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Oak's Senior Designer Shops with the Drag Queens of the Past

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New York City has more stores than anyone could physically tackle, but somehow we always keep returning to the usual suspects. To break out of the rut, we've asked some of the city's shopping and fashion gurus to provide their hidden retail gems—those unique stores around our island (and beyond) that we might not all know about. Cue The Beatles: We're about to get a little help from our friends.

Image via Stylish Shoe Corporation

Every now and then, someone recommends a shop that's impossible to find no matter how hard they describe the location. It's those hidden mouse holes located throughout the city that usually have some of the best goods (at the least NYC prices). Which is why, when Kristopher Whitman, the senior designer at Oak—he's responsible for their private label—recommended this small cowboy-boot shop on 8th Street, we immediately went on the hunt. Maybe we've just learned the inspiration behind some of Oak's best-loved designs?—Yale Breslin

Stylish Shoe Corp., located at 19 W. 8th Street, is easily missed. The window front is cluttered and poorly lit. Upon entering my first time, I was greeted with "Welcome to the wild west" by an elderly gentleman behind the register. Behind him, the wall boasted headshots of models, musicians and drag queens from the 70's, 80's, and 90's, all past customers. Apparently the store has been in business since the 1940's or 50's, or that's what he told me. It's easy to imagine supermodel Gia striding through the door in search of the perfect pair of shit-kickers.
Personally, I love their selection of dead stock, though they also carry an array of newer items and brands. There is no denying that the easy attitude of the 1970's is back. Think American Gigolo or Woody Allen's Manhattan. Stylish Shoe has the perfect boot to go with a high, tight, beat-down jean and a tucked-in top.
· Stylish Shoe Corporation [Official Site]
· Oak [Official Site]

Stylish Shoe Corp

19 West 8th Street New York NY 10011