Even though New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a mega billionaire, he recently admitted that he only owns six pairs of shoes. He joked, “A story emerged recently that shocked many in your industry, leaving them confused, perplexed, maybe even a little bit hurt. I’m talking about the stunning revelation in the September 20th edition of the New York Post, that I, Michael R. Bloomberg, 108th Mayor of the City of New York, may not have purchased a new pair of work shoes in 10 years … I probably have half a dozen pairs, but it is true. I probably only wear one black and one brown and that’s about it.” Bloomberg said he was embarrassed about this, since Kenneth Cole is a close friend. I’m not sure how many shoes a man is supposed to own, but I suppose that billionaires are supposed to throw shoes out like they’re disposable contacts? [People Style Watch]
In celebration of cutting down on consumption, we’ve rounded up some minimalist celebs who don’t need much to get by.
- “Mad Men” actor Vincent Kartheiser, who plays Pete Campbell, lives without a car or a toilet. Vincent told The Guardian, “Because I don’t have a car I don’t really go anywhere to buy things. In fact, I have been in a slow process of selling and giving away everything I own … It started a couple of years ago. It was in response to going to these Golden Globe type events and they just give you stuff. You don’t want it. You don’t use it … One day, I looked around and thought ‘I don’t want this stuff, I didn’t ask for it.’ So I started giving it to friends or charity stores, or if it is still in its box, I might sell it for a hundred bucks. I liked it so I didn’t stop.” Is it weird that I find this attitude kind of hot, minus that whole not-having-a-toilet thing? [Miss Minimalist]
- “Twilight” star Robert Pattinson probably gets lots of presents from fans and brands that want to be associated with his pretty mug, but apparently, he’s not into material things. “I’m not one for comforts and stuff. I think I can kind of do without most things. I bought a really nice guitar recently, which is the only thing I’ve ever really spent a lot of money on,” he said. “But that’s the only thing. I had my apartment in London before when I was unemployed—this tiny little place and I liked it more. You had to walk through a restaurant kitchen and up this staircase filled with trash and there’s no heating. I like that. But now it’s quite difficult. I can’t live in places like that anymore.” Which is a shame because living on the other side of a restaurant kitchen sounds perfect for midnight snacking shenanigans. [Celebrity Gossip]
- Canadian singer Jane Siberry (who went by the name Issa for awhile) decided to downsize her life by getting rid of most of her belongings and making her music free. All 16 of her albums can be downloaded on her website and now she lives in a log cabin in northern Ontario which you can’t even get to in the winter. Sibbery said, “It was about removing everything that was at odds with my concept of music,” which actually kind of makes sense. [Unclutter]
- Apple co-founder Steve Jobs not only makes streamlined laptops, he also lives minimalistically. Former Apple CEO John Sculley said, “I remember going into Steve’s house and he had almost no furniture in it. He just had a picture of Einstein, whom he admired greatly, and he had a Tiffany lamp and a chair and a bed. He just didn’t believe in having lots of things around but he was incredibly careful in what he selected. The same thing was true with Apple … I think that reflects everything that I have ever seen that Steve has touched.” You would think with all of that money and the technology available to him that Jobs would live in a futuristic dream apartment, but it’s kind of cool that he keeps it real. [Cult of Mac]