Plus the owners’ favorite spots in Manhattan.
If you’re in the market for a new fashion darling to follow on Instagram, look no further than Erica Pelosini. The pint-sized Milanese beauty not only rubs shoulders with some of the industry’s most recognizable names (she’s besties with Brian Atwood and Roberto Cavalli Creative Director Peter Dundas custom-designed her wedding gown), but she’s also one half of the design duo behind the luxe men’s footwear label, Louis Leeman.
Together with her Dutch husband—the brand’s other founder—Pelosini’s designs have garnered a cult following among “fashionistos” and celebrities alike (Jared Leto sported the label on numerous red carpets during the 2014 awards season). The shoes, which are imagined at the brand’s Paris headquarters and handmade in Tuscany, toe the line between bespoke craftsmanship and functional wearability. The black leather trainer with metal captoe, for instance, features a thick rubber sole, essential for urbanites, plus a dash of glamour in the form of a slick gold toe accent.
For four years, Louis Leeman has made its mark in Europe through retailers like Harrods, Harvey Nichols, L’Eclaireur, and 10 Corso Como. Now, the brand is hitting the ground running in New York with the debut of its first flagship boutique on 67th Street and Madison Avenue today.
“Opening a flagship in a beautiful and energetic city like Manhattan is such an incredible milestone for the brand,” says Leeman and Pelosini. “And to do so on Madison Avenue, a street that’s synonymous with luxury shopping, couldn’t be better.”
The space—designed by Simon Rawling of British design firm David Collins Studio—may be modeled after the Parisian salons of yore, but it certainly has a modern vision for high-class retail on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Contemporary, low-slung couches have plush velvet cushions that are as luxe as the shoes on display—pairs are artfully situated on floating pedestals along sidewalls and above a marble fireplace in the main room.
And before Erica and Louis jetted off to their next international hot spot, we asked them to share their top five places in Louis Leeman’s new hometown:
Indochine at 430 Lafayette St.
“A New York City institution—always our first stop when we get into the city.”
Melvin’s Juice Box at Miss Lily’s at 132 West Houston St.
"We love walking around SoHo, which is one of our favorite neighborhoods in NYC. The mix between cool music and delicious juices makes Miss Lily’s a must."
Five Story at 18 East 69th St.
“Walking into this store feels like you’re walking in a house. It’s always a great source of inspiration.”
The New York Edition at 5 Madison Ave.
“This new hotel is amazing; the view of Madison Square Park from the clock tower is so unique.”
The Guggenheim Museum at 1071 Fifth Ave.
“One of the most impressive structures in the city, truly an incredible art museum.”
More good reads from T+L:
• 19 Comfy, Travel-Friendly Shoes Made For Walkin'
• 11 Beauty Essentials to Bring on Every Beach Getaway
• Three New Boutiques Adding to the Hip of San Francisco’s Mission District