SHOE STOP

A new store carrying the Freelance line of shoes opened on trendy Robertson Boulevard in late April.
The store, which is named Freelance, is a franchise of Rautureau Apple Shoes (RAS), a third-generation shoemaker based in a small town in southwest France.
Rautureau’s designers Guy and Yvon Rautureau focus on innovative stylish brands for children, teens and adults, including such labels as: Freelance (for women), Jean-Baptiste Rautureau (for men), No Name (for men and women) and Pom d’ Api (for children).
The new Freelance store is owned by Tony Brand, who is also a franchise owner of the Pom d’Api store in Beverly Hills, and Larry Everston, who is also a franchise owner of the Freelance and Tootsi Plohound stores in New York.
The new 2,400-square-foot store has a wide variety of shoes, including everything from leopard skin mules and platform sneakers to evening slingbacks. “We carry really trendy, fun shoes, ranging from wedges to platforms to stilettos,” Brand said. He noted that prices range from $43 for a pair of thongs to $265 for a pair of platforms or leather boots.
Among the high-profile people who have popped in: Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, Janeane Garofalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lisa Marie Presley, Julia Roberts and Rene Russo.
“The store has a touch of New York — a SoHo feel — and a touch of Southern California with an open beachy feel,” said Brand.
It currently carries 350 to 400 shoe styles, but Brand said that there is enough shelf space in the store for 500.
RAS boasts annual sales of $45 million and distributes its shoes through selected outlets internationally — approximately 28 Freelance exclusive freestanding stores worldwide.
The Freelance store is located at 113 South Robertson Boulevard.

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