If you like your stocks freshly minted, you are likely to take a shine to 2005. In the latest move of what is likely to be a very active year for new stock offerings, shoe retailer DSW filed to go public this week.

DSW, or Designer Shoe Warehouse, has 175 stores in 32 states. While shoe superstores are usually the handiwork of athletic footwear retailers like Just for Feet and Finish Line (NASDAQ:FINL), DSW packs 30,000 pairs of shoes in 2,000 different styles into its 25,000-square-foot stores.

Investors may already be familiar with the DSW story, since it is part of the Retail Ventures (NYSE:RVI) holding company that also owns Filene's Basement and Value City Department Stores. The market liked what the news meant for Retail Ventures; it stands to collect most of the $185 million that DSW is looking to raise in the offering and still maintain its majority voting stake in the fast-growing chain. Shares of Retail Ventures rose 26% yesterday and are likely to climb higher if the DSW offering goes well.

While DSW is sporting only a modest operating profit, it has been growing its top line at a 34% annual clip over the past four years.

It's nothing new for retail conglomerates to spin off some of their more promising concepts. Companies like Limited (NYSE:LTD), Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS), and RadioShack (NYSE:RSH) have done exactly that. Others, like The Gap (NYSE:GPS), have chosen to hold on to their empires, even though the company at one time could have benefited from spinning off Old Navy or Banana Republic.

For investors who want in on DSW, there's a bit of a shareholder quandary. Buying into the IPO would be a pure play in the popular retailer, which has not posted a negative year in comps over the past four years. Yet with two different classes of shares, those buying into DSW directly are scooping up stock with limited voting power. Still, it's not as if the same shareholder would have any more influence by buying into Retail Ventures.

DSW is a promising growth story. The company expects to tack on 30 new stores annually over the next few, and the company's operating margins have been growing faster than have sales in the past. That makes the incremental growth that much more alluring.

Still, a filing is a lot like looking at a great-looking pair of shoes. We still don't know the price. We still don't know the fit. The company has earned the right to be tried on; now it's time to see if it's worth breaking in.

It's time to choose more than shoes:

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz knows that his wife has come back from DSW with wide smiles and new shoes. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.