Thursday, January 27, 2011

Manolo Blahnik Campari Mary Jane Shoes at Thrift Store!

When zipping about a thrift store, I usually go straight for the household section and bypass all the clothing racks. During one particular visit to Value Village, I passed the shoe section on my way and decided to roam around.

Amongst the racks of various shoes, all with different shapes, sizes, and condition, I noticed the bottom of a shoe peering over the shelf. It had a tall stilleto heel with a leather sole.

Yes. It was a pair of patent Manolo Blahniks priced for sale at $12.99. I was sort of shocked for a minute, thinking of blogs I had read where people made these insane discoveries of valuable items at thrift stores. I picked up the pair of shoes and checked it out. They were in pretty good condition with a buttery leather interior and authentic looking Manolo Blahnik label.


I don't consider myself a pro thrift reseller so I wasn't quite sure what to do. I knew the shoes I was looking at were of some value but honestly, I don't know much about designer shoes.  After much debating I put the shoes back on the shelf and headed home empty-handed...

When I went home and tried finding the shoes online, I realized that these were the Manolo Blahnik Campari shoes that were talked about on a Sex and the City episode (which I clearly had not seen). It turns out that the girls were denying the existence of a hot Mary Jane shoe that a grown woman could wear, and of course, these Manolos busted the myth. Neiman Marcus stores carry this shoe for $645.

Having seen the button closure detail on these stock photos and realizing that they looked exactly like the Value Village model, I went back the next morning to see if the shoes would still be there. Obviously someone beat me to the punch!

Every now and then, I can't resist taking a quick glance in the shoe section to look for hidden gems. Since missing those beauties, I have also seen a vintage pair of Chanel flats in aqua and red, and a pair of vintage Salvatore Ferragamo white ballet flats at thrift stores, neither of which I have bought.

In hindsight, I'm not sure I would have been able to find a good home for those shoes. I have some small doubts about their authenticity - for example, the shoes I saw were white patent leather, and I'm not sure the Campari shoe was ever made in white. I might have wasted $13 on a pair of decently made fakes.

What would you have done??

UPDATE: I should mention that I scored a great pair of Vintage Bally Peep Toe Pumps for $5 to help ease the pain... The best part? They fit perfectly! Read all about it here!


  1. OMGoodness....I would have bought them just to look at. If they were my size, I would have worn them out of the shop...then came home, changed into a pair of comfy shoes and then they would have sat in my closet, again, for me to just look at. I love the idea of HOT sexy heels and have quiet a collection...but when it comes time to put on a pair, I opt for comfort these days. But I am most sure that I would have bought those shoes!!!!

  2. If I had a shop or sold on eBay I definitely would buy them. Even if they are a knockoff, there would be people that would want to buy them and wear them just to have the look. And if it was in Sex and the City, too -- that would make a wonderful ad! If it looks like a good quality shoe then buy it and sell it. That's what I would do. Sounds like you are very good at recognizing them and I suspect you will be seeing more bargains in the future.

  3. I think I would have had a sharp intake of breath, looked around for someone to share the excitement with, and bought them with the *intention* of reselling (even though I'm not a reseller) and then put them on display in my living room, told anyone who would listen that I own a pair of "sex and the city shoes" :) If they were my size I might put them on and wear them around the house once in a while. After that, who knows...

  4. EEEK!! Even though I know this story, I found myself holding my breath as I read it!! I probably would have done the same as you, since I don't know much about the shoes either..but those Chanel flats..yikes! I likely would have bought those!!!

  5. Thanks for the comments everyone! A big factor was that the shoes didn't fit me - plus, I usually live in my sneakers and ballet flats so it wouldn't be practical to keep.

    On the Chanel front, trust me, I tried hard to get myself to fit those shoes. The leather was incredible! As we speak, there is a thrift store in Vancouver with the Ferragamos for $7!!

  6. Ahh, the thrifter's dilemma who doesn't have an Ebay or Etsy shop - I so hear you. Haven't found designer shoes quite of the calibre you did, but have left some gems behind because, quite simply, they don't fit into my life. Trust your gut as you did here or else you'll end up with a pile of stuff you won't know what to do with (and if I sound all lecture-y, it's because I have a huge pile of stuff that DOES fit into my life!!).


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