Contrary to what reporters have been saying since he was elected in 2005, the artist formerly known as Pope Benedict XVI does not wear Prada shoes.
This morning, CNN‘s Christiane Amanpour corrected what the network and other news outlets have been misreporting all these years: “We have said for years ever since we watched this Pope be elected in 2005, that he was wearing red Prada shoes. I’m afraid we’ve been wrong.”
Her guest, New York’s Monsignor Kevin Irwin, clarified further:
“They are red shoes given to him because Constantine gave him the privileges of being an emperor and he allowed him to wear red shoes and a red cape. But frankly the Papal shoemaker is up the block. And it’s not Prada. So the devil may have worn Prada but not this Pope.”
Prada has declined to comment on the matter.
Reuters reports that at least one pair of Benedict’s signature red loafers were actually made by his personal cobbler, Antonio Arellano, in a small shop off of St. Peter’s Square. The cobbler also counts former popes as loyal customers, so he may not accompany the red loafers into papal retirement tomorrow. FYI, Benedict has size 42 feet. Arellano said:
“When he was cardinal, he came in like any normal person to have his shoes mended…He wears out the toe when he prays, so I repair them. I feel happy when I see my name that I have put there – wow, he really walks a lot – that’s my satisfaction.”
Arellano hopes that Benedict will keep coming back as Pope Emeritus, but that might take a while. When he steps down, Benedict will wear simple brown loafers given to him by local shoemakers when he visited Leon, Mexico last year.
So while we wait to see the Pope Emeritus’s new shoes, here is one last look at Benedict’s snazzy (but not Prada) red loafers: