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The Noel Shoe Museum Gala

Photos by:  PMC and Andrew Werner

Bernard Adams donating Mayor Adams' shoes
Bernard Adams donating Mayor Adams' shoes
Fern Mallis and Jean Shafiroff
Fern Mallis and Jean Shafiroff
Vanessa Noel
Vanessa Noel
Living Shoe!
Living Shoe!

The Noel Shoe Museum Gala

New York City’s First and Only Shoe Museum

A soulful event

NY - A very soulful event and I’m delighted to be here!” said Fern Mallis, the former Executive Director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, as she opened the gala proceeding Thursday night for the The Noel Shoe Museum, their second annual gala at a Private Club in New York City. Quoting Kenneth Cole , she said, “‘The average woman falls in love seven times a year - only six are with shoes’. There is not one woman I know and several men that does not have a shoe fetish. And as Marilyn Monroe said, ‘give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world’. Tonight we celebrate Vanessa Noel for spearheading this extraordinary museum, which will be a great addition to New York City. New York is already the greatest fashion city in the country, and while we boast some of the world's most renowned museums and galleries, there's one facet of human creativity that has remained largely unexplored until now, the world of footwear. Vanessa has shown us that shoes are not just accessories, but vessels of creativity, history, and personal expression.”

Mayor Eric Adams donated a pair of his shoes which were brought to the stage by  his brother, Bernard Adams, who shared “they [Mayor Adams’ shoes] aren’t sexy, but I can tell you one thing; these shoes have a lot of mileage because the man works hard. He really loves this city, and this museum. We were at the Gracie Mansion and I said, listen, take your, take your shoes off so I can bring them over [laugh]. If you know anything about the mayor, you know, he's up early and he goes to bed real late. They say he's a nightlife mayor. That's true. But he's out working all the time. So I don't wanna make this to be a campaign speech, but I can say that my brother is a hard worker. He really loves the city. And so this museum, I'm sure he is gonna be a part of it.”

Chris "Handles" Franklin, former player and now coach of the Harlem Globetrotters, and current player Brawley "Cheese" Chisholm presented limited edition Reebok basketball sneakers. Mark Breland, former American amateur boxer and olympic gold medalist, donated a pair of his boxing shoes. On display were metallic gold Versace shoes from Danny Wegman (of the new Wegmans Grocery store in Astor Place), Hunt Slonem’s paint covered sneakers, Fern Mallis’ lime green Manolo Blahnik heels, H.R.H. Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia’s custom Vans, and many more.

Two incredible "living shoes", created by Italian artist Johannes Stoetter, performed for the first time in the United States. Dressed in only body paint, they assumed the forms of stiletto heels. Earlier Wednesday morning, just off a plane from Vienna, they performed on Good Day New York, live from Vanessa Noel’s storefront on 64th Street and Lexington Avenue. 

Gala guests included Sharon and Bernard Adams, Teri Agins, Frederick Anderson, Keiko Ono Aoki, Michael Atmore, Jeffrey Banks, Tina Beriro, Cesare Bieller, CeCe and Lee Black, Sharon Bush, Liz and Gerry Byrne, Cassandra Cass, Lady Liliana Cavendish, David Patrick Columbia, Ruthie Davis, Mike Dean, Lauren Ezerzky, Pamela Fiori, Celso Gonzalez, Anthony Haden Guest, Nikki Haskell, Leila and Henry Heller, Omar Hernandez, Arthur Houghton, Dorothea de la Houssaye, Paris Hovnanian, Elizabeth Kabler, Roy Kean, Karen Klopp, Margo Langenberg, Alfred Lasher, Franck Laverdin, Maribel Lieberman, Denise de Luca, Pamela Morgan, Miranda Morrison, Roland Nivelais, Topper Quinn, Nicole Salmasi, Jean Shafiroff, Hunt Slonem, Tracy Snyder, Caroline St George, Benny Tabatabai, Joyce Varvatos, Robert Verdi, Christopher Walling and Shoe Museum Board Members Billie Bailkin, Susan Gutfreund, Hon. Carolyn Maloney, Joe Pacetti, Jackie Tucker, H.R.H. Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia.

Shoes carved into pumpkins were the centerpieces on every table. Guests played rounds of bingo for major prizes before following a fiddler down the street to OHLALA Supper Club, where an after party got everyone dancing. 

The evening raised money and awareness for the construction of New York City’s first and only museum dedicated to shoes. More information at


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