I know you’ve had this fantasy for a while. You’ve been dreaming that the shoe you lost has turned into a glass slipper and Prince Charming is on his way to fit you right back into it. No? Oh, I must be narrating my own wish then. When I scheduled a visit to the newly opened Heel & Buckle store at Palladium, I had no clue what adventure I was in for.
All photographs: Himani Shah
This charming old world shop is easy to spot on the last level. Entering it is like walking in to a fairy tale. You half expect a fairy godmother to wave her magic wand. The store attendants (who I think double up as Cinderella’s helpers after hours) greet you and ask if they may help you. When you’re done feasting on the Pazzion and Paco Gil collection, you may ask them to get your size in the pair you would like to try.
I was so fascinated with the process I’m about to describe. There’s a small door at the back of the shop where the helpers (I’m just going to call them that now) disappear with the shoe you’ve picked. They return with a box on which the shoe is placed and guide you to a couch. With gloved hands, they remove the shoes of your size placed in dust bags in the box. Then they make you try them on. Prince Charming much?
You’re free to try them on for as long as you like. When you’re ready to make your purchase, they inform you of the particular care regime for the shoes you’ll buy.
At the counter, you indulge in cookies and chocolates while they make your receipt. When the bag is handed over to you, you’ll notice a thank you note. And some customers even receive a privilege card with a discount for the next purchase. If you wouldn’t call that a magical experience, you don’t believe in magic itself.
What’s special about Heel & Buckle is that it’s a multi-brand store that exclusively houses international brands of handcrafted shoes. You’ll find Pazzion (Singapore) and Paco Gil (Spain) only at Heel & Buckle in India. They even provide after-sale service for your shoes. You simply have to make an appointment. I’m tempted to take my dad for a shoe fitting. Their men’s range is superb. Check out pictures on my Facebook page. And as always, do let me know if you visit the store and share your experience either in the comments below or on Facebook/Twitter.