Charmingly Pragmatic Prince Seeks Louboutin-Losing Cinderella (Q&A)
Moshe Billet found a black-leather peep-toe Christian Louboutin pump at 96th Street and Broadway on June 23. Knowing Louboutins are expensive ($600-$800) and that someone was probably upset to have lost it, he posted an ad on Craigslist and messages on Facebook and Twitter, as well as "found" fliers in the area. Gentlemanly, no? So gentlemanly, in fact, as to be kind of, well, unusual. We wanted to know more about what makes this sort of guy tick, so we met up with him at Starbucks for details.
Name: Moshe Billet
Occupation: Financial Services
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
Hometown: Woodmere, Long Island
Moshe, when you first found the shoe, how did you know it was a Louboutin?
The red bottom.
Guys know that?
Well, I mean, I once dated a girl who said, "I only wear red-bottomed shoes." We only went on one date. This is a recognizable brand. You know it when you see it. It's a status symbol, you know; actresses wear these things on the red carpet. That's why they can charge $800 a shoe.
When you picked it up, did you ever think it would get this much attention?
No, and it took several days for it to even get the attention. I had only gotten two e-mails from my signs: one, someone saying, "God bless you," or, sorry, it was "Jesus bless you," and the other one was this blogger who was totally skeptical about it like, "Is this some kind of viral marketing campaign or is this real?" That's how it all started.
If someone responds to your ad and sounds like she's telling the truth, how will you prove it's her shoe?
I'm going to make her produce the other one, like the other glass slipper type of thing. I don't think I'm actually going to get down on one knee and put in on her -- the other shoe will be enough for me.
Do you feel a little bit like a prince charming?
My sister-in-law said instead of using my email@example.com e-mail address, I should have gotten firstname.lastname@example.org, and that really would have made the story even funnier. But I just want to return something valuable. I once left this suit on the Long Island Rail Road, a Brooks Brothers suit. You know what, it ended up in the lost-and-found at Penn Station, and I got it back. It's a nice New York story, and this could be a nice New York story, too.
How do you think this story will end?
I think I've exhausted all of my individual resources. I've put up those signs at 96th Street; I Twittered it; I Facebooked it; I put an ad on Craigslist; I called three Louboutin stores in the city...now the only way for this thing to really get found is for it to be a viral Internet sensation. I even called two local police precincts on the Upper West Side to see if there were any police reports.
Why did you go through all the trouble...did you think maybe you would get a date out of it?
Now you're looking for a juicy end to the story.
We want the romance part!
It is a cute story, but I'm a complicated person, and not the easiest date, so I don't have any expectations like that. I called a girl I know...I said, "Stephanie, what would you do if you lost a Louboutin shoe?" and she said, "I would cry." I stood over the thing for 10 minutes deciding whether to leave it there on the street or pick it up and try to find this girl.
Do you have any idea in your mind of the girl who lost this shoe?
Now here goes the hopeless romantic side of me. I think the girl who lost this shoe is a complete flake who isn't sophisticated enough to look in the lost-and-found section of Craigslist, or even see the news anywhere, or go back and look and see, because she totally doesn't care that she lost the shoe and she's going to go buy herself a new pair. That's what I think. Listen, that's the realist inside of me.