Do you love shoes? Who doesn’t?! The average woman has 27 pairs of shoes in her closet, and hopes for many more.
Shoe Dazzle is an online “membership” shopping site that works a bit like that CD of the month club, but with a few unique twists. You don’t just get a pre-selected, one-style-fits-all item, you get a range of selections in handbags, accessories and shoes, selected by stylists who have looked at your preferences and have chosen items from ShoeDazzle’s collections that they feel you’d like the most. There are also dazzle deals every Tuesday and Thursdays where members can purchase “girly stuff” such as a colorful curling iron/glove set. The ShoeDazzle.com web site was launched in April 2009 by Kim Kardashian and some stylists (Anya Sarre, Provi Fulp, Heather Zweigel and more). The ShoeDazzle selection of shoes goes up to size 10 which is nice for women with hard to fit, feet. To get your personal, monthly selection, first you fill out a little survey (it took just a few minutes and was kind of fun). Then, a ShoeDazzle stylist will email you back with five suggestions for your monthly pair of shoes/ handbags/ accessories. If you don’t like what you see, you can ask for other items, re-do your preferences, or simply skip the month. Each item is just $39.95 with free shipping both ways (if you need to send something back).
It sounds enticing and fun, and it is. If you are a true shoe fan, you are on a limited budget, you don’t have a lot of time to shop in stores, or you live in an area with limited fashion choices,ShoeDazzle can really delight you, But on the flip side, no one knows someone’s style preferences as well as they do. If you go to a store, or even a web site that sells shoes, handbags and/or accessories, you can easily pick out what you like at your budget limit, without having someone suggest what you would or should like.
One thing to realize is that ShoeDazzle’s questionnaire is too basic to really personalize your shoe selection. The survey is really just a way to categorize members into loose groups, but not really so much by detailed taste and needs. It didn’t take into account some of the basic things that an in-person stylist would immediately learn, such as your body type, or age, foot issues (most of the ShoeDazzle shoes are high heels or big wedges), or even lifestyle. The questionnaire relies mostly upon what celebrities you admire, but while you might love a celebs’s look, it doesn’t mean you are interested in looking like her. There isn’t any place for you to add notes or special instructions that would help the stylist hone the selections. For example, this columnist has knee and foot issues, but the shoes selected “just for me” all had very high heels. For 99,9% of ShoeDazzle.com customers, a sky high heel is the most coveted, but that makes a lot of the selections impossible choices for women with foot issues, unless they want to look sexy and fabulous, sitting down.
At $39.95 per item, you might wonder if these inexpensive shoes would be of good quality and offer good customer service. The first ShoeDazzle selection arrived quickly, packaged in a hard-sided hot pink box the rivalled the one my way more expensive shoes are housed. Inside this ShoeDazzle treasure chest, the shoes were lovingly packaged in tissue, and a hot pink fabric shoe bag was also included. This was impressive, especially for the price. You’d never get this level of attention and detail from a regular, budget shoe brand store!
This columnist’s selection was “Carmella” from Shoe Dazzle’s “Signature Sole Collection.” Carmella, recommended by Celebrity Fashion Stylist/Personal Shopper/Makeup Artist/Photographer/personal shoe stylist at ShoeDazzle, Merika Rock, have a hot pink sole (the color of the ShoeDazzle box) that are a nod to the now iconic red soles of a famous shoe designer. Carmela was fancifully described as: “This Signature Sole reptilian-print platform pump is a temptress. A curve-hugging dress in an eye-catching print or stripes plays off Carmela’s snakeskin pattern with ease. Strapless or sleeveless, you pick! Just be sure to accentuate your arms with sculptural cuffs or a wrist-ful of bracelets.” While that’s not exactly the vision all women will have for themselves, the pink sole and the ivory and white faux reptile skin pattern with black accents looked cute. The shoes were surprisingly nicely done, with a metallic lining. For the price, you’d expect man made materials (these shoes are made in China) and that’s what you get, but shoes this sexy for under $40 may be a little luxury that most women can rationalize.
Also reviewed by this columnist was Jewelry designed by Anya Sarre, such as the “Flash of Feathers” peacock bracelet and rhinestone earrings that were December’s selection. Anya Sarre, is Chief Handbag & Accessories Stylist for ShoeDazzle, and Head Fashion Stylist for “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Insider,” created a collection just for ShoeDazz;e of statement-making necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings inspired by her own jewelry collection from all around the world. Everything in this opulent collection called “Must Haves by Anya Sarre” pieces are priced at $39.95 for members. In addition, signature “keepsake” pieces that are personally inspired by Anya’s signature glam-resort style will become available each month through ShoeDazzle.com.
Alas, the earrings are about the size of a silver dollar, heavy, and hard on pierced earlobes. If you have sensitive ears you might not select these if you felt their weight, in person. But the round, double circles of rhinestones in a “gypsy” style earring are pretty impressive. If you are trying to add some bling to an otherwise bland outfit, these alone would do the trick. It’s the peacock feather styled bracelet that truly (shoe)Dazzles. The large, rhinestone-and-faceted-gem-encrusted bracelet with peacock feather motif is stunning. You can wear it up further on your arm, or let it dangle at the wrist. Two green, blue and pink “feathers” with clear crystal “stems” encircle your wrist with a pull-apart clasp making it easy to put on and take off. You can get this stunning bracelet in green or pink. Each piece is glamorous. You can find similar pieces in large cities, but for those who might not have access to the rhinestone/trimming district of the Big Apple, $40 with shipping free both ways, is a good deal, maybe even a bargain.
The Bottom Line: When Freud asked: “What do women want?” the answer might just be: shoes! If you love lots of them, you’ll get a dose of monthly joy from ShoeDazzle. But think before you sign up as a member with your credit card, because even at $39.95 (shipping both ways, included) it’s going to cost you hundreds of dollars a year to satisfy your desires. If you really do want a new pair of shoes each month with which to (shoe)Dazzle your friends, Then ShoeDazzle is a deal.