Dec 4, 2009  •  In Blogging, Personal, Web

I am by no means a fashionista.

So perhaps this is the reason I have NEVER heard of the über-popular blog Sea of Shoes until tonight.

Jane Aldridge, the 17-year-old blogger behind Sea of Shoes.

I found the site intriguing, much like a 5-car pileup on the LIE. You want to not look, but you can’t. Here is a 17-year-old girl — a thin, attractive one at that — flaunting her wealth and entitlement through a blog that consists mostly of pictures of herself flashing her latest luxury purchases.

And what about the mom, who obviously supports these spending sprees? And has her own blog to showcase her own fabulous lifestyle?

A bit of web sleuthing revealed that Jane, through her blog, has become a fashion darling and featured in numerous industry rags in the likes of Vogue. She has even launched her own line of shoes through Urban Outfitters. And even though it is apparent that she does not bat an eye spending $1,000+ on shoes, she probably receives tons of free or heavily discounted swag from companies vying for their products to be paraded on her blog.

Maybe I’m just bitter because I’ve heard too many sob stories due to the current economic climate. Maybe it’s just my own green eyed monster rearing its ugly head. Maybe her blog reveals only a small part of her life; for all I know she could be volunteering at homeless shelters every day of the week.

And heck, who am I to judge? I’m all for posting whatever the hell you want on your own blog.

So, based on what’s written in the last sentence, here is what I have to say on my own blog about Sea of Shoes:

Marie Antoinette.

Do you read Sea of Shoes? How do YOU feel about it?

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18 Responses to “I am by no means a fashionista.”

  1. anon says:

    I’ve been to her blog a few times in the past, enjoyed looking at the pictures and whatnot. I can’t really agree with your Marie Antoinette comment though. Granted that she’s soaked with luxury items and stuff, but it looks like she’s from a wealthy family. (I don’t know, haven’t read her blog that much, but yea, sure looks like it!) If you’re truly bothered by her blog, then don’t look at it. There are many more people on the web that are like her, go check out cyworld or other Korean blog sites. Koreans love to show off how luxurious their lives are… or would like to show it as such. When they get cool items, they take photos of it, just like you show off your camera or digital piano, etc, whatever it may be.

    Maybe you are bitter or something, but in my eyes, she’s just another blogger that is well off and lucky to be in the environment that she’s in. Look at those "Hills" girls…

    Oh, and just to clarify, I’m not taking anyone’s side nor defending anyone. Just saying that I see her as one of those millions of people out there on the internet that takes A LOT of photos of her life and blogs about it. The smart part is, she’s building her own business at a young age too.

  2. Geek in Heels says:

    @anon — I guess the curse of writing things online is that we can’t always assume that readers can sense our tone. This entire post was written with a trace of sarcasm, and although I may be judging, it’s only my opinion. And by comparing Jane to Marie Antoinette, I only meant it in the sense that Marie Antoinette was a privileged person of considerable wealth who drew much irk from the less privileged.

    Am I bitter? Perhaps I am, because my parents hardly ever bought extravagant gifts for me and sister while growing up. In fact, we saved up for our $89 Nintendo system by saving up loose change for an entire year. And the difference between my posting pictures of my camera or digital piano, vs people like Jane, is that I worked hard and sacrificed to save money for those items because big purchases like these are rare and in-between in my world.

    No, I will not be visiting her blog again for the same reason I don’t read those Korean blogs or Cyworld sites you mentioned, because honestly I’m just not too interested in blogs covering fashion or shopping, nor blogs only chronicling purchases, parties, vacations, and the like. I can see how other people would, though, and obviously there is a reason this girl (as are other privileged people who are popular for having certain lifestyles) has so many fans. Again, these are just my preferences and I don’t look down on anyone for liking this kind of stuff.

    (Sorry if I sound defensive. It’s really late and I’m super tired but can’t sleep and I’m cranky!)

  3. Andrea says:

    The thing that I always think about when I see people who live lives of such opulence is I always question how happy their lives must honestly be. It always seems like (for them) there is never such a thing as having enough of anything. There’s never enough shoes. There’s always more fashion that they don’t have yet. There’s just never enough of anything that they have and they constantly feel like they must have more. That kind of life is so not for me and I don’t even say this to be optimistic in the way of my own life.

  4. Amy S says:

    If her life is nothing but shoes and clothes, I don’t envy her at all. Just reading a few posts, it sounds like her life doesn’t have much substance. I’m not much into fashion, so it just seems flaunty and she seems to have no personality to her posts.

    I need personality to stay interested. 🙂

  5. koritsimou says:

    Ok, I can’t deny that if I was independently wealthy, I’d be allll over nice clothes and shoes. Love ’em, can’t deny that. But looking at her blog, all I can think about is that money can’t buy taste or class.

    And that’s all I’ll say about that.

  6. Emily says:

    I can’t help but wonder if there’s anymore "more" to her. I much more admire a woman of intelligence who is actively doing something with her life, whether it’s being smart or just using her influence to do good things. So, while it must be nice to live the life of Riley, it sounds so empty. My first thought is "pretty but dumb" simply because her posts are so…shallow I guess? And i feel like ANYONE who has the need to flaunt their "fabulous lifestyle" that much is really missing something, deep in the core of their heart. And maybe that is incredibly judgemental of me, but I can’t help it.

    Spoiled 17 year olds don’t really do it for me, the whole concept of entitlement nauseates me =\

  7. Anna says:

    I think from the blog she’s working as a model (many photoshoots with different people), so having pics that sell stuf or sell her face as a model is her job… Okay, a superficial one, but so many other jobs consist of pretend work as well.

    I wouldn’t want to be in her fabulous (but uncomfortable, as she admits) shoes nor would I probably be her friend, but well, there are people whose job is making the fashion industry work and I don’t know how the world would go round otherwise. Maybe we’d all be wearing uniforms like in SF movies? 🙂 Eveyone has his place in the ecosystem.

    Plus, I’m not the one who gives so much to charity that it lowers my level of life, so why would I excpect anyone to do so?

    Finally, the shallowness of that blog falls more into the "unworthy of my attention" than "worthy of me complaining", I do have a life. 😉

  8. Penny says:

    Well, it’s kind of become "in vogue" to look down on and criticize the wealthy. I don’t do that. Some people have lots o’ cash, others have nothing. That’s life. Sometimes it’s also supposedly cool to make assumptions about the way others live their life. Most of the cash that goes into charity drives/fundraising/donations comes from the top 2% actually, not from middle class America. Just because someone wears designer duds every day, doesn’t mean they are superficial or bad people. They just have a different lifestyle, and for me, I am perfectly happy in my tiny rented apartment with my bargain basement clothing. If I were jealous of somebody else’s high-end lifestyle, I would have to classify MYSELF as materialistic. I love her blog because it gives me fashion ideas to knock off, and I look at clothing as pieces of art – I can appreciate them from afar.

  9. Geek in Heels says:

    I have no doubts that she is an intelligent young woman, to have gained this much attention, amassed such a following, and even finding success in the business world. I remember that when I was googling her I found a blog post from someone who met Jane Aldridge and her mother, and found them to be very sweet and down-to-earth.

    I guess I fall into the category of those who are bystanders, taking in what I just saw, making observations and comments based on that, then moving on. Just like what I said in the post, like witnessing a car wreck. Have I felt the flash of bitterness and a bit of jealousy? Yes. But only because I’m the type to think (and have been raised to question), "That teenage spent HOW MUCH on a pair of shoes?" rather than admire those shoes.

    @Penny — I’m not sure it’s become "in vogue" to criticize the wealthy. I think it’s just more commonplace these days in light of the current economic situation, and those who openly display their wealth (whether with good intentions or not) only become easy fodder for those who are struggling.

  10. At first, I was bitter that I didn’t have all that stuff… but then I realized that if I had all that stuff at 17, I wouldn’t have turned out the way that I am today

    I do hope she doesn’t turn out shallow or obsessed about nothing else but fashion, but regretfully it looks like it’s heading that way.

    But why shouldn’t it? She doesn’t have to work for money. it’s the envious life of the lazy.

    I’m much happier being me, than her. With that being said, I’ve recently given up on subscribing or reading the blog after a couple of posts.

    I am more interested in real fashion or style. Real women, real creativity…

    ANYONE can look great with lots of money so I am not particularly impressed by her.

    (And her Chanel dress was pretty freaking hideous for the Ball)

  11. Jen says:

    It’s like gossip girl without the comedic irony! I like her photos, though, I have always been the kind of person that reads vogue for the pretty pretty pictures. I wouldn’t want to have a life like that because I wouldn’t be me, and I think it seems boring and superficial and too easy. She does seem to be modeling and actually designing her own shoe collection for UO, though, which is kinda cool.

  12. Anna says:

    @FB: I totally agree about the Chanel dress. It just screams "I’m so rich!" to me.

  13. Anon2 says:

    Her mother is/was a well established and revered designer within the fashion industry. I imagine she married someone fairly well off as well, and it certainly has led to a charmed life for Ms. Sea of Shoes.

    I think the Marie Antoinette comment is dead on, and all too apt. In fact, it’s perfect. Hell, just look at the picture of her sitting in that chair, amongst all of those shoes strewn about. Very smug and self important. It’s quite possible that she gets freebies, especially due to her mother’s connections. But it’s also just as likely that she purchases everything (well her mom does).

    To me, she comes across as very vapid, and shallow. There is no championing of causes, no mentions of much of anything but her fabulous life. And she may very well be very happy… but I could also see her really not being happy at all, and using the blog to establish an adoring public.

    She started getting a lot of flack about her blog, and instead of addressing it, recognizing the issues, and doing something about it, she just had a mini fit, and turned the comments off. Her mother is just as much at fault as she is, they seem obsessed with materialism. Her photos are generally done with photographer’s lights, and are nothing short of photo-shoots that her and her mom create.

    And yes, money can’t buy class. The worst are those that worship her, and reward such behavior. It’s really gross. In addition to that, not all ‘fashion families’ behave in such a manor, and I feel for those that try to change the opinions of fashion around, only to come up against crap like this time and time again.

  14. Anon2 says:

    Just wanted to add:

    It’s not that it’s suddenly ‘en vogue’ to criticize the wealthy, people are simply starting to think more responsibly, and question why such excess is necessary, or acceptable. They are no longer simply accepting of the images they see in media, the ‘ideal’ or ‘American Dream’ that is preached to us. And the answer to all of this questioning is that it no longer socially acceptable or responsible to be so opulent and spendy. It’s quite gross, for lack of a better term.

  15. lovetheheels says:

    Have you guys been in Barneys shoe floor or Berdorf’s? It’s usually so crowded that you can barely find a place to sit and try the shoes. There are tons of people out there with obscene amount of money to spend on shoes and clothes. Jane happens to have money and taste. good for her. I work in fashion and most of people who’s not in the industry have no idea how much thought and complex process goes into making that one item to be sold and loved. Fashion is not for wealthy and dummies. Fashion is for the sophisticated and refined. Do you know alot of Jane’s clothes and accessories are from flee market and cheap vintage items? It’s about how you wear it not how much the shoes and clothes are. That’s how she became famous. Not because she’s rich and can afford all those expensive shoes. (There are so many other with the same situation) Because she was refined enough with her taste in fashion at such a early age and was able to stylize herself in her own unique way and portray it on her blog. The new Proenza Schouler booties she bought with her mom this fall – If she was able to understand the beauty of the shoe, the construction of wooden heels, using rubber as welt detail in such a dressy shoes, gold toe cap detail reminds of chanel but completely diff. toe shape that throws you off. if she understand the beauty of that shoes, – like you understand a work of modern art, and she loves it, who deserves it more than her? Again, it’s never about the money – who doesn’t have money that enjoys true high fashion. It’s about the girl named Jane who’s got the refreshing and inventive eye for fashion and art.

  16. Lindsey says:

    I read this post and read through Sea of Shoes as well as Mom Shoes’s blog one morning before work and didn’t have time to comment…I have to say, just from what the two blogs convey, the person I really feel sorry for is Jane’s younger sister. She barely gets any mention in Mom’s blog; Mom Shoes is all about daughter Jane. I hope that Little Sister Shoes is not as snubbed in real life as she appears to be online.

  17. N says:

    Just wanted to point out that Jane does go thrifting for used clothing as well.

  18. Mag says:

    Yea, she has vintage, thrift clothes and shoes but they’re like at least $200 with the occasional accessories and other things that are $20 because no one wants to wear them besides her.

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