The shoe fits! At least that's how ladies' footwear retailer DSW (NYSE:DSW) must feel about finally going public today. Originally expected to fetch between $15 and $17, the freshly minted shares were priced at a welcome $19 last night.

DSW, short for Designer Shoe Warehouse, operates 177 shoe stores in 32 states. The company has been a steady performer, but gained a bit of unfortunate notoriety when hackers were able to obtain the credit card transaction information of 1.4 million of its customers over the holidays.

While identity theft is an epidemic that has struck several public companies like ChoicePoint (NYSE:CPS) and BJ's Wholesale Club (NYSE:BJ) recently, DSW's breach took place just as the company was trying to drum up support for its IPO. Talk about bringing your own dog to a dog-and-pony show.

Putting that behind it will be good news for DSW's new shareholders, but it will be even better news for Retail Ventures (NYSE:RVI). As DSW's parent, it stands to collect most of the money raised in the IPO and still maintain its majority voting stake in the shoe store chain.

That's why Retail Ventures' stock has doubled from its November low, despite spotty financial performance. This past quarter was truly horrendous for Retail Ventures as its quarterly loss widened, comps fell, and accounts receivables shot up by 55%.

Retail Ventures also owns a pair of companies that were once public -- Filene's Basement and Value City Department Stores -- but DSW is the real jewel in its portfolio. DSW may be sporting only a modest operating profit, but it has been growing its top line at a healthy 34% annual clip over the last four years.

This doesn't mean that Retail Ventures is the next great retailing conglomerate. In the past, companies like Limited (NYSE:LTD), Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS), and RadioShack (NYSE:RSH) have served their investors well by spinning off their hot concepts.

Retail Ventures just doesn't have the fiscal performance -- or the pipeline -- to crown it as such. However, keep an eye on how DSW trades from here. If the DSW IPO fares well, but Retail Ventures remains stuck in neutral, the latter may become the more compelling value play if you want to own a piece of the former.

Other headlines that should fit like perfect glass slippers:

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz knows that his wife has come back from DSW with wide smiles and new shoes in the past. 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.