WILLIAMSBURG — Forget Nike and Stride Rite.
Street performer-inspired Italian flats, shiny Australian leather slippers, and Spanish sandals with soles from recycled tires are the right way to start your child off in style, owners of the new international kid shoe boutique Wonderwolf say.
"It should help them to have better taste," said French native Marie Pesquet, a mother of two who recently opened the Metropolitan Avenue shop with her friend Naoko Tkobayashi from Japan. "We wanted to offer different choices than what you already have here."
The two mothers (whose husbands both work at the nearby French-Spanish restaurant Cadaques) hand-pick each brand for the store — Williamsburg's first specialty children's shoe shop — to offer high-quality lines that are "cuter" than the typical kid's sneaker, they said.
"Easy Peasy is a brand for babies and toddlers that has soft leather shoes with vegetable tan, and no artificial dyes," Pesquet said of a favorite French brand that her daughter Camille modeled in the shop. "They're very eco-friendly."
Other brands include the family-run Australian company Old Soles, the Danish textile experts Lucky Boy Sunday and the Spanish line Avarcas. Prices vary, but the owners avoid exceeding $100 per pair, said Tkobayashi, explaining the lack of Japanese shoes in stock.
"It's hard to get Japanese shoes because of the exchange rate," she said, noting that prices of shoes from her country would far exceed others in the shop.
Still, since the small shop just got its start at the end of March, the owners said they were continuing to expand their repertoire.
"Here you have a lot of kids' stores that do a little bit of shoes on the side but no one to help you try on the shoes," said Pesquet, "and it’s nice to go in a place that has signature styles."