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cole haan’s penny wise

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People talk about phasing out the penny, but Cole Haan was celebrating the one-cent piece for all it’s worth at a dinner last night at The Box co-hosted by Paper magazine. Pennies were spilled across the tables in artful arrangements and, at times, affectionately hurled at Paper editor and event emcee Mickey Boardman. After dinner, cabaret outfit the Citizens Band performed selections from The Threepenny Opera. The evening was all about the venerable footwear label’s classic penny loafer—and the new inserts designed for them by Anna Sheffield to mark Cole Haan’s 80th anniversary: a brass coin, faced in 18K “espresso” gold, and a silver piece inlaid with Swarovski crystals. As every good preppie knows, a coin in each shoe brings good luck. But can the penny loafer’s tongue slots be put to more practical ends? “Drug smuggling! If the dog sniffed them, they’d just think you hadn’t washed your feet properly,” Boardman suggested. Then Sheffield, who’d researched the topic a bit more thoroughly, added her two cents. “My mom told me that in the sixties, when she was in high school, you would take two dimes in your shoes when you went on a date. That way, if it didn’t work out, you could call your mom and have her come pick you up.” If only texting could be so adorable!

Photo: Caroline Torem-Craig

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