If you love shoes and are obsessed with style (guilty!), then we’ve got the perfect how-to story for you! Haley Boyd is the entrepreneurial mastermind behind the French-inspired footwear label Marais USA, and she’s here today to show us how to ease into the upcoming spring season with three outfits. To catch you up, after only two years at Parsons School of Design in New York City, Haley launched the shoe collection to offer simple designs at an affordable price tag. Suffice it to say, Haley’s style sense is one we come back to over and over again.
Whether she’s parading around the streets of New York City, churning out new designs as the creative director for her label or dreaming about the très chic Parisian neighborhood that her shoe collection is named after, Haley always aspires to incorporate simplicity and practicality in her day-to-day looks. We couldn’t miss the opportunity to sit down with Haley to discuss everything from where she finds style inspiration to her go-to outfits and must-have buys, and lucky for you, we don’t mind sharing the details (plus three looks to try) below!
Tell us everything we need to know about Marais USA shoes! Why shoes?
Where to begin! I have always been an entrepreneur, but I came up with the idea of making classic, colorful shoes when I was studying fashion at Parsons School of Design. I couldn’t find the shoes I wanted to wear, so I decided to make them. The collection is now made at a factory in downtown Los Angeles by Americans earning a living wage. The name comes from Le Marais, a district in Paris that I fell in love with—and the collection has a subtly French, retro vibe.
How has your style evolved in the past decade?
I spent my 20s in New York City, which was a great place to experiment with my personal style. I’ve tried a lot of different looks and hairstyles over the years. In New York, I really “got dressed.” It’s a very different mentality than here in LA where the emphasis for me is on feeling relaxed and comfortable in what I wear. I moved here two years ago, and wound up getting rid of most of my black clothing, keeping my denim, chopping my hair off and going much blonder.
I wear looks like this on days when I have a lunch date or meetings. I love the fit and retro vibe of Jesse Kamm’s sailor pants. These are the “Bill Cunningham Blue.” I have them in a few colors—they go with everything and are the perfect complement to both the Marais USA Jardin Heel and Slide styles. I had the straw bag custom-made in Peru—it’s a favorite and perfect for carting around samples or reference materials. The cactus pendant is by Ursa Major, a friend in San Francisco. She also does beautiful stone inlay pieces.
What are your favorite trends right now?
Quite a few of my all-time favorites are on trend right now, which makes them much more accessible than they used to be—things like cat eye sunglasses, high-waisted bikinis and pants, and one-piece bathing suits.
Which of today’s trends could you live without?
I think it’s about how you wear it. I can’t think of an item or category that can’t be done well!
What’s your go-to day outfit?
All denim with a fun pop of color on my feet, courtesy of any style in my Made in LA collection.
What’s your go-to evening outfit?
What can I say? I love a Canadian tuxedo! An all-denim ensemble is just so easy and looks pulled together with a quick tuck and roll of the sleeve. It’s also great for when I know I’ll be lifting or carrying things. One of the most surprising parts about being a small business owner is all the heavy lifting I still seem to do six years into this Marais USA journey! I’d say more than half of the clothing I own is some form of chambray or denim. It’s chic, versatile, comfortable and I love blue. The blue Jardin Heel makes this a totally a monochrome look, but I’ve probably worn this exact outfit with every style and color in my collection.
Where do you find inspiration for your shoe line?
I am always looking! My ideas come from people on the street, vintage pieces, interiors, art, etc. I just saw these gorgeous, colorful Marni chairs and am so inspired to design color-blocked wicker bags (yes, we are expanding into bags and other accessories in the very near future!).
Do you have any tips for incorporating vintage items into our wardrobes?
First and foremost, wear things that make you happy and that you feel like yourself in. Do a little KonMari: try on the item and see if it sparks joy.
I think a lot of people go wrong with vintage because they’re looking for something super funky. Try looking for classic, timeless pieces like vintage Levis, blouses, trousers and straw bags. The construction and materials used on vintage garments can be an amazing value for the price—there’s no need to look for designer labels.
The Organic by John Patrick slip dress is so understated and classic. I love that it isn’t a dressy garment, but looks quite dressed up with the right accessories.
This outfit is something I would wear at night to a cocktail party or special occasion. The Organic by John Patrick slip dress is so understated and classic. I love that it isn’t a dressy garment, but looks quite dressed up with the right accessories. With a flat sandal, it’s something I’d wear to brunch at the beach, but here I’ve paired it with Jardin Heels and faux fur so I’m ready for a night out!
Name your top three vintage shops in LA.
- Santa Monica Airport Outdoor Antique & Collectible Market
- Cannonball & Tilly
- Collection (mecca of vintage jeans)
What are your quickest tips for styling an outfit around Marais USA shoes?
Embrace color. The palette of our collection is softly bright, so even the cherry red suede shoes are surprisingly versatile. Ladies are constantly telling me how shocked they are that their go-tos are our red Jardin Heels (or another pair in a fun color they thought would only be for special occasions or very specific outfits). And show some ankle! It is flattering and chic to expose your ankle, so roll up your pants, tailor them or just snip a few inches off the bottom—I love a frayed hem.