Patti Stanger has a knack for matchmaking, so it’s no surprise that when it comes to shoes, she knows all about finding that perfect pair.
“I’m a shoe addict, I will admit to that. Shoes are my crack,” said Stanger, a third-generation matchmaker who has found fame setting up millionaires on her Bravo reality show, “Millionaire Matchmaker.”
The no-nonsense TV star has famously rejected men and women from her Los Angeles-based Millionaire’s Club for favoring much-younger mates and sporting unruly eyebrows. And Stanger doesn’t reserve her strong opinions just for the lovelorn.
“I’m always searching through the magazines, pulling pages and telling my stylist, ‘Get me this, get me that,’” she said. “But I’m not a shoe snob. If I see a pair of no-name shoes, and I like them, I buy them. [Some people] have a thing with only wearing Christian Louboutin, but there are 50 million designers out there. Give someone else play.”
Stanger, who admitted to dropping $11,000 during a Saks Fifth Avenue shopping spree, has spent a good chunk of her 49 years building her footwear collection to include towering platforms, authentic cowboy boots and a sizable mix of red-soled stilettos.
And with a packed schedule that includes hosting a satellite radio show, running her P.S. XOXO online dating site and doing press for her book and newly launched DVD, “Married in a Year,” Stanger has plenty of opportunities to show off her extensive collection.
Pairs owned: About 300
Brands: Christian Louboutin, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Fiorentini + Baker, Gucci, Guess, Jimmy Choo, Miu Miu, Nike, Sigerson Morrison, Tahari, Tony Lama, Yellow Box
Organizational strategy: Stanger typically lines up her collection by designer and color, but her filming schedule can shake things up. “If we’re shooting, I have to keep them separate because I have to be able to repeat the exact same shoe [for consistency].”
Dream closet: “[I’d love] to have a styling room with a wall of shoes. It would be all white, [like] a palace of shoes, with a chandelier and a love seat in the middle.”
Shoe style: Sexy, yet comfortable. “But I do have a slew of shoes that are just ‘photo shoes.’ You can’t walk in them, but they elongate the leg and look great on camera.”
All-time favorite: Boots by Stephane Kélian. “They are buttery, leathery and fit like a glove. ”
Most stylish shoe: Miu Miu sparkly pumps. “I wore them on the red carpet at [Bravo TV’s] A-list Awards. They have pink and different colors in them, and I felt like Cinderella.”
Last pair purchased: Rather than buy a pair at a time, Stanger tends to buy in bulk. “I got five pairs at Nordstrom the other day, [including] little black booties by Trouvé and cute rhinestone booties.”
Style you wish you could pull off: The oxford look. “It’s too man-tailory for me, too Diane Keaton. I’m just not that girl. I can’t do the construction worker look, either.”
Biggest splurge: $2,000 on a pair of blue suede boots by Sigerson Morrison. “I have to get mileage out of them [for them to be worth that much], and I have. But that’s about the max I’d spend.”
Biggest score: A pair of alligator pumps found while vintage shopping in France. “They were straight from Joan Crawford’s era.”
Best shopping spots in Los Angeles: Planet Blue, Barneys, Vanity Room, Nordstrom and “just walking up Robertson [Boulevard].”
Pair you’d never throw out: Mid-height, black Louboutin heels. “I have repaired those heels and soles [so many times]. I live in them because they are so comfortable.”
Most comfortable: Fendi. “They make the best shoes [on] the market. I don’t know what’s in those shoes, but someone got it right.”
Most uncomfortable: Sky-high Louboutin peep-toe pumps. “They are 9-feet tall, so I only wear them for [photo] shoots.”
Biggest shoe mistake: “I once bought 15 pairs of cowboy boots. I still have them in my closet. It’s like, ‘What am I doing with all these?’ But I still live in my Tony Lamas from high school.”
Best workout shoe: “I’m a Nike addict and am waiting for them to make a [toning] shoe. I tried doing the rocking and the rolling, and I just don’t like it.”
Favorite casual look: Rhinestone- and jewel-embellished flip-flops, like Guess’ “black ones with the little heart. I’m waiting from them to come out in every color.”
Best tactics for a sales associate: “Asking the person what they are looking for, but not pestering them. [But] if something really great just came in, suggest it. We can’t see the entire stock all the time.”
Sexiest style on a man: “Converse is rocking it right now, and motorcycle boots are great if it’s cold outside.”
Trend you wish would go away: “Boho. I hate the whole look, like the Birkenstock with bling on it or the clog. We just need to push it off the cliff and let it die.”
Star style you admire: “I love Jennifer Aniston’s look. It’s clean. [And] I like the way Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez pull it off.”
Style icon: Coco Chanel. “She just knew how to throw it together.”