Thanks to O.J., Bruno Maglis are really big shoesJanuary 23, 1997
Web posted at: 6:30 a.m. EST
From Correspondent Peg Tyre
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Not since Imelda Marcos have shoes been so much in the public eye.
The shoes in question? The fateful pair made by Bruno Magli and worn to the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. The ones that, depending on whom you believe, may or may not belong to O.J. Simpson.
Regardless of the owner, it was Bruno Magli size 12 suede lace-ups that left bloody prints at the scene of the double murder America can't sweep under the rug.
GQ magazine's Scott Omelianuk says Bruno Magli shoes are not for the fashion novice.
"Bruno Magli's are worn by a guy who understands fashion, likes to dress well and doesn't mind spending money on his clothes," said Omelianuk.
Simpson has called the Brunos "ugly ass" shoes while denying they ever graced his stylish feet.
But photographs of O.J. purportedly clad in Maglis have fetched up to $18,000 on the open market.
Some companies might shy from being associated with one of America's most gruesome public murders. But President Peter Grueterich of Bruno Magli America is a believer in the axiom that there's no such thing as bad publicity.
"It has pushed an awareness of the product and the name," said Grueterich. "Certainly, it makes it easier for the person who was before not as familiarized with the product to say, 'This is the famous Bruno Magli.'"
Last year, sales figures were up 30 percent, not bad for shoes that start at $250 and go up to nearly $1,000.
The manufacturer no longer makes the "Lorenzo" model that the killer is supposed to have worn that fateful night in Brentwood. But that hasn't stopped hordes of the curious, and well-heeled, from tracking down some Bruno Maglis for inspection.
Seeking out Maglis can, however, attach a stigma to the curious, as one New York shopper found out.
"My wife knew I was coming here today," said the shoe shopper. "And she won't let me walk around with any sharp instruments around her."
Good or bad, it is clear that these shoes have left an impression -- or maybe a footprint -- on the buying public.
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