...or, yes we have some Bonannos!
Y'all may remember these wonderful images of Miss Vero in Las Vegas, Hollywood and Savannah, wearin' our favorite sandals of all time, which we have purchased right here in Vero Beach.
Well hunnies, after getting properly pedicured at Mark's at the Pointe, we decided to stop in and visit with Miss Cathy over at "Footprints" formally known as Stephen Bonanno's Sandals and Resort Wear. It seems that Miss Cathy has gotten involved in some legal squabble over the sandals and folks just don't know what to believe when they hear rumors or read minimal coverage of situations in the anemic daily newspaper, so natch, we had to get it straight from the source.
This is what Miss Vero has been able to understand - There was a huge investment on the part of Miss Cathy and her adorable husband Rob to take over a lease of a store in Stuart, open another one in Vero and all manner of what it takes in this economy to run a business.
Everyone knows that customers in Vero can be demanding, especially when your husband thinks you're payin' $100 or more for a pair of dang flip flops. (Rob told us about some women who don't want the box or bag and just slip them in their purse so that so their spouse is none the wiser!).
Howevah, let's remember that these are no ordinary toe thongs but the coolest, most comfortable resort sandal y'all could possibly wear. So of course there is a high demand. Cathy and Rob know that customer service is the key and when custom orders were taking more than three or four months, they knew they had to remedy the situation. So they resourced their product from the other Bonanno sandal factory, so that they could deliver their orders as promised.
Now, of course there is a lawsuit involved and to be quite honest, Miss Vero tends to shy away from all the legal mumbo jumbo and prefers to see everyone involved have their day in court, not to mention we are not privy to all the exact details. So it would be unwise for us to comment, except that this sandal scandal seems to have a life of it's own. Let's just start with the other factory.
The other factory? Well yes hunnies, guess what? Stephen Bonanno is not the only Bonanno in the biz, there's also his ex wife Monica. Now when Mister and Misses B got dee-vorced back in 2008, Miss Monica got the original factory and continued to produce the sandals that she and her husband had previously and mutually manufactured in West Palm Beach, calling her creations "Original Bonanno Sandals".
And after the parties parted, Mr. Bonanno set up shop in Stuart with his parents and sister, also manufacturing the sandals, calling his "Stephen Bonanno Sandals". He and his family claim that they have the original and had a hand in the creation of the famous Palm Beach style that was favored by none other than Mrs. Jackie Kennedy. In fact they have a photo of her on their website with a caption, so it must be true!
There's that famous photo again...
This time it's on the Jack Rogers website. Who is Jack Rogers? Oh, just someone else layin' claim to the famous style, only they call theirs the "navajo" and they're pretty popular too. Most fashion historians (yep, there is such a thing!) claim that Mrs. Kennedy did wear Jack Rogers.
In fact, we have nevah seen so much debate over a simple sandal. Would y'all believe there's even a third player in this pedi protest? Another person, Stephen Salario says that he is the rightful heir to the duplicated design!
Oh my, y'all could spend hours researchin' just who has the best, the most comfortable and the original and Lawd have mercy, we did just that. Interested in this hot debate? Check out some of the outrageous back and forth on this shameful shoe subject. Honestly, some of the accusations in the comment sections are scandalous!:
"Biscuits are Never Boring"
"Jen Fitch Style- Who made Jackie's Sandals?"
"Pink Preppy Party girl - Jack Rogers, Stephen Salario and Stephen Bonanno... Oh my!"
"Glamour Fashion Blogs"
Our favorite comment was on the blog "Millie Deel - all For a Picture of Jackie O"
"The sandals were originally made by my grandmother's brother, Luigi Pucillo. He used to display them in his brother, Gus Pucillo's famous Worth Ave., Palm Beach restaurant, The Petit Marmite. The Kennedy family frequented this restaurant and that is how Jackie O got to wearing them."
Because it seems, the only one thing that anyone can agree on is, that Mr. Luigi Pucillo was indeed the original maker of the sandal. Now, who else has legitimate claim to being a co-cobbler, we'll never know.
All we do know is that we love our sandals and we are happy to get them locally from Miss Cathy which brings us right back to where we started hunnies and that is Vero Beach.
Cathy and Rob Riggs will be opening "Footprints" at their new location on Ocean Drive, in just a few weeks and when they do, Miss Vero will be there to take some pictures of the new store and tell y'all about it.
The most important thing to remember is this - we are all about Vero and supporting local business. We understand how many folks are strugglin' with keepin' their small storefronts up and running and we're glad to have them, whether on the beach, downtown or in between!
Oh...and we could always use another pair of sandals, after all, it is Florida hunnies!