NEW YORK — There’s no place like New York. Which is exactly why Louis Leeman and his partner in life and business, Erica Pelosini, will be setting up shop on Madison Avenue this December.
The two, who co-own and codesign their Paris-based luxury footwear brand, will unveil their first store on the northeast corner of 67th Street.
“New York is an international city and a lot of clientele come here to discover new trends and research up-and-coming designers,” said Pelosini. “Yes, Paris is very romantic and Milan is a city of fashion, but they’re places of old established brands. New York is always moving and we thought there was no other place in the world to open our first store than here.”
The store will be 525 square feet and will be designed by David Collins Studio, the same firm that created storefronts for Alexander McQueen and Jimmy Choo. The general aesthetic will be intimate, and feature a re-creation of Leeman and Pelosini’s Parisian apartment, complete with a fireplace in the center.
“In Paris, we noticed that every apartment has a fireplace, no matter if the space is supertiny,” said Pelosini, adding that more than anything, the two want the space to maintain an air of intimacy. “When you enter, we want it to be a quiet place where men can try on shoes, have whiskey, champagne or a coffee,” she said.
Furniture will be sourced from Versailles, France, vintage pieces with a mix of marble, onyx, and velvet. “It will be rustic but luxurious,” said Leeman.
It will house the company’s entire collection, which ranges from statement-making shoes to more understated classic styles. The price points will range from $495 to $1,395.
The store will have four employees, including a manager and an on-site cobbler who will create custom shoes from specific leathers — including exotic materials like python — for a 20 percent upcharge. Custom shoes will take five to six weeks for delivery.
“I want our customer to be anyone from a 16-year-old to a 55-year-old gentleman,” Pelosini said. “It’s anyone from Justin Bieber to the Upper East Side man in his Thirties who appreciates handmade shoes.”
Leeman and Pelosini launched their footwear business in 2012. Since, they have collaborated with Roberto Cavalli and are working with Cesare Casadei’s first men’s collection, Maestro.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast