Where in the world can you buy Dior stillettos, the iconically red-soled Louboutins, a Fendi flip flop, some Repetto flats and a pair of Havaianas in a space designed by a worldclass architect while having a glass of champagne? Good old Selfridges of course. And for all shoe lovers out there, the new Shoe Galleries are about to change the way you shop for shoes forever.
With the help of Bond Girl Gemma Arterton, Selfridges today launched the largest women’s shoe department in the world. Renowned architect Jamie Fobert created the area with six unique shoe galleries surrounded by 11 boutiques from the world’s most iconic shoe brands. Oh there’s even a hanging garden.
The galleries showcase 150 designers with 55,000 pairs of shoes in stock at any one time and 4,000 pairs on display from over 150 brands. Bring.It.On.
Each gallery juxtaposes materials you wouldn’t normally find in a department store: velvet and glass, clay and steel, alabaster and silk, concrete and rubber. Meanwhile, the eleven surrounding apartments designed in collaboration with some of the world’s leading shoe labels, allows customers a glimpse into the private worlds of their designers for the first time.
“Imagine you are in a gallery”, says Selfridges’ Director of Accessories Sebastian Manes. “From the entrance you see a succession of doorways, and at the end a huge window flooding the space with daylight. Your journey begins at the front, with shoes from the best of the high street. Slowly you begin to travel through different galleries until you reach the end—the couture designer gallery, flanked by Chanel and Louboutin, and a vision of Eden—the new suspended garden at Selfridges. Shoe heaven!”
Perhaps this should also be the first Selfridges department to come with a warning. Even the pickest of shoppers are likely to find a pair of shoes to suit their taste somewhere between the entrance displaying the high street designers and the exit displays of luxury couture heels. You just better hope it’s at the right end of the store for your budget—or your available wardrobe space.