Above Shoezies’ Susi Wall, outside her new Wellington store.
THE CORNER of Tory and Wakefield Streets in Wellington is becoming a fashion precinct, tempting buyers away from the usual high street destinations on Lambton Quay and Willis Street.
The arrival of Shoezies, an upscale shoe boutique, joining Alexandra Owen, Cathy Davys Hair Design and the Museum Hotel gives the block a sense of elegance that Wellington likes to be known for.
Originally in Christchurch, owners Susi and Ted Wall moved to Wellington after its High Street store was destroyed in the February 2011 earthquake. Shoezies had already built up quite a reputation in its original home for hand-crafted Italian, French and Spanish women’s shoes.
The capital wasn’t always on the agenda—especially as it has its share of tremors on the Pacific ring of fire. However, when Shoezies joined other Christchurch labels and retailers at the Red into the Black retail expo in Wellington (covered in Lucire in July), and were helped along by Harry’s of Seatoun, the Walls fell in love with the city.
Mrs Wall also struck up a friendship with Harry’s proprietor, Liz Stringer.
After that, coming to Wellington was a no-brainer, with the new Shoezies reborn on the Museum Hotel block.
Above Liz Stringer of Harry’s with Susi Wall, on Shoezies’ opening night.
The simple logo, a stylized S doubling as a high-heel shoe, conveys the class that customers will find inside.
Susi Wall found herself rushed off her feet—pardon the pun—as we joined her just prior to the Wellington opening on February 2. Most of the fittings were ready, with the band about to arrive, and background music on CD yet to be arranged for later that evening.
Her accent is largely New Zealand, with a trace of her birthplace in Düsseldorf.
She tells us, ‘We love Wellington, and we feel at home here. The people are very friendly.
‘Every year, we go on a buying trip to Italy, and sometimes to France and Spain. I choose the styles, and sometimes I meet my family in Germany on the trips.’
Wall has an instinctive sense of style and trends, and it comes from her lifelong love of shoes, she says.
When we joined her again during work hours, business was thriving at Shoezies and she was in an upbeat, optimistic mood.
Wall explained that she and her husband were currently staying in the Museum Hotel while they searched for a house. She was particularly grateful to her landlord, Museum Hotel owner Chris Parkin.
Guests at the opening and customers on the following day explained that they were glad that Wellington now had a boutique specializing in hand-crafted footwear.
One customer tells Lucire that with one exception, Shoezies is the only game in town. Judging by the buzz inside Shoezies, it might even be unrivalled. •