Also soft-as-a cloud memory foam, matching interiors, and a customer loyalty program. Larroudé, launched by long time fashion industry insider Marina Larroudé, has a focus on shoes at the moment, but also has clutches and denim, with plans brewing for more categories. Vogue speaks to the New York-based Larroudé, on Larroudé
By Priyanka Khanna
When it comes to understanding what women want, Marina Larroudé, may just have an inkling. After all, she’s honed her skills at Style.com, Teen Vogue and at Barneys New York, where she was fashion director at the now sadly defunct store (Larroudé exited a while before its closing). She’s also, for the lack of a better term, a fashion influencer, long being a street style favourite for her polished approach to dressing.
This past summer, Larroudé documented a cross country RV journey with her family, online, while also dropping hints of a brand in the making. A few weeks ago, she made her big splash, by galvanising the fashion community to come together in support of her new venture. Here, she tells us more.
Congratulations on your launch. I have to ask, why shoes as your first?
I first did a collaboration with CQY denim over the summer that was very successful. We developed other styles and we have them on Larroude.com now. Larroudé was born with the idea that women build their wardrobe around staples and key pieces that can be worn year after year. The shoe collection came very naturally. Women are obsessed with shoes, and we have different needs during one day, from ballet flats, to heels. The collection was built around that. All the essentials women need for their wardrobe. The perfect ballerina, pump, the stiletto boot, the most simple strappy sandal. I want a client to trust us, as a go to place for the chicest shoe that will last for years. We don’t want to build a brand around styles that will feel out of season after six months.
As someone who has been in the industry for a while, what did you feel was missing?
Fashion brings us joy, and we want to bring that to others. The idea is to bring the best quality designer product to a larger audience. During a lot of my years in the fashion industry a lot of it was: “Sorry, you can’t sit with us”. Larroudé is the opposite, we want everyone to be part of our story. We want to offer high end fashion pieces to a broader audience, we want consumers to build our story with us.
This year, shoes have been valued for comfort first. When things get to somewhat normal, what do you think women are looking for?
To stand out! To party! To see friends, to have fun. It was a tough year for everyone. We are all looking for a bit of optimism, and fashion is all about that. The fantasy! I believe we will have more fun with fashion and dress up more than ever. At least way more than 2020.
[What’s been popular] are the unique prints! The Colette with the daisies and the Elle pump in black and white plaid. We have limited quantities, so we are running out of them.
The hallmarks of your design are…
So many! Our shoes are handmade with the best quality leather. Our last is unique to Larroudé—it is 5mm wider than any other designer shoe in the market. Our insoles have a memory foam that we call the Larroudé cloud, it’s super soft. You can dance in our heels for an entire night and it won’t hurt your feet.
And each shoe comes with a QR code?
Each pair of Larroudé shoes come with a unique QR code on the sole, that will redirect you to that exact product on our site. The first time this happens, you claim the shoes, voilá, the QR code is yours! It’s saved under your account, forever. You can then share your code with friends or anyone that asks where your shoe is from. When someone buys through your unique QR code, you’ll get $10 off your next purchase and they will receive 15$ towards their purchase.
You launched with an interesting campaign, please tell us about that and what the messaging you wanted to get across?
I invited my friends to help tell our story. I wanted a group of very strong individuals with dreams, stories, who are united by their love of fashion. Cathy Paul who used to work with me at Barneys, is a New Yorker legend, she has over four decades of experience in the industry, Dominique Castelano was a Visual Merchandiser with me at Barneys, now a famous trans model, who fights for better lives and equality for all. Erin Hazelton is a glamorous fashion writer, who shared with her followers, her journey of beating cancer, and now helps raise funds for her cause. They have a purpose, they are glamorous, they are human, they are real. Each week we introduce two of them and their stories. They each have a page on our site. They make fashion real.
What's next after shoes?
They are a few bags in the pipeline, and I want to tap into other categories with unique pieces, not necessarily an entire collection. Merch in general. Jewellery, sweats, dresses…
You also have a great following for your style. What has been your biggest fashion realisation this year?
Oh! To launch Larroudé during the pandemic. Nothing can beat that. It’s a dream come true.
Larroude now ships internationally, including India