Meet MarthaLouisa, the footwear shopping destination soon-to-be every woman's online obsession

Meet MarthaLouisa, the footwear shopping destination soon-to-be every woman's online obsession

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Text: Andrea Sim

Luxury retail's latest online player is niche, but that doesn't mean they're not going to be big. The founders of tell us why they're welcoming a new footwear-focused e-store

For some, there's little that can compete with such a tried-and-test declaration of 'shots, shots, shots, shots, shots' to get their fire going. But for others, replace 'shots' with 'shoes', swap the figure-hugging dresses for PJs, and that's more likely a night to remember. Tucked in bed, candle burning, hunting for the next pair deserving of heart palpitations. 

Enter Started by Susanne and Christoph Botschen, the co-founders of (they've since sold the company), the newly minted e-tailer has their sights set on a niche in the crowded online commerce scene. They retail shoes, and shoes alone; to be specific, a curated selection of brands ranging heavyweights, independent labels and under-the-radar names. Each buy has been, and will be carefully selected for the embodiment of its brand ethos. In short? They're the pieces you would probably kill to own. 

Ahead of their launch date, we chat with the Botschens on the appeal of a footwear-only e-store, and exclusive collections in the pipeline with some of fashion's biggest players. 

Meet MarthaLouisa, the footwear shopping destination soon-to-be every woman's online obsession (фото 1)

How did you decide to name the site MarthaLouisa?
Martha is a sophisticated and self-confident woman. Louisa is more playful and likes to be sexy. Most women are a combination of Martha and Louisa.

Focused product offering aside, how will differ from
It is time for a [footwear] expert and we aim to be just that in a jungle of big players. We are not offering every single style from the brands; we focus on the styles that point out the DNA of each brand and such respect from us is something that the designers really appreciate. offers a curated selection of luxury women's shoes from designer names like Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Miu Miu and so on, but also names like Paul Andrew and Rupert Sanderson plus new talents such as Suzanne Rae, Andrea Gomez, Petar Petrov and Trademark to name just a few. The highest level of expertise and service complement the unrivalled shop concept.

Do you think the It-shoe has overtaken the It-bag in the recent years? 
We think that both are equally important, because a nice shoe or bag can upgrade your outfit in an essential way. You may wear a Zara dress but with the right shoe it becomes a fantastic look.

We know will offer exclusive collaborations. Spill!
We don't want to reveal too much in advance, but there will be an exclusive Prada capsule and very soon, an exclusive collaboration with Man Repeller by Leandra Medine. 

What are some under the radar shoe brands you're most excited about, and why?
Being super excited about a new talent brand is not easy as these brands might not show a constant performance you can rely on... However, we have ordered brands we strongly believe in like Alchimia di Ballin, Fabrizio Viti as well as contemporary labels Polly Plume and Reike Nen amongst many others.

Will there be an in-house brand in the works for 
Not for now. We are shoe experts in regards of discovering new talents, having a sense for trends and identifying the essential looks of established designers. There are enough amazing designers out there, it is about time someone brings them together on one online shop! But who knows — never say never.

What do you think a pair of shoes says about a person?
You can wear denim and a cool and easy shirt, but you don't wear cheap shoes — they show your zeitgeist and who you are.

What are your personal shoe collections like?
Christoph Botschen (CB): I am a man, so my shoe collection is pragmatic and classic.
Susanne Botschen (SB): Mine is quite diverse. It mirrors the Martha Louisa in me. As we travel a lot, I have many influences visible in my shoe collection. When in New York, I totally feel the [city's] edgy coolness and when in Paris, I love sophisticated, feminine shoes. I need different shoes for different occasions, as every woman does.

What are some of your favourite pairs of all time?
SB: I can't name only one favourite pair. I love my Pradas, all of them.

Share with us your best memories of shoe shopping.
There are quite a few designers that we have discovered many years ago, brought them to our website and established them worldwide. Everyone knows about them and love them now. Witnessing this makes us kind of proud. Now it is on us to gain publicity for MarthaLouisa. We start from zero again; a big challenge!

Shop from 15 March.