Or should that be “My Guccis and I”? Whatever.
“These boots were made for walkin’. Tell us about your favourite pair of shoes, and where they’ve taken you.”
Over the years, I’ve worn through a fair number of pairs of shoes. I can still remember some, so I suppose I must have been quite fond of a few of them, at the time.
There was the pair of ivory-coloured chelsea boots – I know, I know – that I wore habitually at University. Later, there was a pair of otherwise nondescript white trainers that were exceptionally comfortable. Much later, as a pedestrian commuter for the last fifteen or more years of my working life, I became very attached to a whole series of Doc Marten shoes that I wore to walk to work in both London and Abu Dhabi.
But here are the bad boys that mean the most to me:
It must be said they’re beginning to look a bit lived-in, but then I’ve had them for almost twenty years. So what’s so special about them?
First of all, they really are exceptionally comfortable. More important, though, is the sentimental value tied up in their back-story, and there are two sides to that:
As my regular reader knows, I spent thirty years in the investment industry. With my burning desire to blend invisibly into the background at all times, it was inevitable that I wholeheartedly adopted the uniform of the investment banker. Hence I had the business suits, sometimes but not always pin-striped, the double-cuffed shirts (obviously with the crucial channel shoulder seams and detachable collar stiffeners) and a quite extensive collection of Hermes ties.
If nothing else, I looked the part, and that’s at least half the battle.
When it came to footwear I had a rotation of – always black – Oxfords, brogues and tasseled loafers. And these Guccis: for padding the corridors of high finance, you can’t beat them.
Their longevity can be attributed in part to the fact that, comfortable as they are, you wouldn’t want to walk too far in them, just as you wouldn’t set out for a hike in a pair of slippers. In Abu Dhabi, I kept them in a desk drawer and changed into them after walking to work, so they got plenty of wear, but usually only in office hours and on institutional carpeting.
As to where they’ve taken me, the simple answer is: all around the world a few times. Weighing very little, they were a natural choice for business trips.
I can also tell you exactly where and when I bought them. It was in the Gucci boutique in Venice, on October 5th 1994. How can I be so sure? Because it was my twentieth wedding anniversary, that’s why. I’m hardly likely to forget.
On the basis of this information you may have spotted that very soon – in six weeks, to be exact – it will be my fortieth wedding anniversary. We’re going back to Venice.
And I’ll be packing the Guccis.