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DEEP below Edinburgh's pavements is a secret society. They assemble at the crack of dawn each Sunday and disappear into the bowels of the city to avoid being seen.
It all begins with the blast of car horns on the fourth floor of the NCP car park at the Omni Centre. Boots are flung open, clothes hung from every available space, tables set up showcasing jewels and bric a brac. This is no style myth, legend or hearsay, my friends, this is a car boot sale.
Hundreds of shoppers cram inside the vast space each week as they root around others people's belongings. From the moment the lift descended into the junk filled pit I was hooked. A friend of mine had told me all about it over a cuppa one afternoon. To be honest I wasn't that convinced as she waxed lyrical about how good it was. "Look, this little lace top I have on. Two pounds!"
Those apprehensive feelings evaporated the moment we came face to face with a pair of unworn Christian Louboutin's, complete with dust bag and box, marked 30. My shopping partner promptly punched me as I committed the cardinal sin in car boot sale shopping: Never get excited around something you want or you lose your bargaining power. As we flipped the shoes over to inquire about their size, I was devastated to discover they were a 4 much to my friend's delight as they fitted her like a glove.
Then out of the blue she did something so alien to me all I could do was watch in awe. "Would you give them to me for 25?" I was mortified by her sheer cheek but excited to find out what the seller's answer would be. "Aye, I suppose. They're ma girlfriends and they dinna fit her anyway."
Everyone was fluent in the language of haggle. When did phlegmatic Edinburgers become so good at something we as a nation are renowned for being pants at? That was when I realised the rules of this subculture below our streets. The whole point in car booting is to barter. One woman's tat is indeed another's treasure.
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Boots Create Fashion Buzz
Picture: Naomi Campbell The Metropolitan Opera Opening Night Gala at Lincoln Center New York City, USA 21.04.08
The one of a kind CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN stiletto boots NAOMI CAMPBELL wore as she arrived for her first day of community service last month (MAR07) have become one of the designer's most in demand items.
The supermodel arrived in style for her first day as a cleaner at New York's sanitation department on 19 March (07), wearing a trendy RALPH LAUREN coat and a "priceless" pair of lace up boots.
And it's those boots that have turned Louboutin's empire on its head ever since.
Campbell explains, "Louboutin says he got 1,200 orders from that day. I don't think he was planning to make those boots and now he is."
Campbell turned her daily community service arrival into a fashion show for the press, wearing a $2,000 (GBP1,020) GIULIANA TESO coat and a black leather Burberry jacket, worth over $5,000 (GBP2,560), on successive days.
But it was the bag she arrived with for her fifth and final day on the job that stunned researchers at US news show ACCESS HOLLYWOOD, who landed the first post community service interview with Campbell.
The Hermes carry all retails for a whopping $15,000 (GBP7,700).
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