Who is he?
He's Pasquale Di Fabrizio, who calls himself "The Stars’ Shoemaker." And that title certainly fits.
From his little shop on Fairfax Avenue (near Farmers Market) Di Fabrizio has hand-made shoes for the biggest names in show-biz, including: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Elizabeth Taylor, Jack Nicholson, Madonna, Sharon Stone, Whoopi Goldberg, Danny DeVito, Richard Gere, Dolly Parton, Tina Turner, Geena Davis, Uma Thurman, Liza Minnelli, Jane Fonda, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Hefner, Barbara Mandrell, James Woods, Paul Sorveno, Lynda Carter, Mickey Rourke, Jennifer Connelly, Bo Derek, and formerly Ronald Reagan, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, George Peppard and Telly Savalas.
But it doesn't come cheap.
Prices for shoes made by this Italian master start at $500 and up. In fact,
Mr. Di Fabrizio no longer sells directly to the stars - instead he
sells only to TV and movie production companies, for whom money is no object.
He says that sometimes the stars don't remember to pay. According to Di Fabrizio,
and Mickey Rourke
still owe him.
Di Fabrizio's first celebrity client was Dean Martin, who then brought in Frank Sinatra, and the rest is history.
Sometimes, the stars need more than just a pair of shoes. Mr. Di Fabrizio says that he sometimes gives stars a lift - literally. He notes that his shoes added 3 1/2 to 4 inches Sly Stallone's height. He also helped with Elizabeth Taylor's bunions, and designed a special pair of shoes which helped Danny DeVito limp as 'The Penguin' in "Batman Returns."
Besides the movies, Di Fabrizio also makes shoes for Broadway shows, such as 'Rent', 'Phantom of the Opera', 'A Chorus Line', 'Victor/Victoria', 'La Cage aux Folles', and 'Dream Girls'.
He did the first pair of big black shoes for Mickey Mouse, and also the pair of walkin' boots that Nancy Sinatra wore when she appeared au natural in 'Playboy'.
Occasionally, Di Fabrizio
auctions off some of his celebrity shoes. A pair he made for Judy Garland
sold for $126,000.
Getting there: Di Fabrizio Shoes is located jnorth of Farmers Market on Fairfax Ave, between Melrose and Santa Monica Blvd. / From Farmers Market: just go north (eight blocks) on Fairfax, and the shop will be on your left (west) side, at the northwest corner of Fairfax & Willoughby.
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