Well Heeled: How Susanna Quinn's Shoes Took Over Her Office

With a treasure trove of glam footwear, Susanna Quinn designed a closet to match.

By: Kate Bennett

Susanna Quinn’s home office doubles as a closet. Photograph by Timothy Devine.

“I was three years old in the Sibley Hospital emergency room getting 12 stitches in my head,” she recalls. “The nurse tried to take off my red, patent-leather party shoes and I screamed bloody murder.”

When it comes to footwear, not much has changed for Quinn, a writer, wife, mother of two, and social fixture who has devoted a room in her Northwest DC home to her clothing and shoes: “It was my office, but I never used it.” Now, she says, the room features “a warm, inviting leopard carpet, a comfortable love seat and ottoman, an heirloom bench from my grandmother’s house, and a mirrored wall.”

The space, which also has a work station with a computer, feels part atelier, part family room: “My 12-year-old daughter does her homework in here, and my four-month-old son rocks in his baby seat here—often the whole family ends up in my closet.”

As for which designer heels fill it, Quinn has her favorites: “Have to say, Jimmy Choo. Lately, I think it has the widest variety of designs. Manolo Blahnik trends more conservative, though I do love the embellished D’Orsays. I also love Brian Atwood shoes for his use of color.”

In the winter, Quinn sticks to her Frye riding boots. (“I wear them every single day with skinny jeans or leggings; I have them in black and brown.”) In springtime, she dons Giuseppe Zanotti’s embellished flat sandals. (“They are like jewelry.”) When all else fails, Quinn turns to a nude-colored high heel, such as the Jimmy Choo pair she’s wearing in this photo: “They go with everything, they really elongate legs, and I adore the curve of the straps. I think they’re very sexy.”

“Shoes and hair have the same effect,” Quinn says, her shiny blond locks falling past her shoulders in a perfect wave. “You can get away with a great deal if they look great. And Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes can change your life.”