DuDaa: For the Love of Shoes

Treasure Hunt: Nov. 2012

On The Town | Aylin Gunsam | November 2012

Nina Goguadze and Mariana Esatia (r.) live and breathe shoes (Photo: DuDaa)

Most people take about 6,000 steps per day, in sneakers, stilettos, ballerinas, or boots. For some, shoes are a functional necessity, and for the fashion-conscious, a way of life.

"Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world," Marilyn Monroe once said. For years, young women watched Sex and the City, imagining stepping into Carrie Bradshaw’s dizzyingly high heels – a character whose contagious love of perambulatory perfection requires a certain extravagance and a thick wallet. But something about shoes makes it worth it.


A little slice of elegance

Guided by this principle, the designers Nina Goguadze and Mariana Esatia opened a small shop in April called DuDaa in the Marriott Hotel, on Parkring, in a back corner on the ground floor. High heels parade on pillars: colourful pumps with metal studs, bows and intricate lace designs, like pieces of art in a museum.

"These are not everyday shoes," Esatia pointed out superfluously. "They are created for the evening, for special nights."

The idea was borne out of necessity, Goguadze told me. "We were always looking for extravagant shoes in Vienna and couldn’t find them anywhere. So we thought, why not open a shop instead of ordering online."

These intricate works of art begin at €400, so it’s important to be sure they really fit. When the size is right, they are in fact surprisingly comfortable.

"The leather is very soft, and the designers we sell develop the shoes with orthopaedists," Goguadze emphasised. These are not medicinal shoes; they work on the shape and the padding inside, which is what makes them expensive.

Not just any shoe

DuDaa is a paradise for shoe fetishists, but also for those who have a weakness for designer jewellery and extravagant bags. This walk-in-closet of a space includes exclusive brands like the English shoe designer Rupert Sanderson, who has made shoes for members of the British Royal family and the American designer Ruthie Davis. "If you’re looking for these designers, you come here," Goguadze smiled. "Our customers wouldn’t go to Humanic or anywhere else; it’s not just any shoe."

Furthermore, you can pair them with a Corto Moltedo bag, and jewellery by French fashion icon Shourouk, pieces by the Berlin-based designer Sabrina Dehoff, or A-mirror glasses. A true eye-catcher!

Goguadze knows they are exclusive, but explained: "Accessories are the most important component of an outfit. In Milan and Paris you see people on the street wearing colourful jewellery, high heels and designer bags. Vienna, by contrast, is a grey landscape."

Here, businesswomen want to bring in some colour, the designers told me, or, in other words – bring more Sex to the City. At the opening show of the recent Vienna fashion week, their collection was high profile. "The people loved the shoes!" Marina gushed. Besides, in Spanish, "DuDaa" means "person who is driven by love."


1., Parkring 12a (Hotel Marriott)

Mon. – Fri., 11:00 – 20:30

Sat., 11:00 – 19:00



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