Lareymondie: Custom Footwear Born Out of Passion

Lareymondie: Custom Footwear Born Out of Passion

 

Talking to Maylis de Lacoste Lareymondie these days, it’s hard to imagine this passionate advocate of custom footwear slaving away on Wall Street. But she did. Just a few years ago this French native crossed the pond and came to New York for the same reason many others do—go to school, make a home in the financial services industry and mint money. She attended New York University, became a registered Broker-Dealer Agent and paid her dues at several private equity firms. Her career was set.

 

Except that it wasn’t.

 

008_MaylisMaylis has been riding horses since she the age of four. She got her first custom boots when she turned 15, and it was love at first sight. This surprised no one, since her family history can be traced back several centuries and bespoke attire has long been part of her DNA. Even in her teen years, when people asked where she got her boots, young Maylis could rattle off every detail—the leather, the embossing, the fit, the feel. It was in her blood.

 

And so, as Maylis toiled on the trading floor, there was one bit of activity that always caught her eye. The male traders would get their shoes polished, right there between the desks and terminals. It was a symbol of success, an essential perk for Masters of the Universe. (For women it was different—their shoes were part of the uniform.) And so it clicked.

 

Sacrificing her vocation to pursue her passion, Maylis conceived an entity specifically to create custom footwear—works of beauty to be measured, treasured and handed down through the generations. She used her business savvy to assemble a network of skilled craftsmen, and gave birth to the House of Lareymondie.

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Her first collection, now known as Lareymondie Couture, comprises a line of stunning boots inspired by her equestrian passions. They’re knee-high, leather-bound and customized to the last detail. Yes, her bootmakers will personally take up to 20 measurements from each client, offer a wealth of options—the fabric, the patina, the trim, the sole and more—and go to work to ensure that each piece is uniquely personal.

Of course, couture has only an elite audience, while everyone deserves custom footwear. That’s the thinking behind Lareymondie Luxury, where the sizes are set but otherwise it’s all about you. You get to select the fabric, patina, trim, embossing and more, and your customized pair comes to you in only four weeks. This collection has a broader range, from fun and flirty to elegant and classy.

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With her keen business sense, Maylis is starting out small. She’s set up shop inside Atelier Courbet, a beautiful art gallery/retail outlet in the Nolita neighborhood of New York. There, amid the furniture, jewelry and other works of craftsmen from around the world, she and her staff meet with clients via walk-ins and appointments. She hosts signature events for potential clients to gradually grow a customer base that can spread the word. She is meeting with boutique retailers interested in offering a custom line, which means adapting their business model.  And of course, she’s developing an e-commerce model at Lareymondie.com.

 

“I know it takes a particular brand of insanity to launch a luxury business and go up against the biggest names in in the industry,” Maylis noted. “But every creative entrepreneur I admire is equally crazy. Lareymondie is my passion, and I’m going with it.”

 

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