Sunday, April 22, 2001

Prize possessions

'Diva Dhana' stands up for shoes underfoot

By Marsie Hall Newbold
Enquirer contributor

        Who: Dhana Bradley-Morton, “forever-40” of Mount Auburn, executive director of Arts Consortium of Cincinnati, spoken word artist (with performance partner Priscilla Hancock Cooper) and self avowed shoe “fetishist.”

        Where: In the spare bedroom that serves as her closet.

        On display: Over 103 pair of shoes in every imaginable color and pattern, all kept in their original boxes.

[photo] Dhana Bradley-Morton with some of her many pairs of shoes.
(Brandi Stafford photo)
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        “The majority of my shoes are stilettos with three inch heels,” Ms. Bradley-Morton says with a grin. “And that's at the very least. I have some shoes with lower heels, but in my mind there's no use in wearing a heel unless it's a high heel. At 5-8 I'm clearly one of the "big girls' so it completes the look.”

        Childhood dream: “I wasn't allowed to wear high heels until I was 16,” she recalls. “So once I put them on, I never took them off.”

        Ms. Bradley-Morton admits that her collection may number more than 103 pairs.

        “Who's counting?” she says sounding like the cat that swallowed the canary. “It was 103, but there are about 20 pair I haven't worn yet. But don't worry, I'll get around to them!”

        High-heel hypothesis: “Most actors have a shoe fetish,” Ms. Bradley-Morton, a graduate of Western Kentucky University with a degree in Speech/Oral Interpretive Arts, rationalizes. “There was a survey done long ago in one of the theater magazines. It said that when most actors make it they buy shoes.”

        “Of course,” she giggles, “I don't know how scientific that is.”

        Style and flair: Ms. Bradley-Morton's wardrobe and accessories are “worthy” of her shoes. She is often seen around town in items such as form-fitting jewel-tone designer dresses and an ankle-length mink coat with matching hat. Her efforts have won her many admirers. So much so that friends and co-workers have dubbed her “Diva Dhana.”

        “Who calls me that?” she asks in mock horror.

        If the shoe fits: Ms. Bradley-Morton adds to her collection on a regular basis. “I buy shoes everywhere,” she says. “I like Saks Fifth Avenue and DSW Shoe Warehouse, but I'm always on the lookout. If I find a pair that really works I will buy it in every color available.”

        “As long as it doesn't hurt,” she declares, “It's for me.”

       What are your prize possessions? Show them off, by writing to Marsie Hall Newbold, c/o Tempo, Prize Possessions, The Cincinnati Enquirer, 312 Elm St., 45202 or e-mail



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