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Sensible Shoes for Swing Kids

Re-Mix is the mother goddamn most beautiful store in all of Los Angeles. It sits all poised and major Ms. Gorgeous on the Pan Pacific corridor of Beverly Boulevard between Fairfax and La Brea, right next to the Authentic Cafe. For over eight years, it‘s been the city’s best-kept secret.

Owner Phil Heath prefers the soft-sell approach to retail, and Re-Mix is the kind of store that sells itself. He and Paul “Whitey” Glynn used to run the legendary Melrose Avenue boutique Cowboys & Poodles -- or “CowPoos” as everyone called it during its early-to-mid ‘80s heyday. Not to date myself, but back then all of Los Angeles was wrapped up in the house of CowPoos. It was a one-of-a-kind place, the only store in the world where you could purchase never-worn vintage clothing, or “dead stock.” At Re-Mix the focus is on dead stock shoes, men’s and women‘s, from the 1920s to the early 1980s.

Heath’s current pet project is a repro line of ‘40s swing-style wedgies, to debut in May. What makes this undertaking so exciting is that these reproductions will be manufactured in the same manner as the originals. Since a lot of the machinery doesn’t exist anymore, Heath enlisted a “secret agent” who has connected him with factories that can still turn out the old stitching and welts. The new shoes will come in several distinct styles: a two-tone spectator wedge, sensible and adorable; a slinky lace-up model with a peep toe; a darling oxford-style wedge; a cutesy double-strap mary jane slingback; and a sleek wedgie sandal. In keeping with the swing motif, special attention will be devoted to comfort and danceability, and since the new swing kids don‘t have a lot of money, the shoes will be reasonably priced at around $100 a pair.

In time for summer, Re-Mix will offer a line of pristine replicas of open-toe ’40s platform slingback pumps. These sexy shoes will not be tweaked or updated in any way, and will feature 4-inch “yes, I mean it” heels. It will also offer a companion model of ankle-strap Mexican Gilda shoes in dark-red tooled leather. Even though the heels will be high, they will still be sturdy enough to jitterbug in.

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7605 12 Beverly Blvd.; (323) 936-6210. Open Mon.--Sat. noon--7 p.m., Sun. noon--6 p.m.


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