You think it’s some senior vice president in a suit and comfortable wing-tips who reads a teleprompter for 20 minutes? No, hell no. The real heroes of auto shows are the ladies who wear stiletto heels for hours on end and still have the grace to smile at you when you ask them a question when all you really want is their attention.
The product specialists I’ve spoken to at various auto shows all love their jobs. They love spending time with people and educating them about cars, even if that comes with the occasional clueless “do you come with the car” remark.
The dresses and pantsuits they wear are carefully selected from top designers. I’ve heard names like Hugo Boss, Hermés and Valentino thrown around, to name a few. Most of the clothes go back to the carmaker at the show’s close, but the shoes they get to keep. For the women, this is a special perk.
There’s usually a familiar flash of red whenever a female product specialist wearing lofty heels takes a step: the signature crimson instep of a pair of Christian Louboutin stilettos that can retail for over $800 a pair.
Most women would kill for a pair of Louboutins. I know I would.
It’s in those shoes that most female product specialists stand for six- to eight-hour shifts. I probably don’t need to tell you that this hurts. A lot.
“How do you do it?” I asked one woman who was standing in skinny five-inch heels on the rotating platform. These days I can’t manage standing for an hour in heels before sitting down to cry.
“Mind over matter,” she told me, grinning.
She admitted that they weren’t the best “standing around” shoes, they were more going-out-to-dinner shoes. Shoes that you wear from the house to the car, the car to the restaurant, with maybe two trips to the bathroom and then back home again.
But, damn. A free pair of Louboutins after standing for a few hours? I’d be tempted.