My Blue Suede Shoes take a step in the right direction.
Take a walk down Glenridge Ave of Montclair and on the left you’ll find a singing blue sign for My Blue Suede Shoes and inside you’ll see Frank DiFilia, who believes everyone should “be cool, comfortable and confident in all walks of life.”
On one of the first crisp autumn days, the wind helped point me in the right direction of a quaint shop while in the hunt for a unique pair of fall boots. An inviting sign out front led to the door, and greetings from a welcome committee followed promptly. Happy tails wagged a warm hello from a Bobby Wasabi and Ruby Slippers.
If those two dogs didn’t sell me, the two inviting faces to follow sure did, owner and manager of My Blue Suede Shoes, DiFilia, and sitting at the desk was his best friend, Bill Courson. Although in a different working field than shoes, with an office downstairs, Courson utilizes the desk from above with good reason.
My Blue Suede Shoes has been running with high ambitions in Montclair since last September when it made a short move from the town of Glen Ridge. Glen Ridge was a great starting location, but Montclair seems to suit the business applicably. The store space was formally filled by Starseed Yoga & Wellness, and when the yoga studio moved its business to a larger facility, DiFilia knew he was to act on this opportunity in a town that seemed fitting for such a unique store as My Blue Suede Shoes.
Whether it was leftover zen in the air or just the operation of two positive people, shoppers always feel at home in this place of business. Maybe it was the set-up of the store: a rug in the center with inviting leather chairs, art hung from colorful walls, a piano resting at ease, all encompassed by those beautiful pairs. Maybe it was the neighborhood business owners, who happen to stop-by to catch-up on the day with their friends around the corner. Or maybe it was DiFilia and his shoes, the way he described each one as though he was selling a rare diamond – and a diamond at a price to steal.
Comfortably, I began to meander through a dream-like walk-in closet of shoes as DiFilia talked of his gems more as art forms than shoes, art pieces to be proudly worn, yet also appreciated for their beauty. “I pick all the shoes. If you like my shoes, you like my taste,” said DiFilia. I guess I loved his taste, because I loved his shoes. In an era where being fashion forward is looking to styles of the past, the store hits the nail on the head, or fits the shoe to the customer.
Coming from a theater background, DiFilia’s spoken expression about each pair was like a story for the future owner: pairs of stylish flats, lower heels, a men’s collection and boots, with brands such as Tsubo, Remix, Hanu and Matisse. I fell in love with the designs of South America, but Frank was stocked with a range from all over the world, with accessories of artistic expression to parallel a hip, fashion-forward style. Hand-bags, shoulder-bags, hats, even paintings for sale, all designs unique, all created then chosen by DiFilia for style, quality and comfort. The pairs and accessories ranged from $80-$200, with sizes from 6-11, rare beauty included free of charge.
DiFilia’s love for shoes has created a wonderful museum of art that doubles as comfort for the soul. It may be a pun, but the soul of that store is what keeps customers going back for the soles of those shoes. My Blue Suede Shoes would be perfect for those seeking a distinctive pop to their style that speaks all the way from the floor. It also should speak to those of Montclair State University; flash your student ID for a discount, but don’t go in just for the shoes, go in for the whole experience.
My Blue Suede Shoes is located at 215 Glenridge Avenue in Montclair, N.J. Customers can also give the store a ring at 973- 632- 1847.
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