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Shirise Shoes, the premier independent shoe and accessory boutique in Glencoe, has stood the test of time in spite of competition from department stores, online discount sites, shoe warehouses, and knockoffs.
For 26 years, their secret family recipe has been a simple one: a highly knowledgeable and dedicated sales staff who offer the most stylish, premier product lines with an unparalleled level of service and attention.
All in the Family
Sherrie Oppenheim and daughters Brandi Secher and Lori Miller make up the management team at Shirise. Oppenheim discovered her passion for shoes in the shoe department at Neiman Marcus, where she was a top salesperson for seven years before opening Shirise.
“She remembers everyone’s size, listens to what customers want and need, and tries on every shoe before we stock it to make sure it is comfortable,” says Miller. “That’s why people have been coming to us for so many years. We have the moms, the daughters, and the granddaughters.”
“Mom is the heart and soul of this whole business,” says Secher, but Oppenheim insists, “I couldn’t do it without my daughters and my staff.” And it is clear that the Shirise extended family includes their staff members. Two have been with the store since it opened, and some others have been there for five, 10, and 20 years.
In addition to the mother-daughter management team, other longtime staff members like David Sugg (with 35 years of shoe experience) participate in the buying process as well as work on the sales floor with clients. This uniquely positions them to get to know customers personally—their likes, dislikes, what’s been working, and what might be missing. Armed with that knowledge, they customize their inventory for their client base when out on their buying expeditions around the world.
From the Runways of New York, Paris, and Milan
From classic styles to the most avant-garde trends, Shirise has been praised both at home and abroad in such magazines as ELLE, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, and Vogue.
“We have always been ahead of our time,” says Secher. “We had Kate Spade before she was big.”
The store features fashion-forward designers like animal rights activist Stella McCartney, who skillfully uses synthetics to make shoes and handbags that look like leather. Henry Cuir boots and handbags in luxurious leathers offer a simplistic, clean look. Styles that are not too dressy but still of exquisite quality include Chloe for great boots, wedges, and handbags.
Couture lovers won’t be disappointed with Shirise’s latest collection of Prada, Jimmy Choo, and Yves Saint Laurent. And for shoppers looking for more moderately priced designer shoes and bags, the shop stocks Michael Kors, Donald Pliner, Tory Burch, and Uggs, to name a few.
Their list of handbag and belt designers includes Balenciaga, Bottega (made by hand), Carlos Falchi, and Jérôme Dreyfuss. And, Shirise was one of only 10 stores in the United States chosen to carry the fabulous Kotur evening bags, known for their painted skins, leather exteriors, and vintage fabric interiors.
For a finishing touch, Shirise carries an eclectic selection of jewelry, scarves, and shawls. Shoppers can choose from diverse styles and price ranges from local jewelry designer Rachel Olesker’s “edgy and innovative” pieces, to Aviva Rose’s diamonds set in sterling or Me&Ro meaningful pieces that complement yoga clothes or jeans. The handmade Bajra shawls and scarves from Nepal are ultra-luxurious and functional.
Across the Globe…and Awesome Sales!
Shirise now brings this level of commitment to Internet consumers all over the world, offering the same selection of designer shoes, accessories, and customer service found in their Glencoe boutique.
The store is renowned for its two fantastic sales each year—winter and summer. Visit the store or their website to get on the mailing list. And, while customers sometimes feel reluctant to walk in and browse, the staff at Shirise wants you to know, “It’s okay to come in and just look.”
Shirise Shoes is located at 341 Park Avenue in Glencoe and is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information, call 847-835-2595, or visit shirise.com.