Lori Andre | June 13, 2024

Cougar X Lori's

Cougar has become one of our favorite brands over the years. Our customers love the shoes because they are functional, practical, and of course, cute. I love them for the same reasons, and the fact that they are a family owned and operated business just like Lori's. I was honored to be interviewed by Cougar for an issue of their Cougar Chronicles, a special series of emails highlighting business owners in different industries. Read the interview below, and comment to let us know what you love about Cougar! xox Lori.


When Lori Andre says, “I’ve always had a passion for shoes,” she means it.

The entrepreneurial shoe fanatic opened Lori’s Shoes in Chicago in the summer of 1983. The original small storefront saw expansions, then a move and now the business is a bustling 4500-sq-ft shopping destination brimming with footwear and accessories. To meet her clients’ demands, Lori also added online shopping and two satellite stores on the city’s North Shore.

What sets this shoe whisperer apart is her dedication – she was one of the first retailers to shop the world’s shoe capitals and bring European exclusives back to Chicago. We love her amazing personal style, hands-on approach and the fact that, like Cougar, she operates a family-run biz working closely with her son. We also love that she offers Cougars to Chicagoans. Guest editor Christy Wright interviews the dynamo for the scoop on her city, trend tips, her take on Cougar and more…


An online travel site described Chicagoans as “a mix between Nebraska farmers and New Yorkers – very, very friendly.” What do you think of that?

Well, truthfully, I don’t know anything about Nebraska or farming, though I do grow herbs in planters! And New Yorkers? I would consider them to be a breed of their own. I was born and raised in Chicago and have always considered Chicago to be “my kinda town.” Chicago and its suburbs cover a large area, but we still have a small-town mentality. People are genuinely friendly and helpful.

Love that! So, what do Chicagoans love about Cougar?

Chicagoans are very practical. The combination of fashion and function that Cougar offers is very appealing to their practical side. Remember, with the weather in Chicago, it’s sometimes possible to experience all four seasons in a single day.


What are your Cougar best-sellers?

Duffy, Vanetta, Vanity and Pronya.


We know that you personally rate the Duffy and Pronya – tell us why.

They are pretty darn cute!


Duffy and Pronya are all about ease and comfort, which is very relevant now. Have you noticed a shift in buying trends since Covid started?

That hits the nail on the head. Women want fashion and they are all about casual comfort.


Do you see yourself as an Influencer?

I’d like to think so at least for the women who follow me on social media.

Do you have a favourite pair of shoes?

This is a very hard questions because I have so many favourites. I can tell you what isn’t my favourite: pumps. I have a hard time wearing pumps because my feet are so narrow. I love sneakers and man-tailored loafers.


Favourite Canadian city?

I love Montreal. That’s where my husband and I spent our honeymoon.


What do you see as the next big trend in footwear?

I think sneakers and slide-ons will continue to be strong. For Spring 2021, chunky fisherman sandals and footbeds will be fashion trends.


Describe Cougar Shoes in five words.

Waterproof, fashionable, functional, reliable, practical.


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