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shoe: a personal history


"SHOE" is a zine project that I did for my Illustration I class in the fall of 2008. The text that appears below each illustration is the original text that accompanies each shoe on its zine page. Some of it is outdated now, but I feel it is worthwhile to present each work in its intended context.

These shoes are from Old Navy. I bought them while on a shopping trip with my godmother. They were really cheap. Not a terribly practical pair, but I adore the way they look and the way they make me feel… tall! I bought these furry slippers at the LL Bean factory outlet on Congress Street. I’ve worn them out on the street before, a practice aided by the fact that they have real soles. They’re not great for walking in, but they’re unbelievably comfortable <br/>to wear – with or without socks. My Birkenstocks are my absolute favorite sandals. I wear them pretty much the entire summer long. It’s very sad when I have to put them away for the winter (hence why I still have them with me halfway through October). These shoes are from Material Objects, that awesome secondhand store on Congress. My grandmother bought them for me. I haven’t had a chance to wear them yet. They’re a little small, but you take what you can get. I got these shoes a long time ago. All I really remember about their origin is that I asked for them for Christmas… I think they’re from one of those teen clothing catalogs like Delia’s or Alloy. I like the extraneous pockets. I think they’re my favorite aspect of this particular sneaker… even better than the colors. These boots, a gift from my mother, are actually the second pair I’ve owned; the first were identical but one size too big. I got them when I was going away to Chewonki, a semester program I took part in during my junior year of high school. They can be worn comfortably in the coldest weather, even without socks. I think possibly they’re magic. These are my running shoes. I have a hard time finding sneakers that really fit my feet, but New Balance seems to know what’s up. I’ve had this pair for a few years now. My mom thinks I should get new ones, but these are still just fine. I don’t wear these sneakers much, which is really just a result of having too many shoes. I bought these because they were yellow and I don’t tend to wear much of that color. They’re good shoes for bike rides. My friend had matching pink ones that she said were great for fencing in. These shoes are from Target; they’re my newest pair. I went in with a friend to look for a bomber jacket for her and wound up in the shoe section (like I always do). These were waiting <br/>for me there. I found these shoes while visiting a friend in Northampton, Massachusetts. I bought a pair one half-size too small and subsequently returned them (after using them for part of a photoshoot). This particular pair was mail-ordered as their replacement. These shoes are also from Northampton. They go with a red-and-blue plaid sundress I got at a store called Faces. The weather there was so summery, and I had come prepared for early spring bluster… hence the shopping spree. These boots are from that hemp store on Exchange Street. They’re great because they make me feel powerful and rebellious, like I could kick the world in the face. I got them on clearance for $20. There was one pair left, and they just happened to fit me. I remember being really lucky that week. I have so many different pairs of Converse All-Stars. My favorites are actually not pictured here (I didn’t bring them to school because they’re starting to fall apart). I get all my Chucks from TJ Maxx. Sometimes they have a great selection; sometimes they don’t. Lately there’s been a lot of pink. I don’t mind; I like pink. I bought these shoes because I needed plain black flats for my summer job (I worked as a hostess at receptions for the Bowdoin International Music Festival). They’re too big in the heel, so I have gel inserts for them. The inserts keep coming out, which gets a little bit annoying. My rain boots are really fun. I used to have boots that all my friends drew on, but they leaked and the drawings started to wash off, so now I wear this polka-dotted pair instead. They go well with my yellow duck umbrella. These boots were the “reward” for successfully completing two courses this past summer: one art history class and one English class. The history was far more intense, so I think of these as my Art History Boots. I get lots of compliments on them when I wear them with skirts.

© Anna Simmons 2010. All rights reserved.