Saks new shoe salon in Greenwich caters to the well-heeled woman
Women walking into Saks’ new shoe salon in Greenwich will feel as if they’ve waltzed into the fantasy land of their dreams. The place is a fairy-tale tableau of posh furnishings, with sink-into upholstered seating in soft, soothing grays and taupes with occasional color bursts in mustard, moss, lipstick pink and sky blue. Sheers dress large windows and lights hang from a ceiling with startling cutouts exposing industrial vents, a neat juxtaposition that keeps the place from looking too-out-of-this-world.
There’s a very definite feminine and glamorous vibe to the store. You’d expect Mr. Carson, the butler from “Downton Abbey,” to greet you at the door with a gleaming silver tray of crystal glasses sparkling with champagne. According to Joe Gambino, vice president and general manager at Saks Shops at Greenwich, the boutique-like feeling is intended for women who “want to shop, want to linger, want to lounge.”
And linger for a long while. The women will do just that, for on the glass and wooden tables and shelves poised so alluringly throughout the 14,000 square-foot space are shoes, lots of them, 1,500 pairs, to be precise. There are stiletto heels with tasseled ankle ties and ruffles, velvet booties, knee-high and thigh-high boots, gladiators, platforms, slides and espadrille sneakers.
There are ballerinas as comfortable as sneakers, like the Christy by Aquazzura (one woman on opening night boasted she had several of these in different colors and was buying another pair that evening), and pumps with wedge soles. Lace-ups are extremely popular.
This fall/winter season is one of buttons and bows, fur, suede, velvet, brocade and metallic, with lots of glitter and embroidery, jewels and studs. Pointy toe is still the fashion favorite, but Saks is showing footwear with rounded toes (sometimes women’s prayers are answered), such as Fendi’s Mary Jane with golden block heels.
“What a dream,” exclaimed one shopper on her first foray into the store, aptly tagged as 10022-SHOE. The numerals refer to Saks’ ZIP code in New York City, which is very familiar to the “downtowner” woman. This salon at 20 E. Elm St., where trendy Urban Outfitters once catered to young customers, quickens the pulse. It breeds impetuous purchases for sure, despite price tags in the hundreds.
“Saks has been a part of the Greenwich community for 20 years,” Marc Metrick, president of Saks Fifth Avenue, told the crowd of 300 people at the opening night benefit supporting Greenwich United Way’s Sole Sisters. “10022-SHOE Greenwich marks a new visionary concept for the brand. … We further cement Saks as the destination for style and luxury in Greenwich.”
“It is an exciting moment in shoes,” agrees Roopal Patel, SVP fashion director of Saks Fifth Avenue, “with some great options to choose from this season. Gucci, Gianvito Rossi, Aquazzura, Prada and Miu Miu are leading the trend in embellishment and ornamentation.” The shop also showcases new and emerging designers like Paul Andrew and Nicholas Kirkwood. There are about 30 designers in all, with many styles exclusive to the store.
“These days,” Patel says, “it is important for women to have shoes in their wardrobe that support their lifestyle. For some, that could be ballerinas and sneakers. For others it could be over-the-top statement shoes.”
One style that will never be passé is a great classic pump. Patel points to Manolo Blahnik’s Carolyne as a “great example of a iconic shoe that never seems to age.” And leave those gym sneakers for workouts. “There are so many great sneaker options to wear to work and throughout your workday.” Amen to that.
The goal, says Joe Gambino, vice president and general manager of the Saks Shops at Greenwich, is to address “the entire lifestyle of a woman … with shoes that are athletic with an edge to contemporary advanced design.”
In other words, no matter the season, this stand-alone women’s shoe emporium will be tuned to its local globe-trotting clientele who “need boots in July or sandals in June.”
Rosemarie T. Anner believes a woman cannot have too many shoes in her closet or diamonds in her jewelry box.