On the 16th September Selfridges opened their new Shoe Galleries. This emporium displays 5,000 pairs of shoes and has up to 100,000 in stock, making it the world’s biggest woman’s footwear department. The title previously belonged to the Galeries Lafayette in Paris, and before that Saks Fifth Avenue in New York.
The inspiration behind the Selfridges extravaganza came from a conversation the store's creative director, Alannah Weston had with a colleague regarding the effect shoes have on women. Following this Weston told her photographer friend, Bruce Weber the tale of her three-year-old daughter Maia’s favourite game: trying on and admiring all her mother’s shoes every morning. Weber was captivated by the story and that’s where the Shoeperhero idea all began, hence the photo above.
Shoes are an undeniably important part of a woman’s daily life: looking, choosing, ordering, comparing, buying, wearing, and wishing. More than 150 brands are represented in Selfridges, from high street names such as River Island and Topshop to the world’s top designers, like Jimmy Choo and Prada. Prices range enormously from a £25 pair of Havaianas flip-flops to £1,750 for a sensational pair of platform Balenciagas. There really is something for everyone. It is worth visiting just to see this shoe phenomenon, it is as beautiful as an art gallery.
The £10 million Shoe Galleries are said to be larger than the great Turbine Hall in Tate Modern. They are arranged into six unique ‘salons’ each with a different theme and feel. Each brand has had full creative direction of their ‘apartment’; I particularly like the Repetto mimic ballet studio and the Christian Louboutin room that recreates the designer's Paris home.
We already loved Selfridges but now there’s another reason to visit this magical London store. Dreams really do come true in the Shoe Galleries, go and find the pair that will make you feel like a princess. And remember to drop off the man before entering, you don’t want his whingeing distracting you.
Check out the Selfridges website for more info here.