Last weekend, Australia-based company Shoes of Prey launched its first US design studio at Nordstrom in Bellevue. The colorful new department (on the lower level, formerly the home of women's athletic shoes) features a shoe garden, a wall of inspirational styles, and a set of iPads for getting your design game on.
We stopped by the opening party to check out this shoe revolution, test drive the design tech, and chat with Shoes of Prey collaborator and Mad Men costume designer, Janie Bryant.
I think this is the right moment to say that when I first used the Shoes of Prey website I was a bit skeptical. Shopping online takes enough imagination, but putting together a custom pair of pumps and trying to visualize how they'd come out on my feet...it's a bit much.
Which is the first thing I love about the design studio: Every shoe style, material, you name it, is on hand to better grasp the final product. Nordstrom has also employed expert stylists to help you make design decisions and to bring out different sizes and styles to try before you buy.
Fun fact: There are over 70 trillion different style combinations. SEVENTY TRILLION.
The event also introduced shoppers to a seven-shoe capsule collection assembled by Emmy Award–winning Mad Men costume designer, Janie Bryant, who was on hand to talk shop. Bryant designed the read-to-order styles to be bold and sexy, with a common snake-skin thread throughout the flats and sky-high sandals.
And for wedding style, brides can create the exact shoes to match their gown and preference, and bridal parties now have trendy similar, but not matchy matchy, shoes in the same color palette but with heel heights and styles most comfortable for each gal.
Bryant designed the bridal heels below. "I really liked the idea of adding the bow and trim as a 'something blue,'" she told us. "It's a tradition that's often hard to pull off without settling on a blue garter, so I enjoyed incorporating the color in this way."
The Shoes of Prey design studio is now a permanent fixture at Nordstrom Bellevue. Already planning your New Year's outfit? Rush over now to create the perfect pair and have it arrive on your doorstep before the ball drops.