Stepping Out

Well, schools still don’t read Vogue. There’s something ironic about art school graduates in those drab black robes. After working long hours day and night for years to graduate college, a grad has to wear a large,  unattractive black gown on that special graduation day. It takes a bold woman to say, I won’t blend into the crowd.

Last night at the Art Institute of Dallas’ graduation, a few young women said,“Woweeeee….look at me, look at my shoes….I am ready to step into the world!” And with these shoes, they definitely are.

I just returned from Sherie Johnson’s graduation from the Art Institute. I have been filming Sherie for SOLE SISTERS for a while. I found her shoes at a small boutique near my home on lower Greenville. The bright colors, the unusual design and the personal hand-made look made me say, “I have to meet this woman.”

But no one seemed to know where she was. The salesperson said, “Once in a while she comes in with a paper shopping bag full of shoes. We buy them from her, and they sell. That’s all we know.” Her MySpace page was handwritten on the sole of the shoe which I bought, even though it wasn’t my size. She didn’t respond to my messages, and her phone number was unlisted. But I kept trying. Everyday for a month was a “Where is Sherie?” day.

And then I found her. She was a struggling student trying to make ends meet. She was given up for adoption at birth and had been in and out of foster homes all her life. At 17 years old, she was on her own. This young woman had a dream that no one was going to deter. Sherie wanted to get a degree in fashion design.

For several years she has juggled work and school, earning money to put herself through the Art Institute of Dallas. Tonight, she graduated, and now she will continue to work, design shoes, and let everyone know that she has a Happy Sole.

This video is for Sherie and the other Sole Sisters who refused to enter the world in that drab black robe and insisted on adding their own personality into their step. Don’t you love those shoes with attitude?