The Modern Woman’s Shoe
Alexa Buckley's one-year-old shoe company, Margaux, is already well-established.
Alexa Buckley's version of today’s woman is always on the move. She works. She raises a family. She hangs with friends. Simply put, she’s busy. So handling everything on her agenda requires a new attitude.
And new shoes—definitely new shoes.
Buckley and her former Harvard University classmate, Sarah Pierson, have just the prescription for that footwear need. Their year-old company, Margaux, produces a classic custom-made ballet flat designed to provide the right look and the perfect fit for a woman with a lot to do. For Buckley and Pierson, the shoe is important, but the aesthetic is vital. If it’s possible to define a person by what’s on her feet—and many would believe that’s completely imaginable—Margaux is doing it.
“Our modern woman can be many different ages, but she’s definitely on the go,” says Buckley, who grew up in Wayne and graduated from Episcopal Academy in 2010. “She works in some capacity. She’s many different things at once, and that’s what makes her so special.”
Buckley is clearly an example of Margaux’s model. She has embraced the entrepreneurial spirit embodied by her father, Walter, who started and runs Actua, a Radnor-based multi-vertical cloud company. That drive was nurtured further by two summers spent working in the venture capital world and a stint as assistant to the director of the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard. By the time she graduated, Buckley knew her path. She turned down a consulting job and joined Pierson in New York City (she now lives in Chelsea) to investigate potential projects. “I was so intrigued and enamored with the energy around start-ups,” Buckley says. “Part of my job was to reach out to founders of companies and entrepreneurs, and interview them to see if they were the right fit for the company to invest in them. I loved learning why they made the decisions they made.”
She and Pierson didn’t have the shoe idea right away, but the concept of the modern woman and the desire to create a “really elevated, luxurious experience” for consumers were overriding themes as they moved ahead. They wanted to reinvent a classic product for a new generation of women. They considered the ballet flat a staple of a woman’s closet and set out to make a version that would be versatile, stylish and affordable.
The result is a shoe that can be purchased in standard sizes or as a custom-fit item. The leather comes from Italy, and the standard shoes are made in Spain, with the made-to-order versions assembled in New York. The final product is a $300-$400 shoe that sells for $175-195, according to Buckley.
“We’re creating a universal product with a style that’s clean and elevated in its aesthetic,” she says. “We want to appeal to many different kinds of women.”