I am one lucky Voger. You know the Fluevog summer sale is going on now, right? Well, I got an invite from the Los Angeles store to attend their sale preview event which took place last Thursday evening, June 27. I’m so glad I was able to go. One of our lovely readers, Alice K. (see photo above), came over to say hello! It was so fun meeting her and chatting about our love for Fluevogs, and I’m so glad that our FlueReviews and features have been so helpful for people who don’t get a chance to try on the shoes before buying. It’s one thing to see the stock photos of drool-worthy shoes and another to actually see the shoes in action on real people’s feet!
The event itself turned out to be a party with sweet giveaways. The deal? The first 30+ people who purchased something (on sale or not) were eligible to pick out a pair of unworn vintage Fluevogs that were languishing in the back of the store for one reason or another. Yes, free vintage Vogs! Most of them were former floor/demo shoes that now showed a mismatch in color between the left and right shoe, which meant that they couldn’t be sold.
Dealer Anthony put together the tiki-themed party, building the bar (!) and making the masks. He even threw a large, bright-blue rug in the middle of the courtyard to simulate a pool. What creativity! Here’s how fun their courtyard looked:
You know what’s so cool? I squeed a little bit when I checked out the official FlueBlog and saw not only a post on the L.A./Melrose party but also a photo with me in it! Well, you can only see my back — that’s me in the teal and black circle-neck dress, with my friends standing next to me — but that moment of recognition when I realized it was me was pretty awesome! I know, I’m a dork. :-p
I got to the store a little late (it started at 5pm) because of traffic hazards on the freeways (grr, L.A. freeways). Luckily for me, however, my friends Jih-Fei and Francine had my back. Both had never tried on Fluevogs before, but they were game to join me at the party. Jih-Fei got there the earliest and stood in line*, so he was the 24th person in. I was number 37. When it came time, he traded numbers with me so that I could be one of the first 30 people. He said he didn’t have a specific shoe in mind anyway and wanted me to get the vintage shoes. What a dear!
Here are the shoes I took home with me:
I bought the patent green-turquoise Amie flats on sale (reviewed here and here); I couldn’t get them out of my mind after trying them on, plus I am a fan of Amies already … and for the giveaway, I walked away with the gorgeous and totally vintage Coffee | Arabica heels! (Several of the “vintage” Vogs were unsellable last pairs at the store but still available for purchase online. So not technically vintage.) We had a chance to check out the vintage selection before entering the store, and once I laid eyes on the Arabicas, I knew they were IT. They were my size (size 6, they ran about 1/2 size small) and when I quickly tried them on, they worked! The sling-back straps were a little loose, but I only need to punch an extra hole in the straps so that they’ll buckle on tighter. You can imagine how antsy I was before they let me into the store; I hoped that no one else my size was going before me. Given that I only learned about Fluevog in mid-2010 (and didn’t start buying until late 2010), I had no idea what I was doing and missed out on the Arabicas which came out in 2009. The family they belong to, Coffee, is no longer being made because the family business that produced them went out of business (sad). I do have two later styles from the Coffee family (Macchiato and Kopi Tiam) and cherish them both, so I knew I’d have no problems with fit once the Arabicas were broken in. Also, I remember drooling over this Vogunteer pic when it first came out.
You might have noticed, though, that my Arabicas are two-toned while the pair in the Vogunteer photo are teal blue all over. Apparently, mine are even more special because they’re custom with the black toes. I think they look fabulous, and they actually matched my dress that evening wonderfully. I put them on once they were officially mine. Here’s a photo of my whole outfit.
* * *
My friend Francine tried on a few pairs of shoes that she was interested in buying. When she saw dealer Lenae wearing the Miracle | Marvel in yellow, she definitely wanted to try them on. So she did, both colorways. … I just realized none of us at FTLOV tried these on. They seem to fit as most Miracles do, very narrow and at least 1/2 size small.
They looked AMAZING on her. She fell for them and actually did purchase her first pair of Fluevogs, the green ones. Excellent choice! Congratulations are in order! I’m a little jealous because the Miracles are too narrow for me to be comfortable, but they fit her perfectly as you can see.
And yes! She got her free vintage pair, too, the Lancianos in olive suede (also Miracle family). She and I both lucked out since most of the vintage shoes were size 6. Actually, Francine is a true size 6, so she had her pick of seven or so pairs, as most of them ran true. Sweet! And I do believe Francine is a Miracle girl. Her first choice to buy had been the Medugorje pumps, but she decided on the more dressy Marvels with their flattering ankle straps. I like the Medugorje but the Marvels really are marvelous!
Meanwhile, Jih-Fei gravitated towards the Brandenburgs (Gateway family), especially the Brandenburg Light in the orange color. He didn’t want to try them on because there were too many people at the store at the time (a few of whom were quite aggressive —sooo off-putting). And since he had to leave before 7 for another appointment, he missed the store clearing out. But he said he wanted to return to try on shoes soon. 🙂
* * *
Finally, I just wanted to end with another shout-out to the L.A. staff. I had so much fun, and even though the store was CRAZY for a while, they still managed to be welcoming and kind. I met and talked to Jen, who used to work at the Vancouver store and is now a grad student in L.A. We commiserated over grad school. Lenae and I talked for quite a while about her projects as an artist, after I asked. Dealer Brenda of Seattle had told me all about Lenae’s work, so I knew I had to ask for more info. (Check out her website. Beautiful stuff. Vintage lovers will drool.) Keith, who, granted, no longer works there, made me laugh. Even Anthony, super busy and running around as he was, found time to chat and gave the go-ahead for another special treat for me…. Lovely, awesome Kate totally took care of me, as usual. As I was preparing to leave, she looked at all of the size 6 vintage women’s shoes that were left, looked at me, and then said that I should go grab another pair. Um, seriously??? Yeah, she said, otherwise what would they do with them? Most would be returned to the back of the store. So she okayed it with Anthony, and I did choose another pair!
I felt seriously fortunate, and even blessed. Maybe it was the sparkling wine I’d drunk, but I just felt really happy after meeting and talking over gorgeous shoes — works of wearable art, really — with my old friends, with Alice K., and with the fabulous bunch that is the Fluevog L.A. staff. Plus I was wearing an amazing pair of shoes and holding on to a bag stuffed with new Fluevogs. It was an embarrassment of riches. I was definitely Fluephoric!
You should know, however, that I didn’t keep that second pair. I had chosen a pair that were slightly big for me, and I paid them forward to my mom (who made my fun night — and many other fun days and nights — possible by babysitting). 🙂 And hopefully I’ll get photos of her wearing them soon. [ETA: Check out my mom’s new kicks here!]
* I had no idea that there would be a line to get into the store for the preview sale, but duh, of course there would be because of the giveaway. Jih-Fei was the one who wondered about it when I first invited him, but I just assumed there wouldn’t be. My bad. Again, special thanks to him, for having the foresight to get there early!