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  • StarburstLady

    Was expecting: Marlene Dietrich and Anna May Wong inspired shoes. Received: generic cultural stereotypes. Bit of a let down.

    • Darren Nesbitt

      I hope we see the tiger tail shoes on someone’s feet though.

    • Ashleigh

      it’s funny how one persons stereotype can be another persons appreciation of cultural differences and beauty.

      • Snarkmeister

        Ditto. I am IN LOVE with the pink & green dragon pumps near the top. I would cut several bitches for them. The more cartoony ones are definitely in the Lady Gaga/Katy Perry vein, and I could see certain celebrities wearing them, but for me personally, those pink & green ones are the bomb-diggity. Also like the red & yellow print ones.

        • sojourneryouth

          The red and yellow dragon pumps are literally the shoes of my dreams. I have dragons all over my house, and those shoes need to join them.

    • whaddami

      yeah, though it’s not clear to me how Dietrich and Wong would be less stereotyped, since they were just the 30s version. Lots of these are quite gorgeous though. Wasn’t the whole poppy/turquoise combo kinda over 4 years ago?

    • ellatheingenue

      I gotta say that the ceramic vase ones are really pretty except for the weird ceramic-vase-shaped heel. But the stench or cultural appropriation is strong with this one.

      • MoHub

        “Rare blue-and white.”

  • Claire

    How long do we think before Zooey Deschanel shows up somewhere in the panda pumps?

    • ScarlettHarlot

      About 5 minutes after Katy Perry does.

      • YoungSally

        not if i get them first

  • ConnieBV

    Damn it, here I go with my mental cultural appropriation rant again. WHY THE WOMEN TREATED AS DECORATIVE OBJECTS WTF.

    • demidaemon

      Really, when something is this ugly (like the examples above, I don’t think it even matters anymore. UGLY.

      • CelandineM

        ugly AND tacky

        • demidaemon

          I knew I was forgetting something. SO TACKY.

    • fursa_saida

      Yeah, I was fine with some of them, but literal bodies: no.

    • Kent Roby

      Women are beautiful, and have been the subject of decorative arts since the beginning of time, so I really don’t understand the argument here. I find the image of a geisha no more or less “offensive” than any of Erte’s art. I think the term “cultural appropriation” really should only apply when harmful stereotypes are being displayed, instead of to something that just looks cheap or poorly designed.

      • Imasewsure

        I’d say the geisha is a really negative stereotype for women in general and definitely for Asian women but the only shoe that is specifically “geisha-ish” is the first pair which I don’t like for that reason. The Chinese dragon shoe styles and the other loud ones in this collection are kind of offensive just because (they are so ugly and) they can be seen as perpetuating a tired stereotype of “Asia equals China equals Chinatown.” Mostly though you are right… this collection looks cheap and poorly designed. End of issue… :)

  • BlairBear

    Nay. They are like ugly kirkwoods

  • Alicia

    Nay for all the reasons we discussed with the matching purses. Except the tiger shoes, because that tail is fucking hilarious.

    • MaggieMae

      Needs a sharp metal spike on it’s end and a superhero cape for the wearer!

  • lunchcoma

    A few of these are cute, but the overwhelming stench of cultural appropriation ruins it.

    • Jessi03

      My thoughts exactly.

    • Coleen

      So much this.

  • Sobaika

    A lot of these look a bit… crafty.

    • Call me Bee

      I agree-and I’m a crafter!

  • demidaemon

    I don’t think cultural appropriation is even an issue here, because this is the cheapest, ugliest set of shoes I have ever seen in my life. YUCK. That’s a NAY, obviously.

    ETA: Correct terminology.

  • kimmeister

    I can’t help it, I love most of these (just not the ones with faces, except for the AMAZING panda ones). Also not loving the giant platforms or abundance of ankle straps, but still, an overall YEA.

    • FuhUgh

      I’ve got to admit, I get knee pain just LOOKING at the heel heights, but I am a serious slut for a blue-and-white porcelain print… I just can’t help myself! Loving the red-patent trimmed yellow dragon print pumps and the tigers. Restyle most of these with some lower heels and I’d have to have them.

    • marlie

      I’m surprised @BitingPanda:disqus hasn’t staked her claim on those already.

    • Violentcello

      I know, me too (although I love ankle straps). I’m kind of dying for the pink dragon shoes and the black tassel-fan shoes.

    • MinAgain

      Same here. I don’t love the platforms, but some of the pumps are really adorable, and the colors are fantastic. I love both of the shoes with the dragon motif…the pink pumps and the red print pumps.

  • Gatto Nero

    Others have mentioned the cultural appropriation. It seems it’s either that or rampant product placement in the collections we’re seeing lately.
    What the hell is happening to fashion?

    • Laura Renee

      High fashion designers don’t tend to move in the social justice internet circles that you and I are more regularly exposed to.

    • demidaemon

      Obviously, a lack of inspiration and laziness.

      • Laura Renee

        At least they have the decency to label it honestly: “Shanghai Express”

      • Gatto Nero

        It’s just getting so boring — tacky and cliche-ridden.

    • kirkyo

      I’m an Asian with a horrible confession: I like a lot of these.

      Definitely no to the $5 fan flats tho unless they are actually $5.

    • Kayceed

      I think a lack of imagination – the translation is so literal it is a bit surprising.

  • Sarah

    HOLD THE PHONE: Are those PANDA SHOES???!??? I Like Them. I also like having my toeses emerge from angry little dragon teeth, and tiger tails on my heel, and those light turquoise peep-toes with the red tassel are really pretty.

    • mjude

      I agree. I think I want all the animal ones.

    • Kent Roby

      I’m giggling at the idea of toe-vomit from the blue dragons.

  • Laura Renee

    I have to say I really like a lot of these, even the over-the-top ones. I don’t feel qualified to say how much of it is offensive.

    Just, how cute are those tiger shoes. And the booties with the red tassle. And the sparkly black ones (#15).

    • Myra Amler

      I would kill for those booties.

      • DuBey2

        The solid red ones, Right? Made me gasp

        • Myra Amler


    • Sarah

      I do not find it offensive, because there is a very long and rich tradition of chinoiserie in the West, and the Chinese certainly never had a problem exporting their own decorative motifs on all manner of goods. Good enough for Louis XIV, good enough for me, I say.

      • Kent Roby

        You stated, in a much better way than I would, what I feel.
        Now excuse me while I pour a glass of green tea and change into my comfortable kimono!

  • ScarlettHarlot

    Cheap, tacky torture devices.

  • Loren S

    I agree that most of these veer into tackiness and cultural appropriation, but I really love the ones inspired by blue and white porcelain.

    • Donna Tabor

      So do I. And the flats with the golden fans are more subtle and very pretty. Plus: bonus–no broken ankles!

  • Heather

    Mostly, I dislike these, with a few exceptions: The panda pumps are the cutest thing, the black pumps with the tassel are fun, and I want to pair the black beaded boots with some black skinny jeans.

  • Glam Dixie

    Yea, cute, I couldn’t wear them, but I like them anyway.

  • mjude


  • Slanted & Enchanted

    Hit or miss for me. I like the simpler, more abstract designs – like the black and orange ones with the gold fan design. Not feeling the elaborately embroidered stereotypical knick-knack ones. Although I kind of like the panda ones, despite myself.

  • Bad Idea Jeans

    Survey says: XXX
    If you are not schooled in Family Feud, that is a BIG FRUITING NAY. Others have already captured the various and sundry reasons why these are a BIG FRUITING NAY, so I will leave it at that.

    • CelandineM

      Yes I did hear the strike buzz sound in my head when I read your post!

  • MilaXX

    I’m 50/50 on these. Some I like, and some I want to take out back & burn.

  • MishaFoomin

    I had to laugh at the little teeth on the blue lion heels. I hope they don’t bite my toes!

  • tiny_bookbot

    The ones that borrow the decorative motifs are really lovely (the parasol ones, the vase-print heels, the wedge sandals that look like the lacquered furniture)–a nice homage to an actual artistic style and borrowing design elements that really are legitimately beautiful. But the rest have a repulsive degree of orientalizing/cultural appropriation going on. What is happening with the first and last pairs especially? Why?

    • theblondette

      Agreed. Nothing wrong with being inspired by patterns and designs from a culture, but fetishising a culture wholesale always feels gross.

    • CelandineM

      Yes, what you said exactly. The lacquered wedges and the blue and white print pumps are gorgeous interpretations of the cultural style. The key is ” borrowed design elements.” The rest are mostly tacky stereotypes that you might expect to find in a Chinatown shop that caters to tourists.

      • tiny_bookbot

        Bingo. Just gross exoticizing. It’s a shame, because the better-done pieces are really eye-catching in a great way. If they’d kept up that level of creativity throughout, it’d be a stunning collection. Instead, the problematic choices are drowning out the better parts.

      • random_poster

        It’s as if they went on a shopping spree through Chinatown then glued everything on shoes.

        • CelandineM

          NOW I totally want to run through some shops with glue all over my shoes and see what happens!

  • Hrfe

    A lot of them look crafty, some of them look stunning, but they’re all a bit appropriative.

  • AndieJay

    Some of them I would sell a digit for…some of them I wouldn’t take for free.

  • Shelby

    Ooooh nay. And I was all set to be “yay” after the terrible, terrible shoe collections we’ve seen recently (which amount to a conglomeration of uncomfortable, clear plastic, tool time mess). But no. I just feel really uncomfortable with some of the overt cultural appropriation. I know Chinese motifs have been a part of Western fashion and art for a long time, but most of these veer into blatant and tacky. I like some of the more subtle designs (like the blue and white shoe) and the animal shoes are fun. I think it would come down too to how the shoes are deployed in outfits (who’s wearing them with what).

  • DuBey2

    Red Boot: get in my closet NOW!

  • StrandedFashionista

    4 and 6 are to DIE for and will be seen on a Cate Blanchett near you soon. Also, Luci Lu needs to wear some of these STAT- I think that would be a fun way to turn the ‘asian-ey’ stuff on it’s head.

  • sugarkane105

    I know cultural appropriation is wrong, but DAMMIT I LOVE STEREOTYPICAL ASIAN STYLE. What’s a white girl to do.

    • Coolekat

      Me, too. I love everything I categorize as oriental, a descriptor that apparently I no longer can use.

      • RunAmuck

        I was told by my very good (Chinese) friend that oriental is OK when speaking of things…the rule being, things are oriental, people are Asian.

    • Alloy Jane

      Go to Chinatown? No need to pay someone to water down a culture when you can go direct to the source. Things’ll be cheaper there too.

  • semirose

    Hmm I like the vase heel, bamboo platforms and umbrella bootie look interesting but the rest are pretty basic. I feel like I’ve seen flats like those panda heels everywhere lately.

  • DuBey2

    those light turquoise peep-toes with the red tassel. YES

  • HobbitGirl

    NAY. Tacky and appropriationist. :(

  • LaPetiteMadame

    I usually love Charlotte Olympia, but these are just disappointing, cultural appropriation withstanding.

  • Call me Bee

    Mostly nay–some yay. There’d be more yay if the the pumps weren’t on those stupid hockey puck platforms. I thought we were through with those….

  • Shawn EH

    Yeah! Colorful and amusing.

  • International Model

    Gorgeous to look at, can predict those blue dragon teeth rubbing back and forth and back and forth and back and forth against someone’s poor toes and leaving a nasty bite.

  • another_laura

    Okay, we all see that these are mostly very very silly. Some are really beautiful. Asian motifs have been appropriated – heck, as one BK said, made for the export market! – for centuries. Because there are only a few that are not aesthetically pleasing on some level, even if it’s just the funny bone, I’ll give these a YAY.

  • Lori

    Nay overall. I like a few of these, but most of them look like bad craft projects or like they’d be incredibly uncomfortable or both.

  • alyce1213

    I love shoe art, and I really like most of these. The Pandas and the Dragons are amazing!

  • Scimommy

    I like the blue and white ones. Not coincidentally their design is also the least cartoony/Chinese stereotype.

  • fursa_saida

    These just make me tired.

  • kburnell

    Holy Orientalism, Batman. These cross the line from inspired appreciation to uncomfortable appropriation–but I’m sure they’ll go over great next time someone wants to dress up in their Asian Halloween costume.

  • tallgirl1204

    Should we take bets on how many of these Katie Perry will wear in her next tour?

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    Speaking of cultural appropriation (in the most reductive way imaginable.) There are some lovely shoes here, but I feel like it would make me squirm to see anyone actually wear them. At first I thought maybe Fan Bingbing could take the more sophisticated ones but it’s all starting to seem a little embarrassing. Shoes by Oriental Trading.

  • Mothra

    At least the heels are mostly different. Definitely statement shoes but those orangey ones with the fans–I would wear those to a fancy party. I would wear those panda ones ALL DAY EVERY DAY EVERYWHERE. Even to bed.

  • MK03

    Not gonna lie, I will choke a bitch for 1, 6, 7, 10 and 12.

  • TrooperSchaf

    didnt Mark Jacobs do the little bear faces on ballerina flats a while ago? Those Pandas would fit right in. I thought the 1st pair were mermaids on a quick glance… Adore Delano, your topic 😉

  • Coolekat

    I am so over stiletto platform pumps. That said, I covet the bootie sandals that look like Chinese parasols.

  • Lily

    I rather like:

    Mother of Pearl platform;
    Umbrella bootie (?) stiletto
    Lotus stiletto sandal.

    The others are just okay. Not really anything artistically engaging and the look seems more inspired by the junky import trinket shops in China Town, SF as opposed to real Chinoiserie. Meh.

  • Danielle

    I see shades of geta in the 6th down.

  • elirt

    Can shoes be racist?

  • Nancer

    Love all of this. Whimsy done correctly. So tired of people complaining about cultural appropriation for every homage! I think these are so much better than that Moschino drekitude. Some humor and some beauty rolled together.

  • lynnlee

    There are a couple pair I actually like, but NAY. They look like a designer was pissed off about being told to do something “Asian inspired”, an this was his smart ass response.

  • Synnamin

    LOVE. These are so much fun

  • SophieCollier

    YAY. Some of them are too kitschy, but really, these are clever and pretty designs.

  • FibonacciSequins

    Someone’s been hanging out at Pearl River.

  • PastryGoddess

    argh! what is with the 3 inch platform bolted to the bottom of the shoe. It’s so frigging stupid looking.

    also cultural appropriation is never a good thing

  • crash1212

    Nay. I could be down with some of these designs, but I can’t sign off on those dopey lifts on the bottom of the show…not matter what color they are.

  • Meri

    A mixed bag- a few I like, a few I loathe. But we’re well past the grey area of cultural appropriation.

  • Ashleigh

    WOW!!! these are pretty amazing.
    Can we talk about the weird (now almost passe) platform that simply looks like a chunk added under the toe? (The black with tassel and turquoise with orange knot strap, as examples). I hate that look.

    • JLH

      I don’t like the added platform either. I kept debating whether or not to comment on them, but I actually really like the pink with green dragon shoes and would maybe even love them if they didn’t have that platform (although it’s smaller than the two you mentioned).

  • Alloy Jane

    This is very Irregular Choice. The print on the vase shoe is absolutely wrong, so I can’t really get on board with this even though I love shoes that are animals.

    • suzq

      I went back and looked…and you’re right! It’s Dutch delft!

  • Kirstin McAulay

    finally… flats!

  • BLauD

    Who doesn’t want shoes with a tail, or another pair vomiting out your toes?

  • ‘Becca’lise Deveaux


  • Annaline39

    Oh yes, especially the tiger and the dragon shoes!

  • lizajane1776

    I am old enough to be pre-PC, so here I am playing that card. I LOVE THESE! ALMOST ALL OF THEM! Never will wear them ,but I don’t care, they are so fun! Love the red cord-work!

  • Myra Amler

    I love almost all of them. The booties are fantastic but the dragon wedges are my favorite.

  • prettybigkitty

    Yay. And Nay. And everything in between.

  • marlie

    Yea. Some of these are really pretty, and some are “too much,” but they all have some cool elements.

  • willworktomorrow

    China on the run.

    • suzq

      Don’t run too fast. You’ll trip over something in some of those heels!

  • Sherrie

    Some of these are really incredible. I want the pandas.

  • Melmmmendes

    These make me think of the black suede dragon embellished platforms I got from Delia’s in 1998. I think they were the first pair of shoes I bought with my own money. I loved the shit out of them. But that still doesn’t make this collection feel OK. Teenage me didn’t think about these things.

  • sienna elm

    I appear to be in the minority but I LOVE these! They are mostly fun and I absolutely love the blue and white porcelain print shoes.


    YEA, YEA, YEA. I’d like to break the platforms off some of these becasue they look a bit glued-on, but these are fun and orig.

  • MilaXX

    Okay looking at them on the PC, I like the first pair, the red flats and the crazy parachute looking booties.

  • quiltrx

    Overall, NAY. Most are just too silly to be as $$$$ as we know they are. A few are okay IF they didn’t have the stupid platform.
    The one pair I really like–the ‘porcelain’ ones. With the right outfit, those would be gorgeous.

  • Lisalady161

    The Panda Pumps are not only cute but quite chic. Me likey. The whole collection would be a Nay, but the Pandas are a definite yay!

  • andreawey

    if I ever had cause to wear anything like this or could walk one step in them, I’d like the first 2 pairs, not crazy about faces on my toes…

  • boweryboy

    NAY. I can never figure out the intended age range for Charlotte Olympia shoes. Although I do like the dragon wedge heel.

  • teensmom99


  • ankali

    I’ll give her the mother-of-pearl wedges and the blue-and-white porcelain pumps (though I don’t like the heels), but everything else is a big ole NAY for me. I just don’t like Charlotte Olympia; a more literal, tacky, craftsy, twee shoe designer there never was.

  • m3grrl

    Her shoes are too literal. And I say this as an owner of a pair of her pink velvet kitty flats. Which I love. And if you try to take them from me, I will cut you. But, otherwise, too literal.

  • gitchygitchymama

    If they were flats made for little girls and under $50 bux they’d be perfect.

  • somebody blonde

    Yay! I love most of it- some of them are too much, but most are just fabulous.

  • W. Frame

    considering how much these look like old school Hong Kong / Chinese market tourist souvenirs I don’t understand why the hackles are up over “cultural appropriation”. I pretty much love this for its kitsch. I hope someone knocks it off at a price I can afford.

  • PumpkintheCat

    Yea. These shoes make me stupidly happy. I love looking at them because they are FUN on heels! Would I wear them? Nope, probably not. Doesn’t matter.

  • Columbinia

    I’m humming “A Hundred Million Miracles” from “A Flower Drum Song.” The shoes are in the same theatrical novelty style as the musical. I like about 4 pairs of the collection. The platform styles are a bit hideous. Four likes out of 23 is not enough. It’s a NAY.

  • MannahattaMamma

    Yay! I can hurt my feet AND indulge in Charlie-Chan era cultural stereotypes AT THE SAME TIME! I’ve been so waiting for that! And golly, maybe next season, Charlotte Olympia can do a whole line of Buckwheat & Aunt Jemima shoes. Won’t that be just tres adorable? (But I have to admit, with shame, that I kind of love those panda pumps.)

    • suzq

      How dare you appropriate animals like that!!!!
      Seriously, though, the use of masks in Chinese theatre has a long tradition. That’s how I’m reading the faces. As for the woman in the first shoe, I’ve seen similar shoes with flappers. I’m not reading it as offensive. If you actually HAD a Charlie Chan character with the big Fu Manchu, THAT would be a different story.

  • St. Ace

    No. Never. Ugh.

  • Innuendo

    I like the blue and white porcelain and the pandas. Pass on the rest.

  • RescueMe23

    My back hurts just looking at them. That being said I did like the China vase and the Pandas…the rest you can toss.

  • PeggyOC

    Huge Yay. Tiger shoes? Take my money now.

  • R.A.

    AGAIN with the cultural appropriation? COME. ON.

    I LOVE the peacock ankle booties.

  • KayEmWhy

    Shoes for Whoppie Goldberg.

  • sekushinonyanko

    Please let there be knockoffs! I want almost every pair but my money is too thin for all of this! THE PAIN!

  • Victoria Pavlova

    Too whimsical for my taste.

  • TeacherH

    These bug less than the purses, simply because they couldn’t be as literal when making the designs fit the form of a shoe. I like designs inspired by different cultures’ imagery, shapes, and techniques -when done well. (Not all of of these are.) But it still irritates me that it feels like the designer has NO CLUE about Chinese culture or what any of these symbols mean. The most egregious for me is the lotus flower. Do you get any feeling that lotuses are the Buddhist religious symbol of purity? Nope.

  • kfizz

    This is more appropriative than inspired. Cool concepts, tired execution.

  • MaggieMae

    Elle Fanning will be wearing some of these. And, Katy Perry.

  • GillianHolroyd

    *These* are what you wear with jeans. Not boring white pumps.

  • MoHub

    Did I see flats? Fun flats I would actually wear? Someone else can have the rest. I am overwhelmed.

    • suzq

      Let’s run off with those blue dragon/mouse?? shoes!

  • suzq

    These are the Faberge eggs of shoes! Lovely!

  • formerlyAnon

    Yea. Not across the board, but the ones that aren’t too tourist trap Chinatown are gloriously ’70s rockstar, but usually updated with a slimmer heel and less platform. There are a couple of more restrained ones that I think say “yes I like whimsy but I am also a grown up”

  • EEKstl

    Yea on some, nay on others, but I will admit to an obsession with color circles sandals. Are they a zillion dollars?

    UPDATE: Just did a search on the internet. Yes, her shoes are a zillion dollars.

  • Imasewsure

    The typical “wear it once and then throw it away” shoe purchase… that being said, I might need those panda pumps on my shelf… :)

  • nomnom

    I love the blue flowers. And I will wear the panda shoe for Kung Fu Panda III

  • golden_valley

    Fun to see these shoes after visiting my podiatrist…

  • Miss wks

    Love em. Absolutely. Very creative with a sense of humor.

  • Fannie Wolston

    daresay they are works of art, fabulous! I’d want to buy a tiny pair of dragons just for display

  • JaymeKay

    Geisha Hooker

  • VicksieDo

    Tacky, but great too! Love em!

  • SuzyQuzey

    I like so many of these! Can’t wear them, though; too high. But, soooo creative.

  • LeelaST

    I couldn’t or wouldn’t wear most of these but they are really, really whimsical & don’t look tacky. (Except for the Delft Blue. Just no.)

  • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

    I like the ones that look like delft china.

  • kategs

    what slim black pants and a jacket were made for. YAY!

  • Lola

    I get some of them are just “inspired” but the dragon pair (from my understanding; dragons are considered auspicious in Chinese culture) seem particularly appropriative. Wearing something so symbolic on one’s FEET seems a little disrespectful. Maybe someone Chinese can set me straight? From a very personal perspective, my Aunty is Indian and for her, placing images of one of her Gods (in this case Ganesh, who fashion seems to love) on swimwear as a designer did last year, was hugely offensive.

  • ktr33

    Oop, didn’t see the name of the collection at first, which makes it kinda yuck. I like 2: panda shoes and those blue china ones. Both seem less literal.

  • ItAin’tMe

    Cute flats.

  • ThaliaMenninger

    The Shanghai Stereotype Collection. Where have you gone, Anna May Wong? Somebody is stomping their designs into your Dragon/Butterfly Marginalized Stereotype shoebox (pun intended).

  • lalahartma

    I say mostly yay.

  • smayper

    I was enchanted by the sheer creativity — as a fabulous teenager’s design project, this would please me tremendously. As insanely overpriced footwear…eh.

  • amanda lynn

    love ’em

  • jenuwefa

    I loooooove these shoes! We have an auction house where we sell Asian art – I could just see wearing some of these to one of our sales if the heels were about half the height 😀

  • Sara Brams-Miller

    Ummm…YAYYYYYYY!!! Very Charlotte Olympia, let’s be real. And that first pair with the geisha t-straps? WANT

  • kim

    yes this is cultural appropriation, and exoticism. i’m appalled.

    this line, called the “eastern cosmic,” makes a mockery of thousands of years of Chinese culture by boiling it down into pandas and patterns. it’s belittling.

    some of these comments are also disturbing. the woman represented in the first pair of shoes is seemingly dressed in what might be a Chinese choeng-sam, so i think charlotte olympia was going for a Chinese woman here, not a geisha (either way is offensive). the obvious conflation of Chinese and Japanese culture is an indication of the misconception that there is a singular “Asian culture” and another reason why these shoes were a bad idea. “Asian culture” doesn’t exist. we are not all the same nationality. don’t generalize.

    stop giving rich racists stuff to wear on halloween.

    did Charlotte Olympia think that Chinese people were going to be wearing her $2000 shoes? no, probably not. she probably had herself in mind as a customer, like, “i should do an asian line, tap into the riches of the east. yeah that’s cute. SELL IT”

    stick to stitching book covers onto clutch bags.