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1 Nov

Reviewing The Ballet Flats You’ve Seen All Over Instagram​

margaux-ballet-flats-instagram-1509380384

In today’s retail-scape, you can shop anywhere—including on Instagram. In our new column The Tag, we’re highlighting indie brands we’ve discovered (and fallen in love with!) through the social media platform. Read brand backstories and product reviews, then share with a friend so you can both amp up your wardrobe.

Easy to wear and suitable for nearly everything in your closet, the ballet flat is a classic that’s not going anywhere. The essential proved the perfect entry point for Alexa Buckley and Sarah Pierson, who decided to cast careful consideration on the basic when developing Margaux. Launched in 2015 with an almond-toe flat, the brand has since expanded to offer multiple versions.

Must-have products:

The classic, rounded ballet skimmer, yes, but also other shoe types: a pointed toe, slingbacks, and a court heel. A made-to-measure option allows for those with hard-to-fit feet, or a significant size difference from left to right, to find the perfect fit. Prices start at $125 for the “Demi,” a rounded, drawstring-tied style that most closely resembles classic dance slippers.

BRIDGET BADORE
BRIDGET BADORE

Margaux’s 2.5-inch heel retails for $245.

All styles are available in a narrow, medium, or wide width, a relatively rare experience when buying shoes. Thoughtful construction at the toe box and front tip also fight the too-worn crease that can plague flimsy styles.

Our verdict? Noticeably better than the chain-store styles we’ve slipped on, these feel as if they’ll stand up to commuting wear-and-tear. No bandages required, either: With a proper fit, we haven’t experienced any of the pinching or blisters you sometimes get with styles that look like they should be comfortable but actually aren’t.

More from its founders:

Where did the idea first come from?

SP: “We serendipitously met at a cab stand just weeks into our freshman year [at Harvard], and we were friends at first sight. We became roommates the following year and lived together for the rest of our college career. It wasn’t until our senior year, however, that we began dreaming up our vision for Margaux.”

AB: “During the summers we spent interning in the corporate world, we experienced the unfortunate ‘shoe-shuffle’ so many women endure and felt like there had to be a better way. We were convinced that there could be a shoe that looked as beautiful as it felt: One that wouldn’t just get us to where we were going, but that we actually wanted to wear when we arrived. So, we set out to create the perfect wear-everywhere shoe for today’s modern woman and along the way, to redefine the way that shoes are sized and sold.”

BRIDGET BADORE
BRIDGET BADORE

Margaux founders Sarah Pierson and Alexa Buckley.

What’s the journey of building your brand been like?

AB: “At the heart of it is a recognition of a need—that women needed shoes designed just as much for fit as they were for style—and a laser-sharp focus on achieving that goal. We’ve taken a measured approach to expanding our product line, introducing one silhouette at a time and only when it’s as close to perfect as possible. And we constantly collect feedback, giving us a direct line to comments, suggestions, and requests from our very loyal customer base. The result is that we’ve earned their trust.”

SP: “Internally, we’ve surrounded ourselves with exceptional individuals, who have lent their time and talent to realizing our vision. Having entered the consumer world with little previous experience (none, actually), we’ve relied on those who are best-in-class in their respective fields to lend their perspective and guidance to our larger vision. In doing so, we’ve been able to accomplish more than we could have on our own.”

How has Instagram affected your business? Do you have a particular strategy for using it?

AB: “As a digitally-native brand, it’s been a powerful tool for acquiring new customers, [and we’ve had] the ability to build out the ‘Margaux world’ through this intensely visual platform. To us, Margaux is about so much more than the products we create, and Instagram provides us with the opportunity to give context to our vision and depth to our brand.”

SP: “We’ve learned that it’s key to plan ahead. Now that we’re a bit more seasoned, we try to plan our content days, even weeks, in advance, allowing us to build broader narratives over longer periods of time, while still sharing everyday moments, launches, and events.”

From ELLE

Hannah Kim
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