The Shoe Haus
Cars and shoes are similar: American made is great but the foreign ones are just so exotic! The Shoe Haus, located downtown at 441 Vine Street inside Carew Tower, has the city’s best selection of European shoes. In fact, owner Wilhelm Kupper says he carries 100 percent European product in the store, most of which are German made.
“We specialize in footwear for the professional woman,” says Kupper. But the merchandise at The Shoe Haus has one main focus: a comfortable fit. They carry an entire line of pumps and comfort shoes that range from a one-inch heel to three-and-a-half inches. However, he says, the medium sized heel heights seem to be the most popular.
Kupper has been around the shoe business his entire life, so he knows his stuff. Although he opened The Shoe Haus 10 years ago, he’s been working for over 50 years in the shoe industry. He even worked as an engineer in research and development at the United States Shoe Corporation here in Cincinnati. Using his knowledge from the past and applying it to his store is what makes The Shoe Haus different from the rest. “We don’t use other shoe stores as our guide. We do our own thing and want to be different,” says Kupper. “We have a unique product, and that seems to work for us.”
Black and White Exchange
Since the grand opening three months ago, Black and White Exchange has lit up Sharonville with its low prices and unique sales approach for brides. Black and White Exchange owner Nidhi Bedi buys and sells wedding dresses, shoes, and veils —the “white” side of the business — as well as LBDs and cocktail dresses, the “black” side of the business.
Because weddings and cocktail parties can get expensive, this store allows local ladies to look fab for a memorable day without breaking the bank. Bedi first stocked her shelves with inventory from PH8 by Bebe, a store that recently went out of business in Kenwood Towne Centre. Yes, that means she’s selling brand new Bebe shoes and dresses at deep discounts! In fact, most of the shoes at Black & White Exchange are brand new and “nothing in the black dress or shoe section is over $49.99,” says Bedi.
As for this season’s trends, according to Bedi, bridal is all about strappy flats. And what may not come as much of a surprise, she points out that “for the bachelorette party, it’s always the heels.” For the wedding day, “more girls are going to colors this year than your average champagne, silver or gold.”
You don’t have to be a bride to find shoes at Black and White Exchange, though. The store carries all types of shoes that cater to a wide variety of people, ages and styles. With sizes ranging from six to ten-and-a-half, finding the perfect shoes here is no difficult task.
If you’re looking for a particular style, bring in a picture and they will help you track down the perfect pair. The best part of all? You can return to the store and sell back your items after you’ve worn them. Not to mention, being a Cincy Chic reader will get you 15% off in the store. Just come in and say “Cincy Chic!”
Monkee’s of Madeira
The only one of its kind in all of the Midwest, Monkee’s of Madeira just celebrated its first birthday this past March. The first Monkee’s store originally opened in North Carolina but was looking to expand. Liz Hilberg found out about the opportunity and – long story short – she opened the Monkee’s of Madeira shortly thereafter.
Hilberg’s family has lots of retail experience, so with that and a love for fashion running through her veins, making the decision to open her own Monkee’s store was easy.
Although the store carries a wide range of clothing and merchandise, “half of my store is shoes, and we have all price ranges,” says Hilberg, “We aren’t the typical high priced designer boutique.” She makes most of her buying trips to New York, and Hilberg is all about having the latest trends available in her store. As for this season’s trends, “wedges are still huge, as are nude colored shoes” she says.
She carries every type of shoe, from flip-flops and heels, to boots in the fall. However, what makes Monkee’s unique is that they only carry one pair of shoes in each size. “That way you don’t have everybody running around in the same shoes,” says Hilberg.
Courtesy of The Shoe Haus
Photographer: Neysa Ruhl
Model: Nidhi Bedi
Location: M/I Homes Estates at Shayler Ridge Model Home