This isn’t a standard shoe salon; it’s like a museum of touchable, wearable sculptures.
When shoppers enter 10022-SHOE, the shoe salon at Saks Fifth Avenue, they are struck by the clean and graphic nature of a shoe floor so vast it received its own zip code in 2007. Clear, bubble-like spheres hang down from the ceiling and give the impression that the shoppers have entered a magical realm of sorts. Light-hued wood covers the floor and off-white carpets stamped with the Saks logo cushion the customers’ feet. While this décor certainly adds to the splendor of the shop, it does not distract the customers from the true stars of the salon, the shoes.
Single heels by designers such as Prada, Miu Miu, and Christian Louboutin are displayed in shadow boxes on partial walls that guard the entrance of the salon. Almost every type of shoe a girl could want is featured here from sneakers, to rain boots, flats to towering heels, and sandals to boots. The range of designers and materials used is astounding. Saks is home to a veritable alphabet of shoe brands from Alaïa to Zanotti and everything in between.
Customers will surely find fine leather shoes here, but they will also be met with more interesting materials. Wood, raffia, rubber, fur, stingray and other exotic skins turn ordinary shoes into masterpieces, while crystals, studs, lace, and silk flowers add further embellishment. All the shoes are grouped by designer and style and perched on tables or on shelves, with the most interesting styles placed atop pedestals to attract attention. And attention they receive from well-to-do patrons who sometimes pay over $1,000 a pair. Well-dressed sales associates offer polite assistance to those examining the towering heels. Trying on shoes is never a problem when seated on Saks’s comfortable velvet sofas or chairs.
All things considered, 10022-SHOE offers New York shoe shoppers an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Just floors above the tourist-filled cosmetic and accessories area, discerning customers can take some time to view some of the most beautiful pieces of wearable art available today. They may even experience the pleasure of taking home a pair or two to whatever other zip-code they choose.