Get ready to indulge your footwear fantasies. Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship has just unveiled a newly renovated, ultra-upscale shoe mecca — combining two departments into one palatial floor that’s dedicated entirely to sole lovers.
Perched on the fifth level, its sweeping offerings include the addition of luxury brands like Oscar de la Renta and Tabitha Simmons, an M.Gemi fit shop, a cobbler concierge service and 34 styles exclusive to the store.
The updated space “is really a jewel for us,” Erica Russo, Bloomingdale’s VP fashion director for accessories and beauty, tells Alexa. Strolling through the department (nicknamed “The Heart of Shoe York”) is designed to be an immersive and inviting experience. Nine 6-foot-tall, whimsical shoe sculptures — designed by local NYC artists — are scattered throughout the floor.
Nine high-end designer shoe shops also hold court, including outposts of Dior, Chanel, Gucci and Jimmy Choo.
“We had [the brands] come in and create their own space,” Russo explains. Browsing each boutique feels like “walking down Fifth Avenue or Madison Avenue — within the Bloomingdale’s environment.”
The retailer certainly took a hands-on approach to the project. The 34 exclusive kicks on display are part of a collaboration between Bloomie’s and some of its beloved designers — ranging from SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker’s elegant pumps with a newsprint motif (borrowed from the Bloomingdale’s press archive), to cheery Birkenstock sandals decked out with gold and red apples — a nod to the city’s Big Apple moniker.
Other standouts in the collab include sky-high wedge sandals courtesy of Kate Spade, adorned with NYC’s iconic skyline; demure silver-and-black Marni kitten heels decorated with a sweet jeweled-necklace design; and exuberant blue stilettos by Sam Edelman, embellished with a playful tassel toe trim.
It’s all a perfect fit, Russo says, for one of the city’s most famous department stores. “People are inspired when they think of Bloomingdale’s — they think of New York.”
In addition to luxury and contemporary brands, the floor will offer a substantial athletic selection, along with a sneaker-accessories bar where shoppers can customize their laces. “We want people to feel like they walked away with something special.”
Customers can also attend high-stepping events in the department, including a Tory Burch fashion show on April 13 and an appearance by designer Brian Atwood on April 20 (find a full schedule on Bloomingdales.com).
“It’s not just about shopping; it’s the enjoyment of going back to the store again,” Russo says.
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