Nestled among the textile vendors of Philadelphia’s fabric row is Bus Stop Boutique, a small shop with a lot of personality. The atmosphere of the store is that of a newly–occupied apartment. The decorations are charmingly haphazard, and shoes are casually propped on books and fashion magazines stacked in a perfectly carefree manner.
Bus Stop also serves as an impromptu art gallery; on the walls, torn fabric is utilized to spell out whimsical expressions like “click clack went the little twig heels.” This silk graffiti is the work of artist Aubrie Costello, and along with the window showcase and ribbon–bound books sold in the store, these pieces comprise her art installation, appropriately named: For the Love of Shoes.
Nearly four years ago, owner Elena Brennan opened the shop after noticing a want of unique footwear in Philadelphia shoe stores. Since then, she has been on a quest to bring exciting shoe options to Philadelphia shoe lovers and connoisseurs.
The selection here is eclectic; many of the shoes are imported from Europe, introducing a whole host of new and interesting designers. Styles range from classic leather boots, Mary–Janes and Oxfords in neutral colors like brown and black to more adventurous styles in fuschia, purple and green, coupled with colorful heels and daring accoutrements like exaggerated ribbons, flowers and fur.
The price range is as varied as the stock; though some sale shoes are more affordable (under $100), most shoes seem to be in the $100–$200 range, with some statement pieces even higher than that! Bus Stop also boasts an impressive collection of Tom’s shoes (for the more risk–averse, trend–oriented shopper), and a modest but tasteful men’s shoe selection. A smattering of other accessories (like bags and earrings) is also available, perhaps in hopes of providing the shopper with just the thing to finish off the perfect outfit (or maybe to get one started).
The store might be more than a bus stop away, but for that one–of–a–kind find, it just may be worth the ride; after all, there are really only two types of people: those who care about the shoes they’re wearing, and those who should care about the shoes they’re wearing. Which one are you?
Bus Stop Boutique (215) 627–2357 750 S. 4th St. What to look for: Fun, fashionable footwear Bottom line: If your shoes are a bore, take a peek in this store!