West 39th Street has been overrun by statuesque female shoppers. It began last year, when drag-queen haven Tall Size Shoes, which occupied a hole in the wall on West 35th Street for twenty years, got bad news: a rent hike. So the store decided to aim for the biologically female market and relocated a few doors down from Tall Girl, a store for inseams 34 and up.
1. Harvey Tarshis, 5’10”, size 10½
Tall Size Shoes manager
Why did you move to this block?
We thought it would be a nice place for tall girls to shop. Our average female customer is about six feet tall.
Stylish dress heels.
Aren’t they too tall for heels?
It’s hard for me to find flats. Ballerina flats are in, but I can’t get ’em.
How many cross-dressers come here?
About one percent of our clients.
Who’s your best customer?
A guy, Rudy. He’s a little loony.
2. Crystal Morris, 6’2”, size 11
Tall Girl assistant manager
Why work here?
I’m a frequent shopper. It’s the only store that I can shop at, so I get a big discount.
Who’s your favorite customer?
I have a girl who’s seven-one. She’s 13 and still growing. [Winces.]
What’s your most popular item?
How do you get customers?
From the shoe store. And if I see a tall woman on the street, I give her a card.
3. Jamie Pilant, 6’0”, size 11
Tall Girl customer
How did you find this?
I’ve been to the one in Minneapolis. There are no clothes for tall people in Omaha. I’m on vacation. Over there, that’s my son, my friend, and my mom. She’s five-ten.
I’m just excited to find shirts long enough in the arms that I don’t have to push them up.
Are you going to Tall Size Shoes?
A few doors down.
Yeah! I was just at Macy’s, and they laughed at me because I asked for size 11.
4. Chanel Jackson, 6’2”, size 11 wide
Tall Girl customer
Are you a regular?
I take the train from Jamaica, Queens, every few months.
What can’t you buy in Queens?
Jeans with a 36-inch inseam. Shoes. Everything. I used to wear men’s jeans until I found this place.
What’s being tall like?
Strangers tell me that I should play basketball. I say, “Not every tall person wants to be an athlete!”
Do you play?
Sorry. Never, ever. I was more into the performing arts.
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