'Don't need the box, do you?'
'Nah, I'll take 'em in the bag, thanks.'
Assistant puts shiny footwear pair in plastic carrier and hands it to hapless customer, who promptly hurries home with it. Such was the scenario throughout my youth and young adulthood. Indeed, for two decades at least, I don't think I ever carried a shoe box home. Then, half a decade or so ago, it all changed.
Somebody, somewhere realised that shoe boxes were desirable items because they are, quite simply, the best way of storing, er, shoes. As a result, the shoe box is no longer a despised lump of cardboard but a hi-tech, style item cocooning your precious collection of brogues and boots from dirt, dust, extremes of atmosphere and the myriad evils present in the average domestic dwelling.
All those mocking quips, e.g., 'living in a shoe box', have died a death. Now, certain folks are making a living out of shoe boxes, and a darned good one, judging from all those shoe box containers that suddenly appeared for sale in upmarket catalogues. It was all too obvious, of course, the sort of scenario that makes you want to gnash your teeth and groan I wish I had thought of that.
Consumers were not long to catch on. No-one ever throws away a shoe box now. Every dressing-room has its stack of shoe boxes, the upmarket end-labels lovingly on display.
The mind boggles with wondering what other common household items could be transformed into smart, sought-after, style icons - if Philippe Starck hasn't gotten his oar in first, that is.