The making of the coveted Muses shoe

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wwltv.com

Posted on February 27, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 27 at 6:41 PM

Jaclyn Kelley / Eyewitness News
Email: jkelley@wwltv.com | Twitter: @jkelleyWWL

NEW ORLEANS - They are glittered from top to sole. You would not know it, but these signature throws have stepped out in New Orleans well before they are ever thrown in the streets.

That's right, we are talking about the Krewe of Muses' coveted shoes.

The all-female krewe will do just about anything for a good pair of shoes.

"Anyway I can get them, I get them," said Stephanie Gravener, who is riding for the second time in her six years with the krewe. "I've gone to thrift stores, I raid my friends closets."

 

"Bring what you have, clean out your closets and they do and we pretty much use all of it," said Regina Valenti, who has been with the krewe for five years. "You would be surprise."

"I have definitely pulled over on the side of the road and grabbed a shoe that was just sitting there," said Gravener. "I have done that a few times."

The search for the perfect kicks starts months before the krewe rides and while heels, wedges and boots are staples, krewe members say they will use anything glitter will stick to.

"We have done red wing boots, kids tennis shoes, baby shoes, little girl shoes," said Valenti. "Anything you can think of."

"You just have to get your creativity going and figure out a way to decorate even the craziest of shoe," said Gravener.

The designs are just as unique as the shoes they stumble across. Everything from Mardi Gras pumps to black and gold for the beloved Saints and the New Orleans trademark, the fleur de lis.

But each member is only allowed to make 30 of these coveted throws.

"They do take up space so we are limited in how many we can bring, but I think that makes them all the more special," said Jennifer Bernard-Allen, who is in her ninth year with the krewe.

So how do you get one of these signature throws??

"Along the entire route you hear, 'a shoe, a shoe', but I tend to look for someone who I don't think expects it," said Allen.

"It's hard because it's so much fun to give them away," said Gravener. "I love it, so I have to remember not to give them all away in the first block."

These ladies say a good sign or costume will do the trick too, but as much as they love giving the shoes away, they say it can be bittersweet.

"There is this sense of excitement and at the same time a little sadness because you've spent months working on these shoes," said Allen.

But the ladies say it's worth it when they walk into someone's house and see a shoe proudly on display.

Obviously, the ladies of Muses rely heavily on those generous donations, but they say the strangest shoes they have ever received were actually a pair of golf shoes and a pair of cleats.

 

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