Women can be pretty picky about shoes—wishing the heels were just a bit shorter, they came in more colors, or they were patent leather instead of suede. Jodie Fox, the founder of Australia-based Shoes of Prey, appreciates this need to find the perfect shoe, which is why she launched an online custom shoe shop in 2009 with the help of two Google alums.
On Thursday, Shoes of Prey will open in the Washington area for the first time with an in-store shop within the Pentagon City Nordstrom. Originally an online-only retailer, the brand opened its first physical store in Sydney, Australia in 2013.
“The one question we heard the most from our customers before opening a store was ‘What will my shoes look like in real life?’” says Fox. “We saw that what our customers really meant was: What does the shoe feel like on my foot? What does the leather feel like? What do these colors look like side by side?”
After great success with their first store—they won “Store Design of the Year” in 2013 from the World Retail Awards—the brand began expanding in the US market, choosing Nordstrom as their host. The Pentagon City Nordstrom’s Shoes of Prey shop includes “sculptures of flowers from shoes to shift your thinking from pulling something off the shelf to creating something you’ll love,” says Fox
It works like this: after locating the women’s shoe section of Nordstrom where Shoes of Prey resides, pick up an iPad, loaded with the software that renders an image of the shoes as you design them. To get a feel of what you’re working with, there’s material swatches, sample shoes, and sizing shoes to make sure the fit will be right. After you’ve selected the shape, height, toe style, materials, and colors, and placed your order, your custom shoes will arrive on your doorstep three weeks later.
After a soft opening last Friday, Fox is confident the shop will be a hit with Washington ladies. “We already know that Washington women love to design their own shoes, because it’s where we have the majority of our happy customers,” says Fox. “We cannot wait to shoe the women of Washington.”
Visit the Shoes of Prey boutique at Nordstrom, The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, 1400 South Hayes St., Arlington; 703-415-1121.