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Insider: Mayor Bloomberg on Footwear

The NYC politician may not follow fashion, but he sings the praises of Seventh Avenue.

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At Fashion Institute of Technology's awards benefit on Thursday night, Insider squeezed in a few questions during an exclusive interview between New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the New York Daily News.

Bloomberg dished to FN on the influence of Big Apple style setters — but don't think he's a label-lover. "I have no idea [what shoes I'm wearing], he said. "Probably Paul Stuart, but I've had them for a long time."

Perhaps it's time the mayor took his own advice and invested in a new pair of kicks. "We do want people to save, but we also want them to get out and spend," he urged. "You can do it a little more frugally than you would have before and have a small savings rate, but right now everybody is so scared, that they've created the very thing they're worried about. That's what a crisis of confidence is."

While Bloomberg may not be into retail therapy, he has plenty of respect for the industry that, according to his statistics, generates "over $100 billion dollars in salaries and wages for 175,000 people" in New York City.

"Fashion sets the tone, it provides the glamour. And all the other industries feed off that," mused Bloomberg. "...Fashion helps people, it gives them confidence in the future. It makes them proud of themselves. Everyone likes to dress up and look in the mirror. That's what life is about."

While presenting an award to Saks Fifth Avenue CEO Steve Sadove, the mayor took a few jabs at the retailer’s golf skills. The politician also told Insider that Kenneth Cole is also part of his putting posse. (Bloomberg even contributed to Cole's recently published book Awearness, essays on social action.) "He's a great guy," he said of the designer. "I have absolutely no idea about his designs whatsoever."

Insider scoops were so hot that the Daily News scrapped its own questions and blogged FN’s interview the very next day.

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