Posts Tagged ‘Germany


In Lori’s Shoes

When it comes to the Chicago shoe market, the name Lori’s definitely precedes itself. Last Friday I asked my boss if she’d ever heard of the Lincoln Park boutique and her only response was, “Honey, I’ve lived here all my life.” With a cutesy tag line like “The Sole of Chicago,” and an amazing shoe collection, it’s hard not to feel like you’ve found your actual soul every time you visit Lori’s.

The 25-year-old shoe haven—or rather, heaven—is the brainchild of Lori Andre, whose two passions in life are cooking and shoes. Shortly after graduating from college, Andre decided to make one of her passions her life’s work. And personally, I’m glad she picked the latter.

This shoe (Bank 2) was designed by Jeffrey Campbell, who a close working relationship with Lori's

This shoe (Bank 2) was designed by Jeffrey Campbell, who has a close working relationship with Lori's

Andre, who travels to Italy twice a year to snag European exclusives, is always looking out for the Lori’s customer. In an industry that’s commonly associated with pretension, the staff at Lori’s is refreshingly humble and helpful. “If we’re happy, then hopefully the customers will be happy,” says Corree Hamilton, merchandise manager.

Watching the staff prepare for a day’s work is like watching a kid in a candy store, or your girlfriends at a sample shoe sale—it’s pure joy. Their enthusiasm for fabulous footwear is apparent each time they arrange a display or occasionally slip on that “perfect” shoe for a test run.

Aside from wonderful workers, Lori’s got the goods. And let me tell you—it’s good. From Jeffrey Campbell and Matisse to Sam Edelman and Janet & Janet, it’s easy to see why Lori’s is a staple in the Chicago shoe market. I was particularly in awe of a pair of Pour la Victoire‘s I saw while strolling through the store. As I held them in my hand, I briefly contemplated quitting my job as journalist just so I could be on staff at Lori’s, and ultimately near those Pour la Victoire‘s.

Bianca by Pour la Victoire

Bianca by Pour la Victoire

If you live in the Chicagoland area, Lori’s has four other locations: Northfield, Highland Park, Hinsdale and Naperville. But if you don’t, please don’t cry. Tears are unbecoming. Plus, Lori’s took the brand online with a store and blog, shipping all over the world from South Africa to Japan. The shop recently saw an uptick in German orders after being featured in the German shopping magazine Petra. Sounds like everyone wants to be in Lori’s shoes.


Spring in My Step

Finally, after months of grey skies, rain and surly people who are at the end of their winter rope, the sun in Berlin is out and the temperature is on the rise. Not only does that mean outdoors is once again my friend, but that when I look into my closet, the sea of black that stares back at me seems less and less welcoming. And of course, with the change of season and summer around the corner comes the quest for the perfect sandal.

birkenstock gizeh

birkenstock gizeh

birkenstock piazza

birkenstock piazza

Over the years I have had little to no success finding an everyday summer shoe. I loathe the flip-flop unless I’m on the beach, abhor anything that rhymes with Reva and find it difficult to feel like a lady if my footwear involves Velcro. But I figure, “when in Germany” and suddenly the offerings of 235 year-old Birkenstock doesn’t seem unreasonable.

My first pair of “Birks” was purchased in 1990. I was younger and wore patchouli. Sure they were comfortable, but fashionable, not so much. Thankfully, over the past almost 20-years, the family owned company based in Frankfurt has stepped up the fashion factor without compromising quality. This season I’m opting for the orange Piazza and line green Gizeh styles. Not only will they inject some life into my big city colour palette, but their commitment to happy feet will keep me on my toes, and heels, all season long.


Spring Awakening in Winter?!?!?

305061With all the cookies lying around and bake sale treats to eat, I am starting to get a little robust-which is my nice way of saying fat. It is during these Yule Tide days that I am thankful that I write about shoes and not pants, because at this point I am not sure they sell bolts of fabric large enough to house my hips.

Hopefully, I will get some exercise this weekend on my yearly Christmas trip to New York City. I scored some great ON STAGE seats to Spring Awakening. I have seen the show once before and decided that I would buy some show “themed” shoes. The show takes place in the late 19th Century in Germany. Popular boots in those days looked like this. I bought these slightly updated ones made by J. Shoes.

A quick google search later, and I find that I am not the only gal about town with these duds. Who knew Taylor Monsem of Gossip Girl and would have the same flare for Musical Theatre inspired shoes?!?!

These are my new favorite boots. At first glance they may seem ultra trendy, but I have worn them with leggings, jeans and dresses. I have taken the out on the town and pulled them off in a work environment. They are a true conversation starter, so those who shy away from being the center of attention may want to avoid these showstoppers (I couldn’t resist the pun).

I have about 20 people to buy for while I am in the city, and I haven’t the foggiest idea what I am going to get. I tend to panic shop. And this tends to end poorly. So, come Christmas morning while everyone else will be singing the blues, I can at least rest assured that my feet will be whistling a happy tune (last pun I swear).

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July 2020