Interview with Sofia Shershunovich: How the Shoes You Wear Affect the Life You Have
Tell me a little about yourself. How did you first become interested in fashion?
Like most girls I cared about what was being put on my body for as long as I can remember. If mother was trying to shove me into a pair of checkered pants or a silly hat, I would have none of it and if I was forced to wear it I would take it off as soon as was out of her sight. Growing up I had to have the latest thing. In high school, I took the subjects which I believed would link me to fashion--art, textiles and photography. I always felt beauty was important and fashion is a big part of making the world a more beautiful place. These days my work is directly related to fashion through media relations; I write about style and work with designers and help put together fashion shows.
You wrote an article about feng shui in regard to shoes. Tell me a bit about your studies. What was the slant of the article? What was the most interesting tidbit you found on the subject?
What sparked my interest in Shoe Feng Shui is the idea of linking fashion to the new age practices which promote health, love, wealth, and happiness. The article I wrote was for the 2006 fall issue of Item magazine. The story is a journey of a girl who discovers the practice and decides to put it to the test. The magazine is a very progressive and hip publication, so they were open to the idea of documenting my innovative discoveries. The most interesting part of it is that I am still wondering if it's the practice of feng shui or my belief in the practice of feng shui that makes it work. I studied psychology so a part of me sees the evidence in practice, but part of me thinks it's my mind that's makes it work. In my opinion, writing a good story is like being a woman--you have to always leave the reader wondering about it even after you put the magazine down. It's important to retain the mystery. I was, however, pleasantly surprised to see that the practice of feng shui fashion works and that many women including myself love applying it to their dally routine after reading the story.
There's an expert on fashion feng shui that you work with for all your articles and research on the subject. Can you tell me a little more about him/her? How did they become interested in fashion/feng shui? How did you meet?
My regular expert is Valentina Wittrock from St. Cloud, MN. She has been a new age expert for over 14 years and is real encyclopedia of new age practices. Valentina is someone I have known for a very long time. She was the person who actually exposed me to the phenomena of the new age practices like astrology, feng shui, reiki etc. She and I came up with the idea for this story a long time ago and have been researching the colors and styles that are involved for a while, and then putting them to practice.
What are the basic things a person should know about shoe feng shui? That it involves a lot of common sense. For instance--when your shoe rack is cluttered, your life will most likely be cluttered and confusing. Colors are important and whatever the shoe makes you feel it probably corresponds to: high heels are for situations requiring action and edge. Flats are for peace and calm.
Are there certain shoes that are in align with feng shui principles, or is it different depending on the person wearing them? Some of my reading has mentioned that different people need different colors of shoes to feel completely at peace, etc. It depends on their own coloring. Is there truth to that? What's the story behind that?
The practice of feng shui can be applied to any type of shoe but there are some that are especially beneficial. The brand [www.tsubo.com Tsubo], for instance, aligns all their shoes to target specific pressure points on your foot to provide unbeatable comfort and benefits for your health. They have some amazing colors and styles too, which are hard to find sometimes, and are so great for feng shuing your life through shoes. Feng shui fashion doesn't depend on the type of person you are, rather what you are looking for in life. For instance if you are looking for love, you should combine a lot of pinks and greens, also red is great to attract attention--obviously.
If I were shoe shopping, how would I know a shoe was right for me as far as feng shui goes? What would I need to look for?
It would depend on what you are looking for in life. The simplest way to remember it is colors. For example: earthy colors are for work--black, brown and all shades of beige including yellow. They promote being "down to earth," help with concentration and work with others. Love: governed by fire--all shades of reds. Health and energy--wood colors: green. Learning, absorbing anything and studying--water: blues. It's all described in more detail in my article which you will have to read in Item!
Can you tell me about the history of feng shui and shoes? Most people have only heard of it in relation to interior decorating, but it does make a lot of sense to carry around a feeling of balance and harmony instead of leaving it all at home. How did feng shui and fashion merge?
From my research for the article, I discovered that feng shui and shoes weren't directly linked until now. However, indirectly the idea was always out there. Chinese shoes definitely have some feng shui principles involved. They are mostly flat and brightly colored. Traditionally, a lot of red fabrics are used, which is also lucky and promotes wealth. Blues are also popular--to help the Chinese in absorbing the daily knowledge. Flat shoes are said to promote peace, so the Chinese wear them to aid their concentration, and help them be well centered and peaceful people. Note how there are no pointy toes or sharp heels--those are all edgy styles that promote aggression, which is sometimes necessary in Western culture. In modern China, their outrageous fashion sense has taken them to the skies...literally. The shoes have very tall platforms that make the shorter nation up there with the rest of us. Tall platforms promote strength, confidence and success, which explains why the modern Chinese fashionistas are their "biggest" fans. Many people do limit feng shui to decorating, but it can actually be applied to anything, from cooking to travel, the idea of interior decorating using this knowledge simply took off. It was always linked to fashion; we just didn't know it. It's good to know there's still a lot to discover.