Story by Rachel Schwartzmann – Shop MARGAUX – Photos by Bridget Badore for The Style Line
You can step into summer knowing that the modern women of Margaux have got you covered.
In fact, they have made it their mission to re-envision the classic flat to better cater to the needs of modern women on the go. Well perhaps more appropriately we should say, modern women on the gaux – enter Alexa Buckley and Sarah Pierson of the inspiring made-to-measure shoe brand, Margaux. The original ‘gaux girls, college friends, and self-taught designers put their passion first in starting Margaux upon graduating from Harvard.
Much like their customer-base who they characterize as being, “well-read, engaged, thoughtful – literally and figuratively going places,” upon meeting both Alexa and Sarah it became clear that they too, perfectly embody these sentiments. Composed, warm, and with a penchant for color, Alexa and Sarah kindly welcomed us into the world of Margaux – one that prides itself on refined simplicity and sartorial ease.
While there, the duo walked us through the brand’s impeccably curated showroom and explained the logistics behind each design -which we’ll add, remains incredibly thoughtful at every single stage of the process). We found ourselves even more curious to know what it’s like to walk in both Alexa and Sarah’s shoes – which brings us to today’s story.
In our conversation with both Alexa and Sarah, they shared more of the story behind Margaux’s initial inception, their thoughts on personal style and tips for those who are looking to leave a creative footprint (no pun intended) in the world. Discover the full conversation below featuring beautifully captured moments by Bridget Badore for The Style Line.
We’re Alexa and Sarah, the co-founders of Margaux,
a recently-launched footwear brand for the modern woman. We met our freshman year in college and became fast friends – and later, roommates. We were both athletes in college – Alexa played lacrosse, and Sarah sailed – and lifelong history nerds (we both studied history and government).
While the past year since Margaux launched has been a true (occasionally all-consuming) whirlwind, we place the utmost value on our friendships, our families, and the few minutes or hours we get each week to unplug. Even if just for an afternoon, that time away from screens and “business” helps put the daily ups and downs into perspective.
From Spain to New York MARGAUX’s journey is truly global. What have you learned about the global fashion industry that you hadn’t necessarily anticipated?
So many things! We started Margaux with no experience in fashion or manufacturing, so the past two years since we first began to dig in have been eye-opening.
What we do with Margaux is a global exercise – We source our leather from Italy, manufacture components and standard sizes in Spain, and then finish the custom pairs in New York. It’s been fascinating to see how the manufacturing industries and supporting infrastructures differ across each region
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We use personal style as a lens to tell our stories. With that in mind, can you share any memories or anecdotes in which personal style played a pivotal role in your life?
Alexa: Fashion is an expression of self – and as a painfully shy little girl, being allowed (and even encouraged) to make my own fashion decisions at a very young age reinforced a wonderful message that my exceedingly stylish mother would repeat over and over again, “don’t you ever forget to stay true to yourself”.
Sarah: Growing up, I learned from my parents to view fashion as art. They instilled in me a particular appreciation for craftsmanship, structure, and quality. I’m always asking, “Where was this made? How was it made? What’s the story?”
How would you advise the next generation of makers, creative/fashion professionals or people, in general, to leave an imprint in the world just by doing what they love?
Create products that solve problems, or fill some kind of need – The world has too many things; what it needs is smarter products, not more of them.
How do you celebrate personal style?
Color! Margaux is all about celebrating color in everyday life. We’ve made the Classic color wheel the core holding piece of our collection: Something that customers can come back to year-in and year-out.
Talk to us about the GAUX girl. Who is she and how do you hope to see her evolve? How much has changed over the last year?
Our “Gaux Girl” is – in more ways than one – a girl on the go. She’s seamlessly transitioning between different roles and worlds throughout the day, and as a result, needs wardrobe staples that can carry her from one thing to the next. She’s ambitious and driven, with a multitude of interests. She’s well-read, engaged, thoughtful – literally and figuratively going places.
What is one question that you wish people asked you more often?
People often ask us, “Why the ballet flat?” or “How to you make the flats made-to-measure?” – but we are rarely ever asked, “Why made-to-measure?”. Our made-to-measure option was not simply a novel twist on a classic product: For us, made-to-measure was a solution to issues that countless women experience with fit. Interestingly enough, 88% of women wear the wrong size shoe, while 60% of women have two different sized feet. We are drawing attention to a rarely addressed pain-point in the modern woman’s wardrobe, and hope to continue to solve problems (big and small) with each additional product we create.
How do you think creativity contributes to some of the world’s bigger conversations and what role is MARGAUX playing in this shift in thinking?
Creativity is always present on the front lines of progress. This is true in art, in fashion, and in business. At Margaux, we’re rethinking the way that shoes are sized and sold by introducing one of the first accessibly-priced custom footwear options.
We’re entering the conversation at a moment when brands are trying to reduce their inventory risk by reducing the options available to customers (fewer sizes, fewer widths, little focus on fit). Rather than offering customers less options, we’re using creative solutions to feasibly offer customers more options, while educating them about the importance and science of fit.
Classic flats are truly a timeless staple and the perfect go-to for the girl on the go. What has been the most creatively inspiring aspect of modernizing this classic item so that it caters to the modern woman and her lifestyle?
Our first priority is delivering the best fit for the customer, whether a standard or made-to-measure size. While the design of the shoe is deceptively simple, the engineering behind its creation – particularly that of the made-to-measure pairs – is incredibly complex. The made-to-measure process and supply chain we developed took months of research and development with the teams at our factories and Spain and New York, and continue to be a major focus of our attention. We had to approach it as a puzzle, brainstorming, testing, and developing answers that achieved the quality, the price, and the turnaround time we strive for.
The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration, and transit. With this in mind, what is “the style line” in your wardrobe?
Alexa: I would say I am inspired by a wardrobe that is clean, classic and comfortable. Comfort is key – especially for a girl on the go. I gravitate to pieces that can help me swiftly transition from one aspect of my day to the next.
Sarah: My “style line” is elevated basics that can be reinvented and re-worn countless times without tiring of them. There are a few pieces I can’t live without – A great jean; a structured top (often black or white); a versatile jacket or coat; and a pair of our Flint ballerinas.