Please don’t tread on my red suede shoes …

Guest blog from the lovely Sallie McNamara, friend & customer of the shop, helping us celebrate our 10th year in business.


Please don’t tread on my red suede shoes …

I’m still debating whether it was the best of times or the worst of times when Scarpini opened on Bedford Place. For someone who loves all things fashion, it was instant temptation, and so close to home. At least fifteen pairs of shoes and boots later, some super new bags, interesting and offbeat jewellery, a scarf or two, and it’s time and money well spent!

I was first hooked by the most exquisitely-made pair of Rupert Sanderson high heels, and while they didn’t make it home with me (I still regret this), Frye ankle boots were a must. And I will always remember being absorbed by a conversation with Clare as we tried to describe the colour; a kind of ‘petroly something’ was the decision. Other highlights in my Scarpini collection include more Frye boots, (four pairs) wedges, surprisingly comfortable for summer, Pretty Ballerina glittery party shoes, Hogl athletic style flats for walking around the city; then Paul Smith appeared, and the love was instant. Trainers. Boots, and sandals, and a bag … a belt … a scarf …

 I really enjoy shopping local: I’m one of those people who gets overwhelmed by the huge selections available in department stores: too much choice? The major chain stores are good, but for me sometimes a bit “samey” and predictable, and they only carry the one brand. I hugely prefer the local boutique, particularly when the buyers are so good, and I love this about Scarpini. They’ve made the difficult decisions (THANK YOU!) and the buying, the curation, is done by people who appreciate quality, style, fashion, and really think about their customers, and happily for us, are willing to take a chance on something new. Everything is well chosen, stylish, always interesting, is fashionable without being pigeonholed into the latest ‘look’.

Also, importantly for me when shopping local, people get to know you, it’s personal, I’m not just another punter/customer on a busy day. I don’t feel pressurised, I know they will be honest, and it’s not ‘yes, lovely madam’, while inside I’m thinking “seriously?”.

And I love the windows! Recently it took just a flash of red and there was the Hogl Princess Red Suede High Heel. Just wow. And the new collections have arrived, Lisa Kay or Lucy Choi or … the wish-list is growing …

So, a big thank you to Joy, Clare, Karen and Laura, a cupcake and some fizz to celebrate, and I’m looking forward to further temptation over the next ten years. And to be fair, in Scarpini years, ‘”at least fifteen pairs” works out to only one-and-a-half pairs per year … (I didn’t include the flip flops …), while the added pleasure gained from moments spent browsing what are, for a small boutique, surprisingly extensive and lovely collections is for me simply incalculable.





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