Walin & Wolff is a truly fabulous shoe boutique that can be found in Rye, Southport, and New Canaan (where we visited). Founded in 2011 by two savvy women; Christina Johnson-Wolff a former CEO of Saks, and Kim Walin a former Wall Street analyst. Walin & Wolff carries a selection of shoe designers that reads like an Oscar winner list, and they have an array of exquisite accessories that will make your heart flutter. Naturally, Walin & Wolff would be one of our very first Unlocking Fairfield features because, shoes.
As Marilyn Monroe once said, “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” We concur.
Post sponsored by Walin & Wolff
While trying on multiple pairs of shoes, boots, booties, sneakers, flats, and heels – both block and stiletto – we fired off a few questions to co-owner, Kim Walin.
Ahhh! These shoes are perfect in every way!
You and Christina Johnson-Wolff are co-owners of Walin & Wolff – how did you two meet?
Tina and I met when I worked on Wall Street and she had started a retail consulting business after her tenure as CEO of Saks Fifth Avenue. I worked at a hedge fund making retail investments and became a client of hers. We remained friends over the years and when we were both looking to start something new, we joined up to start Walin & Wolff.
You both came from pretty different previous careers. What made you decide to open a shoe boutique together?
From her experience with Saks, Tina knew how important shoes are to building a woman’s wardrobe and are often the “foundation” of the department store business. We felt there was an opportunity in smaller “Main Street” markets to bring designer names that would typically only be found at large luxury department stores, not at independent stores. We felt there was an opportunity in local markets to provide a better shoe experience. We believe strongly in the “Shop Local” concept and thought customers would respond — and they have! Our merchandise assortment is paired with highly individualized service and a warm and inviting store environment. We’ve become a destination for women’s designer shoes, handbags, and accessories — with multiple categories that offer self-purchase as well as gifting via a curated assortment. We have a strong buying team that really endeavors to get the styles and brands that our customers will respond to.
The Aquatalia line is a customer favorite in Fairfield County. Italian shoes made to be worn in all weather. Wear suede in the rain and snow, ladies!
Tell us about the Walin & Wolff label…
The company’s own “Walin & Wolff” line of private brand shoes & boots is a high-quality product sourced from Italy and currently represents 12% of sales. Customer reaction to the brand has been very encouraging and it serves as a point of differentiation. Walin & Wolff was our top selling brand in 2015. We now carry a wider range of styles within our brand — from flats and pumps to sandals and boots. We have even produced our own tote bag.
With a designer list from A-W, are you continuously on the search for the next up and coming designer?
We have a strong designer offering — Jimmy Choo, Chloe, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Stuart Weitzman to name a few. We are always looking for new names to freshen up the assortment. We also offer a broad spectrum of price points with brands like LK Bennett and Tory Burch, as well as more contemporary brands like Rebecca Minkoff.
Any plans for future stores?
We currently operate 3 stores – our flagship store in New Canaan, CT as well as stores in Southport, CT and Rye, NY and we have our own e-commerce site (click here). We are looking to expand to other markets — both in the tri-state area and farther afield.
What’s in the forecast for spring trends? i.e. What should we be adding to our shoe wishlist?
For spring 2017 — there are some very feminine trends appearing in designer footwear and handbags including embroidery and laser cut details. Also, the return of slides and mules are our favorite shoe styles of the upcoming season. Soft pinks and blush colors abound on the runway and blue/denim hues remain strong. We are excited to bring all these looks to Walin & Wolff this spring!
Roll on spring! But in the meantime, we do love winter for knee high boots, hats, glam accessories, lacy velvets, and pretty much everything on Walin & Wolff’s shelves!
Ready to conquer the world in these Aquatalia boots!
The perfect heel height (for Bev!)
These Ron White chain t-straps – to die for!
Heel, fringe, height…10/10 ❤️
Aquazzura. We know you want these…click here…just to “look”…
Accessory dress up time!
Been obsessed with this color ever since we did this shoot – but they come in lots of other color options. These Fairchild Baldwin necklaces fasten with a magnetic closure. Brilliant!
Our Aquazzura shoes come with beautifully illustrated instructions.
And then we discovered 1 Atelier…
Walin & Wolff and 1 Atelier have collaborated to offer customers the option of designing their own luxury bespoke handbags in-store at Walin & Wolff or online. Designs are handmade by 1 Atelier in NYC and delivered to the customer in less than 21 days. Amazing! Customized bespoke handbags. Basically, build your DREAM purse!
We took a stab at designing our ultimate handbags. The program is super easy to navigate and you can pop into the store if you want to feel the different leather options and see the color choices. We chose every detail of our dream purses..take a look. So fun!
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Walin & Wolff and plan on checking out their Southport store soon. Kim and her amazing team pride themselves on their close personal relationships with their customers. They love their gals who come to the store to enjoy fashion and friendship as much as they do, who become their “regulars”!
We intend on being your regulars, Walin & Wolff!
36 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT 06840
Please visit their website for addresses of their additional store locations
Words: Bev/Pics: Lora