No matter the language, the message is the same. In
English we say “Life is short, buy the shoes.” In French
the saying goes “La vie est trop courte. Achetez une
paire de chaussures.” Russell Levin, owner of Picardy
Shoe Parlour and Argosy, Ltd., concurs. “Shoes make or
break an outfit. People frequently comment on them
before anything else.”
being the owner of both stores because he likes assisting people with
personal and home style. Picardy is located in both Brookfield and
Mequon while Argosy is in Brookfield. Both shoe parlors carry
fashionable, unique clothing and accessories. The décor in Argosy
references Tiffany blue, and items from MacKenzie-Childs to Norah
Fleming are in abundance. Merchandise presentation is essential to
What brought you into
the shoe business?
worked at Baker’s Shoes in Chicago during high school. My parents moved
to Wisconsin and the original store was opened as a family business.
Quality and elegance are our trademarks. Years ago, both shoes and
furnishings were quite formal; no longer; but casual or informal need
not be without excellence and style.
Former Spice Girl
Victoria Beckham famously said, “I can’t concentrate in flats,” but
she’s Victoria. What about your customers?
When it comes to shoes, some occasions just call for bling and high
heels. Picardy carries them. Attractive flats by Paul Mayer and Donald
Pliner are displayed in proximity to the fashionable 3-inch heels of
Jimmy Choo and Stuart Weitzman.
In both locations you
are surrounded by upscale boutiques. What’s the retail climate like for
all of you?
champion small business owners because I know how difficult it is. Think
how barren our landscape will be if the Internet completely takes over
and all that’s left are restaurants and gas stations? With us you can
touch the merchandise, find something different and try it on. We all
love for you to browse.
How has the shoe
Size. Thirty years ago, the average sizes were 5 to 7 and widths
included AAA. Now the average sizes are 8 to 11 in a medium width. Also,
women won’t abide uncomfortable shoes. We sell 60 percent dress and 40
What’s your key
advice for women selecting an outfit and shoes?
Be appropriate. If someone is dressed appropriately they feel special
and behave well. They should respect the event being attended.
Argosy has fulfilled
some glitzy event orders. Dish with us, please.
can’t drop names, but AMC Entertainment hired us to provide gifts for
their stars on special occasions. We’ve shipped presents to England,
France, California and New York. That’s pressure! We were part of the
Golden Globes ceremony a couple years ago, providing monogram luggage
tags for swag bags.
Name some nifty
neighbors near your shops.
A couple of unique
places in Brookfield’s Galleria West are Neu’s Hardware Gallery for fine
cabinetry as well as Studio 890 (Salons) for hair and nails. In Mequon’s
Towne Shop area you’ll find Learning Shop, A Zillion Toyful Wonders!