By  on September 27, 2007

Hirshleifer's, the fashion emporium in Manhasset, N.Y., will indulge its passion for shoes in December with a new 1,200-square-foot store devoted to footwear.

It will be adjacent to the retailer's main 13,000-square-foot unit at the Americana Manhasset. Hirshleifer's has been displaying shoes with select ready-to-wear collections.

Many resources are creating special styles for the opening, including Manolo Blahnik and Luciano Padovan. Other brands include Jil Sander, Versace, Cesare Paciotte, Giuseppe Zanotti, Miu Miu, Christian Louboutin, Sergio Rossi, Bruno Frisoni, Yves Saint Laurent, Tashkent and Lanvin.

"I'm looking at many other brands, including Paul Hardy and Georgina Goodman," said Lori Hirshleifer, who oversees buying and merchandising, noting that prices will range from $400 to $3,000.

The shoe store will have its own street entrance and will be accessible from the main store by a pass-through in the Dolce & Gabbana boutique. An existing Jimmy Choo boutique will remain in the main store.

The space gained by moving shoes to the new space is being reconfigured for an expanded eveningwear department.

"We have so much demand for eveningwear," Hirshleifer said. "We needed more space. People are always going to parties. We have a new Marchesa business. We also carry Azzaro, Isaac Mizrahi, Vera Wang, Badgley Mischka, Monique Lhuillier, Valentino and Chanel. We do a big volume in eveningwear."

The retailer's shoe business is growing. "Shoes are very productive, more productive than a lot of other areas of the store," Hirshleifer said.

"Women love shoes,'' she continued. "They just make you feel good. It seems like such an important [time for shoes, especially since] handbags are looking the same."

The popularity of denim has put the spotlight on shoes, Hirshleifer said. "It's a different way of dressing. You can look terrific in jeans with a top and a great shoe."

Featuring mahogany and earth tones, the shoe store will incorporate a mix of luxurious materials such as lacquer finishes with chrome and glass and modern organic porcelain tiles that look like planks of wood. Seating will consist of red fjord stones, which match the vivid color of the back wall. A fiber-optic light sculpture hangs from the soaring atrium.The spring 2007 collections reinforced the decision to open a separate shoe store.

"They were incredibly beautiful and had more variety than there's been in the past," Hirshleifer said. "When I left my Miu Miu appointment, I was fainting. The shoes are works of art."

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