We've long been fans of French-born designer Paul Mayer's stylish-yet-sensible footwear, both for its Audrey Hepburn timelessness and blissful walkability. But after years of buying online or from limited selections at stores around town, we were thrilled to visit Mayer's just-opened Upper East Side boutique.
A small, pink shop on 79th and Third, Paul Mayer Attitudes has the feel of a good old-fashioned shoe store with a friendly and knowledgeable staff who's happy to show you around the shelves of patterned kitten heels ($245) and quilted Chanel-esque flats ($225). Many of the shoes also have useful (though discrete) rubber bottoms, making them more street-friendly than the slick slides you're used to.
But the real reason to check out the new digs: Mayer's signature collection of lavender-scented slippers ($225). Indeed, a handful of the ballet flats smell like a lovely mixture of flowers and baby powder, such that they emit tiny puffs of scent as you walk or when sniffed (as we did, covertly).
Mayer claims he added the olfactory feature to provide women with an extra je ne sais quoi upon opening their closets. But the unintentional side effect--a sockless shoe that won't get stinky--strikes us as the main selling (or smelling) point.
Paul Mayer Attitudes, 1388 Third Ave. (Between 78th and 79th sts.); 212-570-5900 or paulmayerattitudes.com