Today's "Critical Shopper" piece in the Times reviewed the United Nude store on Bond Street, and it started off more or less the way most of Cintra Wilson's pieces do. She began with some highbrow references — in this case, it was the distinction between Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and his nephew, Rem D. Koolhaas, who's the creative director of United Nude (in past cases, she's ruminated on the number of 500-euro notes in circulation, or patriarchal social engineering). She then addressed the store itself, which is decorated with "a shiny black jewel-faceted art thing that looks sort of like a fetal Lamborghini," and expounded upon the shoes themselves, some of which "look like what happens when a chubby little pair of Crocs is picked up at a nightclub and ends up passed out in a hotel sauna." Oh, Cintra.
But she was just warming up, of course:
The United Nude stores seem to go out of their way to employ attractive 20-something scamps who really can’t be bothered by such annoyances as actual customers. The art-school imp on Bond Street was barely aware of anything but her own intricate wonderfulness until I finally walked up to the register with a two-tone elastic macramé pump in my hand ($235) and asked for a pair to try on.
“I think that one’s probably your size,” she said, with an economy of interest. “Try that one on and see if it fits, and then if you want, I’ll go get you the other one.”
She had mastered the soft sell, anyway.
And just as we were giggling helplessly in our desk chairs, because as always, she sounds totally insane but is so delightfully eloquent and honest, we hit the last paragraph, which states:
This will be my last dispatch as your Critical Shopper. This column has been a singular joy and privilege to write, and I will miss your readership. Whenever you find the mate to your perfect bondage-boot hidden under one of the couches at Barneys on sale day, I will be with you in spirit.
Cintra has "stopped" writing "Critical Shopper" before and often trades off the column with Jon Caramanica, who we imagine will take over on a more regular basis moving forward. We hope that this departure is a similar — in other words, temporary — case.
A Safe Walk in the Dark [NYT]