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Madison's Emily Goldstein Loves Flats, Supports Kitten Heels

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Photos by Kiara Schwartz

Madison epitomizes California cool. Known for curating a sharp mix of high-end (Marni, Missoni, Stella McCartney) and contemporary (Elizabeth & James, J Brand, Rag & Bone) offerings, the Los Angeles retail chain has been dressing style stars since founders Mark and Emily Goldstein opened their first location on Melrose in 1989. Emily's sleek and timeless aesthetic has much to do with the boutique's success.

A self-proclaimed "shoe girl," Madison's vice president isn't afraid to admit that her sky-high footwear days are long gone. "As I'm getting older, I'm learning that really high shoes are harder to walk in now," she explains as we scan her sunny Brentwood abode. "So, I veer toward styles that are more practical, such as kitten heels. That way I can avoid falling on my face when running around with my kids."

These aren't your mother's kitten heels. Emily's a hardcore fan of Valentino's studded variety—the very style that our previous closet-touring subject, stylist Joey Tierney said she could never wear. "They're very comfortable, but still have a bit of edge," Emily adds. "The studs make them look chic, sexy and hip." Those three words also define Madison's shopper, who is less interested in trendy, look-at-me threads and gravitates toward subtle touches that only like-minded cool girls will notice.

This effortlessly cool point-of-view flows through Emily's shoe closet, which features everything from classic Louboutin pumps to a jaw-dropping array of Chanel and Lanvin ballet flats. There's also a touch of unexpected flash, thanks to Alexander Wang wedge mules and Dolce & Gabbana pony hair zebra pumps made out of, yup, real zebra.

Those last two selections prove that, despite her tendency to play it safe, Emily isn't afraid to take risks—especially when it comes to buying for her store. "My husband [Madison president Mark Goldstein] does most of the shoe buying, so he asks me what I would want to see in my closet." Her latest suggestion? $500 Golden Goose sneakers, which continue to fly off the shelves. "[Mark and I] started stocking them when nobody knew who they were," she explains. "We did a test run and they sold out instantly. People wanted more and more."

Although keeping up with customer demands is certainly a full-time job, the Goldsteins always make sure to cater to one very important client—their 14-year-old daughter and inspiration behind their Madison t store, Jordan. "My daughter and I are the same shoe size, so a lot of my higher heels are in her closet," Emily reveals. "She has this favorite pair of Nina Ricci shoes. She also loves my Alaïa and Balenciaga flats." Starting 'em young.
· Madison Los Angeles [Official Site]
· The "t" in Madison t Stands for Teen [Racked]
· Gucci, Givenchy, Giuseppe: Inside a Star Stylist's Shoe Closet [Racked]

Madison on Melrose

8115 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90265 Visit Website