Every shoe has a story and every woman has both. SOLE SISTERS, a film exploring the relationship between women’s identity and the shoes we wear, wants to tell them all. For the past year, award-winning director Cynthia Salzman Mondell has dedicated herself to collecting shoe stories from women around the world and now she wants to hear yours. Do you have a pair of shoes that have helped you overcome something? Is there a pair of shoes in your closet that you don’t wear but won’t throw away? What do your shoes say about you? I am excited to share this Q&A with Cynthia today.
I love the concept behind Sole Sisters. Can you tell us some of the creation story behind Sole Sisters and what your vision is?
While my mom was dying of pancreatic cancer, a pair of unworn, brand new, ruby red high heels sat by her bedside. Those shoes offered her an escape from a sick bed where she was attached to a morphine drip to ease her pain. She fantasized about dancing in a healthy body that enjoyed every musical beat. When my sister and I cleaned out her closet, we were overwhelmed by the prospect of packing up over 75 pairs of genuine leather shoes. As we organized all those heels and flats, a question stuck with me: Why was my Mom along with so many other women obsessed with shoes? What is it about shoes that make a woman feel special? Why do shoes establish a woman’s identity? I decided then that I wanted to make SOLE SISTERS.
What are your favorite shoes now?
I love my United Nude Shoes. They are so cool. They have an unusual heel – a triangular shape. I just feel good in them.
Film is a collaborative art form. I love working with people in the creative process. Other people’s creative talents fuel mine. Working on SOLE SISTERS is a wonderful experience. I am interacting with so many girls and women and collecting their stories told through their shoes. The shoe is an important part of a woman’s identity. Everyday someone shares a treasure -a piece of themselves. Many of my films have made a difference in people’s lives. I hope SOLE SISTERS will make women feel proud of their stories and feel empowered.
What is the best professional advice you’ve been given?
Ignore negativity. Many of my ideas have been laughed at, but I just continue to follow my vision and many times that vision has become a film.
I care very deeply about women’s issues. I see so many women put down by society in small and large ways. I feel it is important to support women.
What do you wish all women knew?
That they have to be independent while belonging and embracing a community of family, friends and co-workers.
Whether you’re a stiletto person, a flats person, or a nothing-but-birkenstocks kind of girl, you have a shoe story. Stop by our SOLE SISTERS website to read other shoe stories and grab a blog button.
Write your story or record a video and email them to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We empower each other through shared storytelling. Be a part of it.