On April 2nd Mephisto USA celebrated the opening of its new concept store in New York with an elegant party held at the Upper East Side location. The Manhattan boutique is the first is the first of its kind in the United States for the French footwear manufacturer. The company has over 700 stores worldwide.
Although I thought I was familiar with the Mephisto brand, which I only associated with “sensible shoes”, I could not have been more wrong. Within moments of entering the store, I fell in love with an adorable black Mary Jane style that was shown to me by Mephisto’s Managing Director Greg Nicoghosian. The company actually makes a wide array of styles, everything from sandals and wedges to sneakers and boots. According to Mr. Nicoghosian, they have every type of women’s shoes except formal eveningwear. He calls the company a “lifestyle brand” and though many of their styles are edgy and trendy, they will not sacrifice comfort for fashion. There is an equally versatile line of men’s shoes as well.
Mephisto was founded over 40 years ago in Sarrebourg, France by Martin Michaeli, Chairman of Mephisto International. Their brand is world renowned for comfort and durability. The secret is in their “soft air technology” used to create an unbelievably flexible sole that gradually contours to the wearer’s foot.
The Mephisto collection is sold throughout the US in stores such as Dillard’s, Saks, and Nordstrom, as well as smaller boutiques. The Manhattan concept store is independently owned and operated by Elliot Aizer, whose family has years of experience selling footwear in New York City. There is a Mephisto website (mephisto.com), but the shoes are not old on-line.
Mr. Nicoghosian feels that their patent leather and animal print styles will be the biggest sellers for the Spring and Summer seasons. He expects the trend for patent leather shoes to continue into the fall as well. Mephisto’s current bestseller is a thong sandal with a floral accent called “Barbata”.
The opening night party was well attended by the press and corporate VIPs. The menu included an assortment of delectable finger-foods and desserts. On my way out, I received a goody bag containing a satin pouch filled with Borghese cosmetics and a very useful shoe care kit. As a New Yorker who spends countless hours pounding the pavement in everything from high heels to flip-flops, I can guarantee that I will be returning to the Mephisto boutique again and again.