Venice Beach, California
“Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.“– Marilyn Monroe
Magnolia Boots, Poppy Pumps, Mustard Maxi, Fedora, Gold Blazer, White Tank, Black Skinny Jeans, Mustard Fur Coat, Mirrored Shades, Leather Pants, Ruffled Blouse, Sundress, Pencil Skirt, Sleeveless Top, Sunnies, Navy Blazer, Tomboy Poplin Shirt, Yellow Skinny Jeans
I plead guilty to making frequent doorstep checks in anticipation of the delivery of a pair of Jaclyn Jones USA shoes. I could barely contain my excitement when the gorgeous floral box arrived with a lovely handwritten note from Jaclyn herself. I felt like a young girl again! Entering my Mother’s closet as a young child left an indelible impression on my psyche. It felt like a visit to the Altar of the Shoe Gods! Shelf upon shelf displayed a dizzying array of colors, shapes, and designs adorned with feathers, pearls, and rhinestones. Fascinated by my Mother’s love of shoes, I couldn’t resist playing dress up as I would hobble around in her high heels. As I grew taller and quickly outgrew her size 7AAA heels, a seed would be planted with a love for shoes that would blossom decades later.
Entering the world of fashion blogging in my mid 50’s, I was delighted to find that shoes began to take on a whole new meaning! As a young girl, fashion lit my fire, transforming the way that I felt in an instant. Blogging has been a means of expanding my creativity through self-expression, testing out new looks and new ways of being. Sarah Jessica Parker and Sex and the City inspired many women to see shoes in a whole new way. Psychologists have done a wide range of studies to illustrate that shoes have a way of impacting our self-confidence and the way we interact with the world. I came to understand the power of a beautiful shoe, combined with the aesthetic of unforgettable design: shoes not only elevate your sense of style but your mood as well! I would begin to center my looks and style around a beautiful shoe, from the ground up.
Traditionally, women have stumbled around on high heels, sacrificing comfort over beauty. Enter Jaclyn Lesley Jones, a woman with a mission to create a new paradigm that combines a luxurious design aesthetic along with a cushy, comfortable sole. In a world dominated by men, Jaclyn is a refreshing voice working to disrupt the high end, luxury designer shoe market. Her vision is one of a gorgeous aesthetic that also combines a high level of cushion to allow a woman to walk in both style and comfort. She’s literally taking a stand for women and casting aside the traditional male viewpoint such as that of Christian Louboutin, “The core of my work is dedicated not to pleasing women but to pleasing men.” Jaclyn Jones has a different viewpoint – one centered around pleasing the woman who is her customer. Her vision is a unique one in the luxury market. A woman doesn’t have to sacrifice comfort for beauty. In fact, she can rock the ultimate in designer shoes and experience a level of comfort previously unknown.
I was excited to test out a pair of Jaclyn’s shoes and reached out to a Forever Fierce friend and sister, Jacqueline DePaul. The visionary behind the blog, “The Yellow Brick Runway,” Jacqueline is a tech engineer by day and a supermodel by night. She regularly rocks couture designs and luxury fashion, from the Paris Fashion Week Runway to photo shoots that could easily be found in the pages of Vogue. Not only is she drop dead gorgeous, she’s one of the kindest, most supportive and down to earth women I’ve ever met. In the world of fashion blogging, that can be a rare quality and one that’s first and foremost on my list. What better partner in crime to give these gorgeous shoes a whirl. Jacqueline and I brought along another Fierce sister, Julie Bee of Over Fifty in Hollywood. A 25 year veteran of Hollywood movie studios, Julie is the Creative Director of The Forever Fierce Revolution and always willing to lend a hand behind the scenes.
Visiting the Jaclyn Jones USA online boutique feels a bit like what Charlie must have felt entering Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory! It was impossible to choose just one. The designs combine whimsy and romance along with vibrant color, delicious fabrics and an endless range of style. The “Magnolia” boots captured my attention and didn’t let go! Buttery soft, navy leather combined with an exclusive JJUSA floral print, a hand-carved heel, a signature medallion heel plate and an unheard of 4mm foam insole makes for the ultimate experience in luxury and the feeling of floating on air. Jacqueline chose “Poppy,” an authentic, burgundy leather upper with the most delightful metallic bronze detail and burgundy suede straps. Lined with luxurious supple leather and also cushioned with a 4mm insole, we were ready to take a spin around neighboring Venice in a mix of eye-catching looks highlighting the focal point, shoes by Jaclyn Jones USA.
The hint of gold in the floral print of the Magnolia Boots launched the inspiration for my looks in a variety of buttery, mustard yellow, and gold. Finding the perfect look wasn’t the challenge. It was narrowing down the options as the boots could be styled with just about everything! A mustard silk flowing maxi with a beautiful ruffle detail would allow the patterned navy boots to pop. The winds were whipping that day and I happily grabbed my fedora by Rag and Bone to tame my wind tousled tresses. Jacqueline is a true show stopper; combine her gorgeous looks with a pair of eye-catching calf hair Poppy’s by Jaclyn Jones USA, and it wasn’t long before we had a crowd gathered to stop and cheer! I was getting a taste of what it must feel like to be chased by paparazzi…well, almost. In true fashion blogger style, we positioned ourselves right in the midst of the colorful Venice Boardwalk, strewn with musicians and street artists, and struck a power pose. Jacqueline chose a strappy, patterned sundress designed to perfectly catch the wind gusts off the ocean.
We made our way across the boardwalk with vibrant backdrops everywhere we turned. We happened upon a newly painted wall where the paint was still wet and the artists weren’t quite done. It’s not every day you have the opportunity to work with a professional model who began at 38 and has been dominating the catwalk for 11 years. Jacqueline’s a pro while I’m more of a self-taught “role model” than an actual model. It was a treat to observe a professional at the top of her game who was the epitome of confidence and fluid grace. Venice is a kaleidoscope of color and artistry which felt like an open invitation to the two of us to strike a pose at every twist and turn.
A trip to Venice wouldn’t be complete without a visit along the world famous, Abbott Kinney. Strewn with an array of well-known fashion boutiques and some of the best restaurants in LA, we were on the hunt for the coolest nooks and crannies we could find. Fortunately, my photog happens to have an eye for the perfect and unusual frame that most people would never notice. There’s something about reaching the precipice of Midlife that happens to instill a powerful sense of confidence in a woman. Fierce takes on a whole new meaning with the newfound and liberating feeling of freedom found within. Jacqueline and I didn’t hesitate plopping ourselves down in the midst of a crowded bar, making new friends in a lively window frame, jetting down alleyways and making use of any and all props we found strewn along the way.
Ducking in and out of my Jeep Wrangler, our lowkey dressing room for the afternoon, we quickly changed up our looks. I tossed on a silky golden blazer, simple white tank and a pair of coated, skinny jeans by Paige Denim. (I the midst of their annual sale!) We happened to catch a couple of sassy street signs that inspired me to toss on an over the top, mustard yellow faux fur coat and a pair of mirrored shades. How could I resist? It was my pretty woman moment! The two of us strutted our stuff along and brought along an air of badass attitude. The alleyways inspired another change of looks. I grabbed a pair of classic leather pants from my own collection and a gorgeous ruffled blouse by Tularosa.
I want to be clear … these are luxury shoes with a luxury price tag that are an indulgence, or if you happen to be a woman at Midlife & Beyond that has done well throughout life, an easier purchase. Their design, quality, and aesthetics are second to none and that includes Chanel and Valentino. These are classic designs that transcend fads and fast fashion. Jaclyn Jones USA will supplement your wardrobe, not for the year, but for decades. They are carefully handcrafted in the USA and are an impeccable addition to a woman’s footwear collection. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a more beautiful and dedicated attention to deal. The shoes are purely exquisite. Jaclyn and her team are offering a rare opportunity for you to have your own experience. From June 28th through July 5th, use USA20 for a 20% discount on the site. Visit the Jaclyn Jones USA website to give yourself the gift of pure luxury while floating on air. There’s a gorgeous array of designs with a few of my personal favorites being the Magnolia, Posey, and Amaranth. Allow yourself to indulge in a gift that will last a lifetime with this awesome holiday discount.
Jacqueline’s ease in front of a lens is something to behold. It was an afternoon that turned into an evening of fierce friendship, fun, fashion, laughter, and pure joy. By the end of the night, we had been walking around, changing, posing and strutting our stuff for over 4 hours. We couldn’t help but marvel at the fact that our shoes were as comfortable as when we set out. I’m a boho girl by nature and by now, my shoes would normally be tossed aside and I bare feet would rule. After the shoot, Jules, my photog and I were ravenous and ready for dinner as it was after 8 o’clock. This barefoot boho girl would have to wait as we still had a night ahead and I wasn’t about to part with my shoes. As we walked along Abbott Kinney searching for a restaurant that wasn’t packed to the brim, I had a multitude of admirers stop me or shout out, “Love the Shoes!” I was beginning to get used to the taste of show-stopping luxury. Truth is…I would sleep in my Magnolia booties if I could! I’m feeling a bit like Cinderella with the glass slipper although I have a feeling both Cinderella and I would prefer the upgrade to Jaclyn Jones USA! Cheers, Beauties!