Scuffed and bruised and hanging on for dear life, Emily Ratajkowski’s loafers have lived a long and grueling existence, their hardships etched into hand-waxed buffalo leather. Wrinkled, deflated, and collapsing from the contours of the foot, these well-worn loafers have accompanied the model to the Cannes Film Festival and to H&M activations and on countless paparazzi strolls around Manhattan.
Here is a pair of shoes that has seen things. A benign wizard, a priest with burst capillaries and a taste for sacramental wine, an aging Mediterranean sitting on a plastic chair in a vest and high-waist slacks. I would like to wheel them out into a garden and say, “It is enough, please rest,” and let them bake in the sun like a couple of sun-dried tomatoes. These loafers are also the most authentic example of old money to have entered the celeb-scape, which is a power move.
For those with extreme amounts of wealth, a raddled item that’s been worn umpteen times is more of a status symbol than a T-shirt emblazoned with “Monaco Yacht Club” or something. And that Emily Ratajkowski—who I presume has box-fresh Adidas Sambas on tap—should return to these well-loved (if not disintegrating) loafers, reminds me of how the Olsens give their Birkin bags permission to age. There’s no point being precious about fashion; clothes are there to be lived in.
This article first appeared on British Vogue.