Set an alert on your iPhone for March 15 because this date marks a new dawn for shoe shopping with the launch of MarthaLouisa.com. The platform will be the first e-commerce website dedicated to luxury footwear. It’s the latest venture for Susanne and Christoph Botschen, founders of successful German e-com My Theresa.
The new site will launch with more than 80 labels including market leaders Saint Laurent, Gucci and Aquazzura but also younger labels such as Alchimia Di Ballin, No. 21 and Vibi Venezia. Yesterday in Paris, the husband-and-wife duo hosted a boudoir-inspired tea party at the opulent Hotel de Crillon, where they gave FN a sneak preview.
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During the noncompete period following the sale of My Theresa in 2014, the Botschens had time to sit back and watch both the growth of the major e-tailers and that of footwear as a category.
“Shoes are actually our favorite part of the industry,” they told FN, “ but it’s a jungle of merchandise out there, so we felt it’s time for curated specialists now. Whether it’s shoes or jewelry or even chocolate, the customer needs to feel that somebody has chosen for her.”
They’ve not trying to reinvent the wheel, they say, rather to improve it. At Martha Louisa it’s all in the experience. For instance, customers will be able to locate their size automatically in U.S., U.K., French or Italian formats — via a handy system of tabs — rather than poring over a chart in a popup window.
Editorial will be minimal. Instead, designers will introduce their brands via mini-videos, and there will also be a user-generated knowledge bank to help with shoe-related emergencies. Martha Louisa has collaborated with Falke on a limited-edition sock to celebrate the launch. You’ll find that, among others, in a dedicated hosiery section.
Finally, everything is organized by category — just like Susanne Botschen’s own shoe room at home. “Just call it my German efficiency,” she said, laughing.