subjecting your favorite heels to the harsh surfaces of the city streets, but www.Zakkerz.com. alas! Your ofﬁce pants aren’t exactly made for sneakers, and any short enough to be worn with ﬂats tend to look ridiculous with heels. But do they work? (The all important question!) So, the cycle repeats. Or does it have to? Yes! They do work and work quite well. The Zakkerz I tried blended in very nicely with my pants and I didn’t have to worry about my hems dragging along the ground. Enter Zakkerz. Named after a beloved family pet, Zakkerz is the brainchild of two Zakkerz also come with a cute little suede pouch to drop in your purse and not worry commuting sisters, loving their clothes and fed up with their pants’ quick demise about losing them before the end of the day. at the hands of city streets and weather! What are they? Durable semi-stretchable strips of fabric that encase a very strong magnet at each end. My one caveat? I only wish these great products were just a few dollars less, perhaps $20 for a full set? That would make them a steal!
Michele McKirdyCopywriter ExtraordinaireInvisibleChildren.org Invisible Children.org 2nd Annual2nd Annual Make a Make a Difference ForumDifference ForumSeptember 2009 Minneapolis, MN, September 03, 2009 --(PR.com)-- InvisibleChildren.Org, a non-proﬁt online action and information based resource network for abused childrenClient: Invisiblechildren.org will be presenting the 2nd annual Make A Difference Forum at Century College in Bear Lake MN, on October 16th, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.2nd Annual Make A Difference ForumPress Release announces 2nd Annual Forum to Join former Minnesota State Senator Becky Lourey, Judge Herbert Leﬂer and Dr.Create Community Action on behalf of neglected Read Sulik, Assistant Commissioner for Mental Health Services as they engagechildren. in an interactive discussion about the perspectives of advocacy, public policy and child protection issues with foster and adoptive families. Audience members are encouraged to actively participate in the panel discussions. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to break out into small discussion groups as well as join an action group to facilitate a better understanding of the top- ics and enabling action. “The forum last year enabled participants in all sides of the child welfare discussion to interact in a completely new way.” said KARA Spokesman Mike Tikkanen. “This year we hope to grow and further enable the powerful public discussion and highly successful action groups that resulted from last year’s Make A Difference Forum.” The course fee of $15 includes lunch. Registration is available for the event online at Century College. About InvisibleChildren.Org Founded in 1996 by Guardian Ad-Litem Mike Tikannen, InvisibleChildren.Org works to improve the lives of at-risk children and youth by raising awareness and creating community action. Contact Mike Tikannen, President(952) 542-9318 firstname.lastname@example.org www.invisiblechildren.org
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