Consider Los Angeles-based shoe designer Haley Boyd your new style icon.
Los Angeles-based footwear (and soon to be handbag) designer Haley Boyd looks to the classics when it comes to her personal style. "Lauren Hutton and Grace Kelly are my style icons, as well as Caroline Issa and Julia Sarr Jamois,” says Boyd. “I’m simple and feminine, and somehow both classic and retro.”
“When I was 16, I cut up a Hanes T-shirt and restructured it into a blouse with a rosette. I wanted an honest response to my creation so I wore it without telling anyone where it came from. The girls at school wanted them, so I started making clothes out of my boarding school dorm room under the brand name ‘Haley Be’."
Raised in Colorado, Boyd launched her label Marais NYC (named after the Marais arrondissement in Paris), in 2013 after studying at Parsons in New York City. She was so determined to launch the label, she waitressed whilst setting up her business. Her simple designs are certainly those of the moment (brands like Maryam Nassir Zadeh and Mansur Gavriel are like sister shoes), and are the perfect accoutrement to Boyd’s fifties-inspired style. “I’m a really practical designer,” she explains. “I don’t believe that classic items should cost too much, and I would never design something that someone wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing.” Her creations reflect her words. Simple slip-on sandals with chunky heels come in summertime hues such as watermelon and pineapple, and strappier options are reminiscent of the low-heeled sandals worn on the Italian Riviera in the fifties and sixties. Basket-inspired handbags (Boyd is rarely without her favorite Cult Gaia half-moon style), will be released later this year.
For Boyd, whose uniform often consists of culottes or an A-line skirt paired with an off-the-shoulder top, aesthetics were always important. For her first day of kindergarten, she insisted strawberries were included in her lunch for a pop of color, and when at boarding school in California she launched her own clothing label. ‘”When I was 16, I cut up a Hanes T-shirt and restructured it into a blouse with a rosette. I wanted an honest response to my creation so I wore it without telling anyone where it came from. The girls at school wanted them, so I started making clothes out of my boarding school dorm room under the brand name ‘Haley Be’.”
“I definitely design things that I want to wear and my friends want to wear and I'm really aware of what people are looking for.”
Boyd collects brass and silver candle holders, constructs her shoes in animal friendly alternatives to suede and leather, and is inspired by everything and everyone, “I could be equally influenced by an eccentric old lady in Chinatown or someone who’s constantly photographed like Yasmin Sewell,” she says. “The gardens in LA are also a big daily inspiration for me. I’m always looking, whether at vintage things at flea markets, people on the street, interiors, art, the list goes on! I have a collection of beautiful books that I reference for colors, shapes, etc.”
But as Insta-worthy as her designs are, Boyd herself is just as inspiring. Her namesake style is one of the biggest reasons to swoon over her shoes, and her fashion obsession as alluring. “I definitely design things that I want to wear and my friends want to wear and I'm really aware of what people are looking for,” she explains. “I love making beautiful things that are appealing and useful. When I realized how difficult it was to find paired down, classic shoes I saw an opportunity and started my company with no industry experience.Learning by doing has always worked for me.”
Always iced coffee, no matter the weather, and a Green Genie with almond banana manna smoothie from Beverly Hills juice. It's the most energizing, refreshing, delicious thing.
2. What was the last thing you dreamed about?
I wish I could recall.
3. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
To breathe under water. Or remember my dreams!
4. What is your spirit animal?
A wild horse.
5. Biggest vice?
6. If you could swap lives with anyone in history (alive or dead), who would it be?
7. What is your favorite song?
Blue Moon of Kentucky by Elvis.
8. Favorite artists?
Egon Schiele, Helen Frankenthaler, and Matisse.
9. If you could wear one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
10. Any hidden talents?
Skiing! I grew up alpine racing in Colorado.