Goodwill and I have a good relationship. On occasion, certainly not every or even many visits I will find a great item. In Atlanta I found an amazing pair of Johnston and Murphy's that I have been wearing for years now. An initial investment of $5 dollars and I have had years of use. They even traveled with me through Europe. Traversing the streets of Foz and the the cement paths of Makarska.
It was a few days before Christmas that Ruth and I happened to be in a Goodwill in Fort Worth, Texas. This, being a Goodwill I had been to previously, did not hold any expectation on my part. I almost didn't even peruse the shoes. They passed me by as I scoured the suit jackets until I made a full circle through the store.
Then I found these.
Not more than a month ago I ordered a pair of monk straps from EastDane.com. My first pair, the inaugural straps as I called them and they were too large. Naturally I was devastated.
So I went with these great Chukkas instead (check out the painting here).
Could this be a Christmas miracle?
Amongst the racks of old and tattered (not to mention ugly) shoes was a diamond. A Monk Strap diamond from thrifting heaven. The Monk Straps slipped onto my feet like Cinderella's glass slipper. And to blow your mind I never celebrated Christmas until I met my wife. Christmas it seems, has smiled down upon me with favor. Santa knew I was good and saw my unfulfilled Monk Strap wishes.
The tag on the inside was worn away but I could still make out the faint spelling of 'Miguel Angel.'
With a bit of research I learned that Miguel Angel is a brand of Monk Strap shoes that was sold by the now defunct Larry's Shoes of Dallas, TX. These shoes from Goodwill are not without need of repair but they are far from belonging to the heap pile. With a bit of care they could last me a decade more.
I'm not sure if these qualify but I am confident in saying that these shoes are 'Vintage Monks.' They were sold at a thrift store. They need a bit of repair. They are no longer in production.
That's the three laws of vintage (I don't think there are any laws of vintage but it sounds good.)
Of course I had to paint my new Christmas-Miracle Vintage-Monks. It's my duty as a fashion illustrator. As an anthropologist I needed to record the design for posterity. As an artist I needed to render them in beauty to share their value with the world.
To buy this painting email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (I lovingly accept PayPal).
If you would like to get your own pair you can still find them for a fair price on ebay. Just search 'Miguel Angel Shoes.' Don't be surprised if you end up buying them and loving them.