The Noel Shoe Museum Gala: A “Soleful” Event That Shoe Addicts Shouldn’t Miss!

I was lucky enough to attend second annual Noel Shoe Museum Gala on Thursday, October 26, 2023 at the Metropolitan Club in New York City. Vintage, rare, shoes were on display. For the first time in the United States, two incredible “living shoes” created by Italian artist Johannes Stoetter, were performed by contortionists. One shoe was a zebra print and the other was a leopard print (see above). When I first saw the “living shoes,” I thought that they were statues and then I looked closely and noticed that the shoes had faces!

The event started off with a cocktail hour in the stunning lobby of the Metropolitan Club. The photo above was taken just as the guests started to arrive. The extra large marble covered room inspired by classic Greek architecture soon had more than 300 guests milling about. There was also a step in repeat where the hostess for the evening, notable shoe designer Vanessa Noel, took photos with notable guests from fashion and luxury goods world including the folks who were going to be presenting their shoes onstage that would eventually be put into the Noel Shoe Museum.

Next everyone sat down for dinner and the tables were decorated in a combination of both shoe and Halloween themes. Notice that the jack o’lantern serving as the centerpiece had shoe shapes cut out of it! Several of the lovely ladies at my were good friends of Vanessa Noel and have donated to the museum.

NYFW legend and CFDA president Fern Mallis was the co-mistress of ceremonies. Here she is calling out the bingo numbers for pricey games that yielded top notch prizes including a Thalassa luxury cruise to the Mediterranean and a gorgeous $4,500 sterling sneaker box by Christofle that could be used to store other things besides sneakers!

In case you are curious about the food served, well the entree is pictured above. I was a lucky lady last Friday night as I first got to eat filet mignon while reviewing Philippe Chow in the Dream Hotel and then came to the Noel Shoe Museum Gala and got to eat it again. There was tuna tartare as the appetizer were and individual pumpkin cheesecakes for desserts with raspberry sauce for dessert. There was a cute little shoe shaped cake topper in each dessert!

The object of the night was to raise money for the shoe museum and NYC notables came up one by one to donate shoes. The flashiest and biggest were sneakers donated by three of the beloved Harlem Globetrotters.

This simple pair of super business-like brown oxfords was given in by Mayor Adams’ lookalike brother Bernard who said he literally walked into Mayor Adams’ office and demanded that he take off his shoes and donate them on the spot! The mayor was scheduled to be at the gala but business called and he could not make it!

Vanessa Noel also had some bingo duties and had various helpers from the fashion industry help her out spinning the bingo wheel. She donated a week at her countryside manor in Nantucket as one of the prizes. The bingo cards were $100 each per game, so they really brought in a lot of revenue. Raffle tickets were also sold but it is ongoing and winners have not been drawn yet.

Before leaving to go to the afterparty at OHLALA in the back of nearby LaGoulue, guests got some last dibs in of posing in front of the step and repeat. Above is noted socialite and philanthropist Jean Shafiroff with Harlem Globetrotter Chris Handles. (I forgot to ask her why she had a pair of sneakers slung over her shoulder!) The second annual Noel Show Gala was a memorable event that was “soleful” and something that I will file away in my brain as a “shoe in” for fun next October! For more info on the Noel Shoe Museum and their many events, go to

Article by anne241

Hardcore NYer who loves to enjoy the good life here in the Big Apple and beyond!