If you’ve ever been in San Francisco, you know it’s a shopaholic’s paradise. Full of well-curated boutiques and stores that feature international brands, it’s no surprise Frisco has become a huge shopping destination. And about a month ago, this shopper’s dream just got better.
Strategically positioned on the East side of the famous Maiden Lane, next door to Christian Louboutin and Valentino, Sentiero is a new upcoming boutique I had the pleasure of visiting last week. Displaying high-end shoes and stunning accessories, this beautiful store is bringing world-famous Italian footwear to the Bay Area. From Giuseppe Zanotti to Ballin, Sentiero carries a few select brands, many of which are being sold in the US for the first time.
To learn more about this newly discovered boutique, I decided to have a one on one with the owner, Ellada Yuryeva.
How did Sentiero come to be?
Sentiero means “alley” or “lane” and we came up with this brand name as a reference to the iconic Maiden Lane where the store is located. I wanted to open this boutique to bring some of the most admired and stylish Italian footwear brands to the Bay Area. I really love their shoes myself and these brands are really huge in Europe where I come from. In Milan, Moscow, Paris, Dubai you’ll see brand-name retails stores of Loriblu, Ballin, Nando Muzi, Artioli, Fabi and Giuseppe Zanotti, their ads and shoes in Vogue, etc. Giuseppe Zanotti is probably the one brand that’s known and present here in the US. Otherwise, many of these Italian brands still operate like family-owned businesses (which is great for preserving the quality of shoes) and until recently many of them haven’t had any presence on the US market.
Is Sentiero your first retail operation?
It’s the first one for me, but not for my family that has been in the retail business for about 25 years.
What made you decide to venture into fashion, but more specifically, designer footwear?
I love beauty and fashion. Shoes are probably my most favorite accessory —like a good watch for a man. For me shoes always need to stand out, even if you are wearing a casual outfit.
Opening a boutique must’ve been a long and ambitious process. What was the most challenging part of opening your store?
That’s a really good question and yes, opening a retail store is quite the challenge. The most challenging part of launching the Sentiero boutique was construction work that had to be completed within the three-week timeframe that we planned for it. Impossible.
Tell us a bit about the store.
We have luxe shoes and accessories both for women and men, all Made In Italy which is still a big brand in itself on the worldwide level due to great design, decades of tradition and outstanding quality of materials that Italian shoemakers have been masterfully using for generations, making all shoes and accessories by hand. We also try to offer really personalized service to match these outstanding shoes and create a welcoming atmosphere, so that you can enjoy the fitting process, try on different shoes, take pictures if needed, flip through the brand catalogs on the sofa and have a coffee.
Your boutique carries amazing Italian brands. What made you decide to go for those luxurious Italian designer shoes?
When I started thinking about opening the boutique, I decided that I wanted to bring these brands that are so well-known not just for their great quality, but also unique designs that appeal to women and men who don’t just follow trends, but also enjoy expanding their shoe collection. I also picked these brands as I’ve always personally loved their craftsmanship.
What makes Sentiero distinct from other retailers?
It’s a high-end boutique where you can find shoes and accessories that are simply not available in other stores and US retail. If you want to show off your unique style and get a pair of shoes or an accessory without the risk of running into somebody wearing the same, Sentiero is your kind of boutique. We also have some really glamorous designs with fur, embroidery, crystals, as well as an unbelievably beautiful bridal collection from Loriblu, a brand that we sell exclusively in the Bay Area. For men, there are these really high-end quality shoes and belts made by Artioli. Stylish shoppers in San Francisco and the Bay Area can now enjoy the opportunity to try on and pick up such a pair in person.
How would you describe the collections that can be found in the store?
Our collection includes everything from trendy leather sneakers to elegant pumps and men’s loafers for style-forward shoppers who will appreciate the highest Italian quality and comfort.
What is your vision for Sentiero in the upcoming years?
I hope to continue delighting customers with one-of-a-kind styles and accessories from our brands’ latest collections, make them recognizable in the Bay Area by sharing their stories and hopefully, with time, maybe even open additional boutiques.
Is there anything you would like to tell shoe enthusiasts like myself in San Francisco who have not visited the lovely boutique?
Come visit us before Christmas to find a pair of shoes that will make you feel really special at a Christmas or New Year party and greet 2017 in style. We’d love to help you find something unique and will continue making some really lovely accessories available for you next year – not to mention all the discounts that you might want to take advantage of.
See it for yourself here:
11 Maiden Lane,
San Francisco, CA, 94108
This post is in collaboration with Sentiero.