Originally from Telluride, Colorado—a small town where spent her childhood ski racing—Haley Boyd always knew she would put her creativity to good use. During high school, she traded the slopes for sunny California and began experimenting, first putting on fashion shows for her peers, and then showing off her own handmade looks in the school auditorium.
But it wasn’t until a trip to Paris after her freshman year at Parsons that she got the idea to start Marais USA, her timeless, menswear-inspired shoe line. A year later, she left school and dedicated herself full-time to designing, launching collection numero uno in 2009. Inspired by (and named after) Le Marais—that Parisian hub of chic—Haley set out to create stylish, comfortable shoes that wouldn’t break the bank. “I’m a really practical designer,” Hayley explains. “I don’t believe that classic items should cost so much, and I would never design something that someone wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing.”
Though Haley’s vision for Marais USA definitely expands beyond footwear—streamlined bags, anyone?—she also loves being able to reinvent the classics. And we will never tire of her just-left-of-center interpretations of Chelsea boots, ballet flats, and oxfords, that’s for certain. —olivia seely