New York realtor Leslie Modell Rosenthal has what it takes to move multimillion-dollar properties in a competitive housing market. And being good at what she does isn’t just about having the inside scoop on the hottest condos and co-ops — it’s also about style.
“You have to look that much better than your customer,” said Rosenthal, managing director of Warburg Realty and a regular on HGTV’s reality show “Selling New York.” “People are buying a perception.”
Because she’s on her feet all day showing dream homes to prospective buyers, Rosenthal needs to comfortably navigate the streets of New York. She’s found the right balance between comfort and style in Prada, her favorite shoe designer. “Prada does something with the insole that’s amazing,” she said.
While Rosenthal is sensible when it comes to her work footwear, her TV persona has another side. If she knows she’s being filmed, she usually opts for a pair of Christian Louboutin 4-inch platform pumps.
To keep up with trends in footwear, Rosenthal regularly purges her wardrobe. A co-worker helps her move last season’s looks on eBay. “I keep my classics forever,” she said. “There is always that one pair you can’t part with.”
Here, Rosenthal offers a glimpse inside the closet of her Manhattan apartment.
Number of shoes: More than 75. “I have shoes all over my apartment. They’re everywhere you look.”
Highest heels: “Four inches. I have about 25 pairs including boots. I call them my ‘can’t shoes’ [because I] can’t walk in them after 20 minutes. However, I’m all about vanity and wouldn’t shoot a segment with flats on.”
Celebrity whose style I admire: “Gwyneth Paltrow. I love her all-American, classic look. It’s easy, not stiff. She wears everything and is timeless.”
Oldest shoes: “Fifteen-year-old Gucci loafers. I recently found new ones at an outlet center in California. They were the best buy of my life — $75 for suede driving mocs.”
Luckiest pair: “Louboutin 4-inch black patent pumps. Whenever I wear them, I feel lucky to be having fun and lucky I can afford to buy them.”
Most expensive pair: “Valentino high-heel pumps [that cost] more than $1,000 at Bergdorf Goodman. They’re silver mesh with a bead-and-jewel ornament. I never would have bought shoes that expensive, but they were so pretty and classic I couldn’t resist. And believe it or not, they’re not that uncomfortable.”
Least expensive: “Nine West on sale for $30 at a Nine West store. They’re basic black suede shoes on a low heel with a round toe.”
Favorite evening look: “My Louboutin black patent platform pumps — so sexy. They’re so easy [to wear] and go with everything.”
Best work shoe: “A low-heel black boot from Prada. I’m walking all over the city, so if I’m not in a comfortable shoe, I can’t make it through the day. [The boots are] fashionable and functional, especially because I work seven days a week.”
Must-shop store: “Bergdorf Goodman. It’s just plain fun. It’s like being at a shoe party. Everyone there knows me and is so nice. It’s a big shoe department, but not over-the-top.”
Sale philosophy: “I’m not great at sales. Customers act like vultures, knocking you over to get a shoe. I once saw two women fighting over a pair of Chanel boots.”
Biggest shoe purchase: “Six pairs at once at Bergdorf Goodman. If you don’t get them at the beginning of the season, they’re all sold out, even in this economy.”
Best shoe-shopping companions: “My daughters, ages 22 and 25. They share my passion for shoes and tell it like it is.”
Most regrettable shoe mistake: “Every shoe I’ve bought thinking they will be comfortable, then after five blocks, I’m limping. I call them my cab shoes: I put them on, then hail a cab.”
A good style on guys: “Tassel loafers. I like a preppy look, something European guys would wear.”
Shoe advice: “When you buy shoes, make sure you can walk in them. Don’t buy a shoe just because it looks good on your foot, although I’ve done plenty of that.”