Shayne Oliver Creates Stilettos from The Stonewall Inn’s Pleather Banquettes

by Paige Reddinger

File this under: Collector’s Items. Shayne Oliver has created a pair of killer (literally) stilettos—featuring heels that extend so far beyond the ball of the foot they can’t actually be walked in—for a new Equinox campaign. The stiletto boots were crafted from Greenwich Village’s legendary gay bar The Stonewall Inn’s pleather banquettes in a symbolic nod to the commitment (and pain) of early activists fighting for LGBTQA rights. The Stonewall Inn is a national historic landmark for being the site of the 1969 riots that launched the gay rights movement.

Why? Equinox tapped six designers curated by Mel Ottenberg to each design a one-of-a-kind luxury item inspired by the passion and persistence of some of people and organizations who have committed to a cause as part of their ongoing “Commit To Something” campaign. The new version of the campaign, which was again lensed by Steven Klein, features pieces by Oliver, Ottenberg, Eckhaus Latta, Adam Selman, Rafael de Cárdenas, Virgil Abloh, and Glenn Martens. While the items from the collection are not technically for sale, some of the items will be auctioned off with proceeds going to benefit the organizations of importance to the designer, including the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and The Heroes Project. See below for the full list of designer creations and their symbolic references.

  1. The Truth Lipstick: Made from blank newspaper pages from The Washington Post. The lipstick symbolizes the organization’s commitment to free press and journalistic integrity. Lipstick Case designed by Mel Ottenberg.
  2. The Law Suit: Designed by Eckhaus Latta, and made from case files of lawyer James Thornton, founder of nonprofit ClientEarth who, over four decades, has committed to fighting for the environment. The suit symbolizes Thornton’s commitment to solving the greatest challenges faced by our planet.
  3. Stonewall Stilettos: Designed by Shayne Oliver, and made from the actual pleather from the banquettes at The Stonewall Inn. The stilettos symbolize the commitment of early activists fighting for LGBTQA rights.
  4. The Shades of Humanity: Designed by Adam Selman, and made from the camera lens of 2016 Instagram photographer of the year, Ruddy Roye.  The shades symbolize Roye’s commitment to capturing stories that often go unseen.
  5. Eau De Blood, Sweat & Tears: Bottle designed by Rafael de Cárdenas/Architecture at Large with a custom scent by 12.29. The fragrance was infused with the actual DNA of Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. Symbolizes Switzer’s commitment to equal rights for all female athletes.
  6. The Scrubs Sweatsuit: Designed by Off-White’s Virgil Abloh, and inspired by the workwear of dedicated oncologists like those at Memorial Sloan Kettering, who patient by patient, commit to fighting the war on cancer.
  7. The Real Camo Jacket: Designed by Y/Project (Glenn Martens) with actual material from the uniforms of four Heroes Project veterans, celebrating Equinox’s partnership with the Heroes Project.  The jacket symbolizes The Heroes Project’s commitment to wounded veterans, who changes lives by empowering and enabling these veterans to climb the world’s seven summits. Materials were donated by Charlie Linville (Jacket from his Battle Dress Uniform, including name patch, piece of his boot that he was wearing when he stepped on an IED and lost his leg, piece of rope that went to the top of Everest, belt buckle from dress uniform); Brad Ivanchan (belt when in combat); Carlos Torres (Jacket from his BDU’s, including his name patch); and Kionte Storey (Bracelet from when he was in combat).


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