(Memphis) Their shoes may be made for walking, but brigadiers say that they’re not fit for the job or the motto of the Blue Suede Brigade.
“I tell them ‘do anything but don`t step on my blue suede shoes’ anyway, even though they are not blue,” said Brigadier Shartise Barbar.
They’re not suede either.
Barbar wears black boots to greet tourists on the streets of downtown Memphis.
She said visitors often ask where are her blue suede shoes?
“I tell them they are coming in. Just wait, you`ll see,” she said.
But her boss, Gaston Davis, told us the Memphis ambassadors haven’t had blue suede shoes in eight years.
“When we started, we had blue suede shoes donated by Nike,” said Davis.
Davis said when the brigade first launched in the late 1990s, Nike provided blue suede shoes for about five years. Those shoes however were discontinued, “And we haven`t had those shoes since.”
Davis says the brigade has looked for some over the years but the right shoe has been difficult to find, “And some of the ones we find are more dressy-like and not a good walking shoe.”
So it’s left the Blue Suede Brigade to walk the walk, but talk about the good old days.
“I remember when we had those shoes, it was an eye catcher and a lot of questions behind it and it opened the doors, kind of broke the ice for tourists walking up to us.”
If you happen to work for a shoe company or know where they Blue Suede Brigade can find some comfortable blue suede walking shoes, you can contact the Downtown Memphis Commission.