Here’s a story about how fashion works today, how an image can go almost viral, and how one seasoned fashion journalist fell under the spell of a pair of red shoes.

Last week, browsing Instagram, I saw a photo of fetching red shoes with an oversize bow, from Zara. The post was a regram – which I can’t find again – but those red shoes are on the official Zara feed: 96,874 likes at last count, on an account with 11.8 million followers and just 1,068 posts at noonish Thursday.


The red shoes from Zara. PHOTOS ZARA


I immediately went to the site, determined that there might be nine pairs at Place Montreal Trust – and took myself to the store in the middle of the Carifesta parade Saturday.

I could have ordered online, with free shipping, but it’s hard to fit shoes, and besides, there might be a postal strike. Also, there is the thrill of the immediate.

Ste-Catherine St. was packed, the store looked like a hurricane had passed through, and of course, the cash lines were epic. I found the shoes, sat myself down on a fixture and determined that they probably fit. So I headed to the men’s cash downstairs and waited a fair amount of time to pay up, only to discover after paying that the leather on one side of a bow was rather crushed.

I flagged down a sales clerk and had him find me another pair from the back store, and put them aside for the next day. I simply could not do the cash line again.  

Tried at home, I found the bows were so big that it was awkward to walk. At least, that’s my excuse.

I returned the shoes, with some regret.

But think of it, almost 100,000 likes for one pair of shoes. And that’s not counting the regram likes.

Let me know if you are about to run over to Zara or order online.

Apparently, there are some still at the downtown Montreal store.

By the way, they cost $89.90, pretty pricey for Zara.