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With only a few days left in the year, it's time to reminisce on 2012 with the annual (six years running!) Racked Recap. This time, we've added a new component: As you may have noticed, we've been consulting fashion industry experts on things like the best and worst trends of the year. Now, let's take a look back through our own archives as we list the Best New Shoe Store Openings.
Schutz on Madison Avenue
If 2012 was nothing else, it was definitely the Year of the Shoe. A surplus of new boutiques dedicated solely to stilettos, sandals, and ankle boots opened this year, in addition to the major shoe department revamps at Barneys, Saks, and Macy's. After the jump, we've pulled together a list of the top eight shoe store openings of the year, which include everyone from Nicholas Kirkwood to Matt Bernson to Christian Louboutin.
8. Brian Atwood
The newly-opened Brian Atwood superstore on Madison Avenue isn't for the faint of heart, or for those with tight purse strings. The words "opulent" and "elaborate" accurately describe the interior, which includes lush velvet seating, marble quartz floors, and scattered vitrines that stock some of the brand's most expensive items—like a pair of $4,500 Swarovski Elements pumps.
For its U.S. debut, the Brazilian footwear brand chose a spacious flagship on Madison Avenue, and then proceeded to fill it with zillions of shoes. You'll find a some basic, work-appropriate pairs inside, but the selection is most composed of bright colors, studded platforms, and plenty of animal print.
6. Nicholas Kirkwood
Once you step inside the Nicholas Kirkwood boutique on Washington Street, you might not feel like you're in Meatpacking anymore. The store, which opened in May, comes complete with a backyard garden area that just so happens to include a hammock. As for the shoes, the new shop stocks Kirkwood's signature architectural ultra-pricey heels, as well as collaborations with Erdem and Peter Pilotto.
5. Charlotte Olympia
The first state-side Charlotte Olympia opened this past April at 22 E. 65th Street, right off of Madison Avenue. Expect to find all of designer Charlotte Dellal's cheeky collections, which currently include Christmas-themed pumps adorned with fake holly, a Glamazon cruise collection, and of course, the Kitty Flats.
4. Matt Bernson
While the rest of the members on our list were busy filling their boutiques with sky-high stilettos, Matt Bernson stocked his new Tribeca store with shoes New York City women have no problem buying in multiples: everyday boots, flats, and sandals. The store also comes with one big added bonus—Abraham, Matt's six-year-old Vizsla.
3. Christian Louboutin Men's
This year, men who appreciate a good studded loafer finally got their own stand-alone Chrisitan Louboutin boutique in Meatpacking. Right around the corner from the women's store, the decor of the guy's shop includes a lot of leather and a shoe tattoo parlor, where customers can get an image of their own ink etched onto their new shoes.
The next Brazilian on our list is Melissa. The purveyor of plastic footwear opened a trippy boutique in Soho back in February that stocks the brand's staple jellies, along with collaborations with Jason Wu, Vivienne Westwood, and Gareth Pugh. It also include video installations from the art collective behind the Gaga Workshop at Barneys.
1. Dolce Vita
When Dolce Vita moved out of its longtime home on Ludlow Street, it was to reopen in a much larger space on Elizabeth. The new boutique now has ample room to stock footwear from both the Dolce Vita and DV by Dolce Vita lines, as well as ready-to-wear and accessories.
· All Racked 2012 Recaps [Racked NY]