Anyone who follows fashion knows that there is typically a special place reserved for shoes in the heart of most avid shoppers. Department stores have expanded their shoe sections to satisfy demand, sites like ShoeDazzle have popped up to offer customized selections -- and, in some cases, subscriptions -- to shoppers, and the cult of designrs like Christian Louboutin and Manolo Blahnik continues to grow.
The latest entrance into the scene is Shoescribe.com, a site from the founders of well-known e-commerce giant Yoox.com, that is zeroing in specifically on the cult of high-end footwear. The glossy site offers more than 100 shoe labels -- from Proenza Schouler to Marc Jacobs to Giambattista Valli -- and highlights real show-stoppers in daily posts under the heading "Stars." Editorial and curation features prominently on the site, giving it a more magazine feel (taking a page from groundbreaking sites like Net-a-Porter) and offering the chance to bring fashion heavyweights like Hollywood stylist Arianne Phillips into the mix.
Focusing on footwear is no passing interest, of course: the sector is one of retail's most profitable, as Yoox's CEO was quick to emphasize in an interview with WWD:
“From our twelve years of experience in e-commerce, we know shoes are the undisputable bestsellers globally,” stated Yoox Group founder and CEO Federico Marchetti. “As such we wanted to dedicate an online space entirely to shoes but also to really focus on service and a unique way to shop online.”
For customers looking for an even more in-depth experience, Shoescribe offers a yearly $149 subscription that gives shoppers access to local shoe repair recommendations, free shipping, a members-only phone line, and the dangling carrot of a "fairytale present" on your birthday.
Considering the growing cult -- and profit margins -- around the latest It-accessories, we're betting we see more of these more focused sites, which offer hand-picked selections and curated editorial around, say, handbags, than the reigning e-commerce trend that supports the idea of "head to toe dressing." Considering the vast array of choices available to shoppers online at this point, it's likely more valuable to grow focused, niche sites instead of broad-reaching concepts.