Tampa Bay’s virtual magazine celebrating fashion, flavor, travel, culture & beauty.
Becca Barton is a student at the University of South Florida studying magazine journalism and art. She enjoys fashion, writing and graphic design, and appreciates a well-designed ampersand. Originally from Maine, with a brief interlude in DC, she is excited to be a part of the Tampa Bay and VERTICAL community.
First, it was a mandatory elementary school dress code of black shoes; later, a socially mandatory uniform of Converse and Old Navy flip-flops. As a result, I thought of shoes as more of something to be worn out of necessity; less as an avenue of expression.
After leaving the confines of high school and entering the more footwear-diverse atmosphere of the real world, I began to take notice of all different kinds of shoes. Before, I had thought of heels in terms of the combined cubic zirconia and glitter emblazoned kitten heels reserved for fancy occasions, meaning prom. Then I realized just how many types of heels there were: boots, high heels, stiletto, wedge, each beautiful in their own right and capable of altering the mood of an outfit.
Today, I exercise what Carrie Bradshaw famously coined as my right to shoes. My collection is a place where leopard print lives peacefully amongst polka dot pumps and Isabel Marant-inspired wedge sneakers cohabitate with Eskimo boots. Each pair brings its own strength to an outfit, and can either reinforce a message, or contrast against it to create a more striking look. Sometimes my Ikat print boots help amplify a cute ensemble, or bring some interest to an otherwise monotonous jean-and-t-shirt combination.
Although material-wise, shoes make up a small portion of an outfit, statement-wise they can complete, make or break it. I think it’s this subtle power that makes them so alluring.
Welcome to VERTICAL Tampa Bay—a celebration of fashion, flavor, travel, culture and beauty (inside & out).
VERTICAL is a love letter. It is inspired by and speaks to the visionaries who call Tampa Bay home. It celebrates the treasures all around us—the people, places and things we rejoice to discover.