Tuesday, January 13, 2009

north bound

Unwillingly, and not without kicking and screaming, moaning and complaining.... I am headed to Duluth this afternoon. Driving. Here is the weather forecast:

Today: Sun and clouds mixed. Cold. High 2F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph.
Tonight: Variably cloudy with snow showers. Low -6F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 80%. Snow accumulating 1 to 2 inches.
Tomorrow: Variable clouds and windy with scattered snow flurries and snow showers. Cold. Dangerous wind chills as low as -25F. High 2F. Winds NNW at 25 to 35 mph. Chance of snow 40%.
Tomorrow night: Bitterly cold. A few clouds from time to time. Dangerous wind chills may approach -40F. Low -19F. Winds NW at 15 to 25 mph.

WTF (in bright red to represent my terror)

The only thing that I am moderately excited about is scoring a pair of Minnetonka Moccasins while cruising the lands of Minnesota. Nina Garcia recommends that every stylish woman should have a pair of MM in The One Hundred.

I will not fail to mention the recent headlines:

Minnetonka moccasins soar in fashion world
By Sara Glassman,
MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE

Monday, November 24, 2008

MINNEAPOLIS -- When it comes to shoes and boots this season, fringe is on top. Soft Minnetonka Moccasins, with their signature hanging strips of suede, have inspired designers and urban bohemians for decades. Over the past year, their popularity has been soaring.

In light of the uncertain economy, they are relatively affordable -- basic shoes start at $30, and more elaborate boots with three tiers of fringe are $86. Plus, every style is completely flat, making them far more comfortable and practical than stilettos.

With these populist perks, it's not surprising that moccasins are having a fashion moment. But even trendsetters who theoretically would be able to afford much pricier versions by Jimmy Choo ($495) and Michael Kors ($475) favor the Minnetonka brand. Fashion muse Kate Moss has been sporting them for years. Last month, she was spotted in brown knee-high Minnetonka mocs with a pair of denim cutoffs in London. Young stars Lindsay Lohan, Blake Lively and
Mischa Barton also have been photographed in them.


That said, the footwear-of-the-moment isn't a one-season wonder. In the recently published "The One Hundred: The Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own," authors Nina Garcia and Ruben Toledo identify must-haves such as pencil skirts and red lipstick, but recognize Minnetonka Moccasin by the brand name. They wrote: "Many people have made fashion versions of the original, but the original is still the hands-down favorite."

Those originals, as the Minnetonka implies, have Minneapolis roots. However, there are a few misconceptions to be cleared up about them, starting with the fact that the company is headquartered in Minneapolis and never has been based in or even affiliated with the city
identified in the moniker.


"Minnesota, Minnehaha, Minnetonka ... the name sounds Native American and local in origin," says David Miller, president of the family-owned shoe business.

His grandfather, Philip Miller, started Minnetonka Moccasins in 1946, after World War II, as a
gift supplier for resorts. "There was more automobile traffic because of the growing highway system in the United States," David Miller says. "Wherever people went, from Yosemite to northern Minnesota, they would buy trinkets, and the moccasins were part of that."


Tourist souvenirs aside, are there any authentic Indian roots? "No, we've never associated ourselves with a Native American product or been made by Native Americans," Miller says. "Moccasins are part of the Native American culture. I'm sure at one time there was an authentic product being sold, but not by us."

Specific styles of Minnetonka Moccasins have had moments in the spotlight in recent years: In 2005, it was the classic with beaded eagles, and a few years before that, it was the lace-up boots.

Many of the styles, from shoes to ankle boots to knee-highs, are hot now, especially in Los Angeles and New York. "We've been involved in fashion cycles, but this is very broad," Miller says. "We're honored, amused and flattered."


Much of the credit is because of the celebrity connection. Miller is very familiar with the impact that model Moss has had on business. "Kate will be in a magazine, wearing boots identified as Minnetonkas, and our distributor in Japan will call the next day," he says. "That's the world
today -- small and instantaneous."



EDITOR NOTE: Jan. 13th 1:30 PM update: I NEVER made it to Duluth. My garage door would not open due to -19 degree weather. it only gets better with time....

1 comment:

Pam said...

You live in MN?!?! I grew up there!! I am so sorry you have to go to Duluth this time of year. The wind sucks and the weather is most likely going to be horrible. Hence why I moved as far south as I could handle.

Good luck!!