August 01, 2005 11:21 ET

Lorin Brings Uniqueness to 3rd Street Promenade

Earth Shoes Lead the Way at Trend-Setting Shoe Boutique in Santa Monica

WALTHAM, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 1, 2005 -- Lorin, a new shoe store that recently opened on Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade, is a local boutique with a unique position: It is one of only a few stores on the Promenade that is not a chain, yet carries a large selection of brands, including the ever-popular Earth shoes. Lorin is not affiliated with any national headquarters, it is not listed on NASDAQ and if you want to talk to the owner, Zeke Vurgec, 32, or make a special request to the buyer, Hamsi Hijazi, 27, they are both readily available. With a retail mix that is unusual for an independent store, and owned and operated by a young and enthusiastic team, Lorin is already a destination for customers looking for shoes that are both stylish and comfortable.

"Since opening the new store, we have just scratched the surface, and there is way more to come," explained Hijazi. Part owner, Johnny Merifian, 27, added, "We've all worked in customer service. That's what we pride ourselves on. People in this area have so many options that customer service is what people will seek in Lorin." Vurgec also predicted that Lorin will become a destination for celebrities too; "I have sold shoes to Ray Liotta in the past, and since Lorin is located in Santa Monica, where a lot of celebrities live, I know that they will want to come here for the selection as well as the service." Vurgec is quick to emphasize that his store is named after his mother and that he is proud to honor her name, Lorin.

Customers, particularly in Los Angeles, like the fact that Lorin is a "little guy" among primarily chain stores on the Promenade. In fact, a recent article from The Wall Street Journal Online states that, "Boutiques are multiplying as more shoppers shun the homogenized assortments socked in chains and department stores and seek out an eclectic range of designers and styles instead. This phenomenon, which started in big cities such as New York and Los Angeles, is now expanding across the county."

"Business has been tremendous and Earth shoes are by far our top-selling shoe," said Vurgec, who carries the complete line of Earth shoes. Men's styles sell equally well, but with women's shoes there are two styles that are particularly popular, including "Dazzle," which is a trendy, gold sandal and "Intrigue," which is a colorful walking shoe featuring blocks of dyed suede and a cross strap.

Earth shoes are appealing to everyone, especially the European tourists, who make up approximately 70% of Lorin's customer base. Europeans appreciate their design and the fact that they are exceptional walking shoes. Earth shoes utilize European design, the Kalso® Negative Heel ™ technology developed by Danish Yoga Master, Anne Kalso. This technology positions the heel slightly lower than the toe to promote a more natural posture, with the head straight, shoulders rolled back and spine and pelvis aligned, allowing the back to form its natural arch. This posture helps alleviate and prevent back pain in most people.

Earth shoes have been featured in magazines worldwide and have also gained popularity in Hollywood. They have been worn by such celebrities as Gwyneth Paltrow, Al Pacino, Jacob Dylan, Pierce Brosnan, Keely Shaye Smith, Cheryl Hines, Mariel Hemingway, Alicia Silverstone, Jenny Garth, Taye Diggs and others.

The shoes are available in a wide range of leather and non-leather vegan designs, including sandals, business shoes, and athletic shoes. For more information, visit Lorin at 1354 Third Street, on Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California, or call the store at 310-394-3850. Online, visit

Contact Information

    Lisa Elia
    Phone: 310-393-9547
    Fax: 310-393-7918
    e-mail: Email Contact