Being as shoe-obsessed as I am, I know my shoe stores. And I can tell you one thing — New York-based Leffot is one of a kind store. So unique in both its ability to bring together great shoe brands, and at the same time, edit together a beautiful selection that appeals to wide-range of shoe lovers. And the reason for that is Steven Taffel, who in past life worked for Prada. He is a connoisseurs’ connoisseur. An avid shoe collector himself, he is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to shoes. He started the store because of his love for the shoes (and also to opt out of the fashion rat-race.) I interviewed Steven for a story and in the process we became friends.
And today he is celebrating the fifth anniversary of his store, which is nothing less than a gallery of shoe art. It is a delightful store on the edge of West Village. The dark walls are there to act as a a backdrop for making sure the eyes don’t wander too far away from creations from some of the top brands (the Aston Martins and Bentley’s of shoe brands). The big windows are their to simply let the light shine on the marvels in leather.
There are a couple of other shoe stores, but I have never felt the warmth in those outlets as I do when I meet with Steven, who is courteous and patient, even though it is clear you aren’t likely to buy shoes, but just want to talk shoes. Whenever I am in New York, I make it a point to meet up with Steven and visit his elegant, minimalistic and yet artistic store, where the focus is simply on shoes. Steven – congrats, for living your dream. I am glad you are around at the help of possibly the best shoe store in America.