Bloomingdale's recently opened a new, vastly expanded—to 27,000 square feet—shoe department at its flagship 59th Street location. To celebrate, the icon of New York City shopping commissioned nine enormous tributes to New York City in the form of shoes. And one of them, naturally, was a Playbill-plastered stiletto by Alexandra Romero, which has now found a permanent home in the Playbill offices.
A seasonal employee who frequently works on the holiday window displays, Romero was approached to handle the Playbill shoe—and leaped at the task.
“It was really fun,” she says. “Just the process alone of putting the Playbills together and taking the shoe from being plain white to 'boom!' in your face Playbills. And then the lights, which really brings it all out for sure.”
Taking a box of hundreds of Playbills, Romero laid each issue out and organized it by color before beginning the laborious process of applying them to the shoe form. “You want things to work together,” she explains. “You want each color palette, but also to bring out the [Playbill] logo. I love that font!” Indeed, Romero cut off the tops of Playbills to make the entire heel from the black and yellow logo. “To have that there and to have a lot of it, the eye really gravitates. I wanted to have fun with graphics and texts and fonts.”
Every aspect of a Playbill was carefully thought out—Romero even made use of the Who’s Who and the other black and white pages from every issue. “For the inside of the shoe, we used the inside of the Playbills,” she says. “Those key words when you think Broadway and Playbill, like the history of the theatre and who’s in the cast.”
Romero is particularly gratified at the response her shoe has garnered thus far. Visiting the shoe in its new home at Bloomingdale's one day, Romero spied quite a few selfie shoots. “This one lady had on sunglasses and she had a whole mini photo shoot using the back of the heel,” Romero says with a laugh. “It’s interesting, when each person sees the shoe, how it might inspire them or brighten them. So it’s cool to see the effect of what you put so many hours into!”