In high school I wanted those baby yellow suede Gucci loafers more than any other pair of shoes as far as I can remember. In fact, I had saved up petty cash in the name of babysitting for a number of months in order to get them into my closet as my mother refused to buy them. “How can you justify spending upwards of $595.00 (which back then was an exorbitant amount of money for a pair of shoes) on a pair of flats”? she would yelp from the kitchen. She knew the word flats would get me. I don’t know what it was about them that caused me deep angst. Maybe it was the fact that they were ubiquitous, yet so elite. And financially, they were way out of range for most 18-year-old teenagers. Seriously, most of my friends didn’t know what that horse-bit was. Timeless, discreet, and versatile I convinced myself I needed them. It was when Jodie Foster wore the preppy loafers in Candleshoe in 1977 that I knew they had to be mine. The exorbitant price? I didn’t care. In grand Italian tradition, I took the plunge and never looked back.
Gucci patent leather loafers, $525.00
Beloved by such bold-faced names as Sophia Loren and Jane Birkin, who famously wore the shoes with wide-legged pants and a barely there lace crop top, I wore mine all the time and thought I was a part of a special clan. I would brush the suede so they would look new, placed them delicately in their shoe bags, and when I stepped in dog poo, they went straight to the shoe maker. Until the day they literally fell apart, I cherished them, and was needless to say, devastated.
Gucci, long known for its leather goods, marks the 60th anniversary of the house’s iconic loafer this year. The new version of the shoe, of my shoe, has kept its original features– the rounded toe, hand-stitching, and horse-bit hardware.
But here remain the question. As a loyal Gucci fan, do I take the plunge into one of the 45 new styles now available, or just live in the memories of yesteryear? Please impart your wisdom.