With the holidays coming up, I’ve been thinking about how hard it is to buy shoes as gifts for other people especially with all the different fits between brands and styles as well as just personal preference. For example, I might rock a 4 inch heel and just think of them as requiring a mental note to bring slippers along for my commute home, but my mother-in-law would probably take a gorgeous pair of shoes like that to be a gag-gift. But it really is a shame that a true shoe-lover should be deprived of the one thing during the holidays that makes their heart pitter pat – it’s the equivalent of giving a fanatical soccer fan a cheese sandwich in their stocking.

So I set out (virtually, it’s cold outside), determined to find a solution. Of course, there are always gift certificates, and I think that’s what most shoe retailers are pushing for the holidays. But I hate giving gift certificates: 1. They require almost no thought. You can grab almost any card from the rotating rack at the drug store; you don’t even have to go to that specific store!  2. You already know what it’s going to be before you open the wrapping (how many things are small and flat like a gift card?) and virtual gift cards have no wrapping!  and 3. it’s like forgetting to take the price tag off your gift; they know exactly how much your love/friendship is worth.

But, I know some people that are just bad at giving gifts and other people really prefer to just buy things for themselves (a.k.a bad hint givers **wink**), so don’t ignore a blatant gift card request. But if you really have no other ideas, I suggest you at least include a note or card with the gift card to explain exactly why you picked that specific card for that specific person. Extra points if you don’t say “I got this for you ’cause I knew you’d like it.”

Then there’s the one-size-fits-all route. It’s hard to go wrong with socks or slippers. Even if the slippers have sizes on them, it’s usually just a choice between small, medium or large, so even if you get a size a little too big or small, they’re only for indoors and most are backless – at worst their foot will hang a little over the back or they could just toe holes in the front (mostly joking). But these are hardly a good enough gift for anyone except a second cousin or maybe a co-worker that you picked for “secret santa” and don’t even know that well.

So noting all that, I have been charmed by Mark Schwartz into featuring his site HighHeeledArt.com and, unbelievably, his work also turns out to be the best shoe-related gift you could ever give anyone! Mark, who also worked as a shoe designer for brands like Christian Lacroix, Hermes and Calvin Klein, paints imaginative images of shoes and is inspired by Andy Warhol (who he actually watched at work!). Mark’s paintings are also one of a kind originals that you can actually afford (some are half the price of a pair of Manolo’s!). How’s that for a wowing someone this holiday season?

Plus every painting is seriously so amazing, you don’t have to worry about picking the wrong one; it’s impossible. I had to post some examples for you below. He is even doing a limited number of commission pieces but you might want to put that on your list for next year; genius takes time, you know. 

Mark Schwartz In Hand

Mark Schwartz In Hand

Mark Schwartz Bend

Mark Schwartz Bend

Mark Schwartz Cherub with red pump

Mark Schwartz Cherub with red pump

Marc Schwartz, unknown title

Marc Schwartz, Platform Mix Pattern

Check out the High Heeled Art blog too for more pictures and info! And Happy Shopping!

Advertisements