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Hey lovas! It seems like its been forever and a day, but we are back in full effect with Shoe Stories and this time we headed all the way to Chi-Town to get the shoe-skinny on the one and only Autumn Merritt – one half of the Chicago based boutique Sir & Madame. Autumn is a married shoe-maven and mother to two, of what she calls ‘the wild things.’ I’ve known this lovely lady since college {yes, here we go again I have DOPE friends} and Autumn has always held her own in the department of fashion and style. As you can imagine, we naturally wanted to feature her here on From The Bottom Up! So on our trek across country {we moved to LA!} we stopped at the shop to catch up and see what’s up with her closet.

Unlike some of our other shoots, we shot Autumn and a few selects from her shoe collection at her boutique. At first, it was a bit nerve racking, we’re used to being able to have access to our subjects closets to peruse through and pull more magnificent shoes that shouldn’t be missed. This time around, the editing and selection choice was 100% left up to Autumn and honestly gyals and gents it was damn good!

From Fendi to McQueen to NIKE to Puma and Kurt Geiger and some super chic cowboy boots, Ms. Thang has it all, literally! I can only imagine what her actual closet looks like. The backdrop of the store added some pizzazz and showcased Autumn’s style in a rather unique way – since its her store, she and her partner {her hubby} are THE curators – we were still in her closet, just figuratively. And now, we’re going to give you a sneak peek of her beyond eclectic and dope collection, but first of course take a minute to get to know Mrs. Merritt below….

Put your ideal outfit together, where do you start and what are you wearing/what is it composed of?

I think I start with color, which is usually Black, White, or Grey. I’m trying to incorporate more color, but who I’m doing it for I don’t quite know, so hell I’ll stick with Black, White and Grey. From there I usually start with the bottom – in this case pants/jeans – which is important for me. Its difficult when you are curvy to find the right bottoms {laughs}. I’m an LVC , Levi, Cheap Monday type of girl. But my outfit generally consists of a pair of high waist black jeans, with a white blouse or white t-shirt. I’m a fiend for basic t’s. I am completely alright with that {Black jeans/White top} being a uniform for me and then to my shoes. My shoes and my jewelry make my outfits.

Name your top 5 fav shoe designers?

I don’t really have a top 5. I’m really all over the place. I gravitate towards what I like, naturally. If I had to sorta filter out my top 5 it would go a little something like this: I love Miu Miu and Proenza Schouler. I enjoy Alexander Wang and I like All Saints, especially when it comes to being able to just go – ME: “get your Black and Grey” {laughter ensues} yes, my Black and Grey and leather, All Saints is it.

Whose shoe closet would you love to raid?

Hmm June Ambrose. From heels to loafers and brogues she really does it for me. ME: You’re the second person who said June Ambrose, interesting.

Define your style in three words?

Me: It can be more than three words {As she counts with her fingers}. Classic with a twist. The same way my husband and I describe the store {Sir & Madame} and the brand. I’m pretty simple.

If your shoes could talk, what would they say?

They would say ‘girl go easy on me.’

So you’re a shoe, it can be a sneaker, whatever , you decide what it is. But what is it? How does it look? How does it feel?

My shoe first of all feels great. I’m a sucker for function and fashion. I say function first. They’re going to have some hardware and they’re going to be comfortable. Doing this interview I noticed a pattern in my shopping habits – I love hardware. They would probably be a flat. ME: I can dig it. AUTUMN: not like a ballet flat ME: No. More like a loafer or something with character and personality. AUTUMN: yes a loafer or a flat boot. Something with some meat to it.

If there were a law passed that prohibited women from wearing heels, what would you do?

I’d be O-KAY! – with laughter.

 If you were stranded on an island, what three things must be with you?

Oh Jesus! {We both burst into laughter} Family counts as one right? ME: Yes. Ok, Family, Music and Food. ME: The three essentials!

Flash Round….

Vamp or Red? Red

Chanel or Celine? Chanel

Land or Sea? Sea

Now get into the shoes hunty….

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Chanel’s on the table.

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Chain gang…getting up close & personal. 

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Kick…push…coast Prada tassle flats. 

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Cap toe McQueen Booties and Fendi’s that will have you green with envy.

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Pushing through…like a stallion. 

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Shell shocked and duffles.

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Michael Kors grommets on rack

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Silver lining…Kurt Geiger platforms.

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Backpacks, Dunks and Trunks.

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And the Women are Wild.

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Puma life…live wild…at all times.

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Retros, Boots and Lace ups…They’re all made for walkin.

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Buckle up. 

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Lean wit it.

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Earth strong.

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Shoeluminati.

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All-Star team.

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The Edit.

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Sir & Madame.

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She got style and hops.

Want style like the lovely Autumn? If you’re in the chi-town area head over to Sir & Madame located at 938 North Damen Avenue or just pop over to www.sirandmadame.com. And if you’re looking for styles from her unique shoe collection – do what I tell all my readers…just shop!

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