2 Harvard grads launched this popular shoe startup right out of college - here's how its signature ballet flats fit
- Margaux is a online luxury shoe brand founded in 2015 that makes leather sandals, heels, and loafers.
- Its signature shoe is the ballet flat, which comes in two styles, Classic ($195) and Demi ($145). They come in half sizes with narrow, medium, or wide widths.
- We tried The Demi, a flat with a rounded toe and adjustable bow. With its slight heel, padded insole, and soft and flexible Italian leather uppers, The Demi is a comfortable shoe that can take you from work to the weekend.
Flats may be every working girl's best friend, but our new favorite pair to wear to the office were actually created by women who decided to take a non-traditional professional path after graduation.
After graduating from Harvard in 2014, Alexa Buckley and Sarah Pierson decided to turn down their offers in consulting and private equity and take the leap to create their own company: an online luxury shoe brand called Margaux.
Why Margaux is a shoe brand you should know
Margaux launched officially in 2015 with a ballet flat. While aesthetically simple, it's also, according to the company, "one of the most complex shoes to engineer." If you've ever worn flats that gaped or used uncomfortable elastics in order to fit properly, then you understand the paradox.
Margaux resolves the issue by offering three different shoe widths (narrow, medium, wide), a large range of sizes, and a made-to-order option for a truly custom fit. It sells two versions of ballet flats - Classic ($195) and Demi ($145) - as well as heels, sandals, and loafers.
All of Margaux's shoes are made in family-owned factories in Spain that also supply components and make shoes for luxury brands. Since the company has a direct-to-consumer model, you won't have to pay those expensive luxury prices. The pricing is similar to that of fellow online luxury shoe favorite M.Gemi, with styles starting at $145 and going up to $395.
We tried one of the flats that shot Margaux to fame, The Demi flat.
What The Demi flat looks and feels like according to two testers:The Demi by Margaux is an archetypal ballet flat. It has a rounded toe, functional bow that tightens for a custom fit, and soft leather that molds to your feet. It's perfect in every way, save for the slight blister it gave me on my heel the first day I broke them in (and no days after that). There's just enough cushioning for me to feel supported when commuting, but not so much that the shoe loses its unstructured, simple aesthetic.
The Ballet Pink color I got was slightly rosier than it looked on the website when I first opened the box at work, but I've noticed that it appears to be more of a nude color (at least, nude for my skin tone) in sunlight. There are 10 colors to choose from, like bright Fuschia or a classic Black, and there are more options added and swapped out seasonally. A few pairs even come in suede.
As far as sizing and fit both go, I'd recommend going true to size since Margaux offers half sizes. And, possibly the best feature is the ability to choose your width (narrow, medium, or wide). I got the medium width and it was perfect. -Sally Kaplan, editor
I got the Demi flat in the beautiful, goes-with-everything Saddle, which is the perfect color to show off the softness and glossiness of the leather uppers. I was surprised by how comfortable the flats were because the trim and heel look stiff, but the flexibility of the Italian Nappa leather and the padded insole made them really supportive and easily walkable. The tiny heel and bow give the flats an elegant and timeless look - I'm sure I'm going to be able to wear these shoes years from now as a result.
I did have to wear them a few times in order to break them in fully, but that's more a function of my feet shape than Margaux's design. Even my all-time favorite flats, the Everlane Day Glove (followed closely behind by the Day Glove ReKnit), required break-in time, so I wouldn't worry too much about any initial comfort issues you may encounter with The Demi. -Connie Chen, reporter
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