By Jordan Heller
WEST VILLAGE — Just because you're wearing haute couture doesn't mean you get out of shoveling snow.
That's what the shop girls (and guys) of the high-end boutiques on Bleecker Street learned Monday as the city dug itself out of more than a foot of snow.
"It has to get done, even when you're wearing Ralph Lauren straight off the runway," said Kelly O'Connell, 23, a saleswoman at Ralph Lauren.
As O'Connell cleared the sidewalk near the corner of Perry Street, she calculated she was wearing more than $3,000 worth of Ralph Lauren clothing, including a pair of $1,500 boots.
Across Perry Street, Stefanie Sorenson, 30, an assistant manager at Marc Jacobs, was shoveling snow in a pair of Marc by Marc Jacobs heels and "special item" denim.
On the other side of Bleecker Street, Frances Pezik, 26, of Little Marc Jacobs, fared a little better, adding a pair of vintage snow boots to her snow-shoveling ensemble.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg reminded retailers and other business owners at a press conference Monday afternoon that they were responsible for keeping the sidewalks in front of their stores clear of snow.
William Brobston, 28, the general manager of Brunello Cucinelli, a high-fashion boutique two doors down from Ralph Lauren, laughed at the sight of a bunch of well-heeled shop clerks doing manual labor (himself included).
"Sure, we're in a glamorous business with great looking people, but we still work hard," he said.
With sturdy brown boots and a pair of thick-cut denim jeans, Brobston's outfit was more snow-appropriate than the girls'. But fashion and function aren't always mutually exclusive.
All told, Brobston's Cucinelli ensemble totaled $6,000 ($900 boots, $500 jeans, $1,000 sweater, $500 shirt, $2,000 vest, $300 hat and $800 scarf).
"We want our customers to live in our clothing," Brobston said. "So sure, it's appropriate to be shoveling snow in $6,000 worth of [Cucinelli] clothes."