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Almine Rech’s Daughter-in-Law Debuts Shoe Line
And she staged a photoshoot inside the gallerist's Paris home (of course)
Art x Style 21 Dec 2019

What do you do when your mother-in-law is a famed gallerist? Stage a photoshoot, of course! Shoe designer Marie Laffont’s staged a photo-sesh at Almine Rech’s Paris home and even had her launch party for her eponymous brand inside Almine Rech New York. Her debut collection Celestial Derby is full of art-girl power, with the likes of art girl faves Pari Ehsan and Almine Rech herself making appearances in the collection’s teaser video on Marie’s website.
Marie Laffont
Marie Laffont at her launch night at Almine Rech New York
Marie didn’t begin life as a shoe designer. Having originally studied law, she realised she was better destined for a life of art and fashion. She subsequently enrolled in haute couture education in Paris, later receiving a Master’s degree in art, and eventually going on to work at Louboutin. All the while, she continued making art (sculptures of shoes), and also creating shoes for herself. However, it wasn’t until someone stopped her at an art fair to ask where her shoes were from that she decided to launch her line. “[Through the brand] I am able to create my universe, merging together all of the things I love so much about art and fashion”, adds Marie, “I am able to design, sculpt, make movies…all in one business.”
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Meeting the intersection of art and fashion, the shoes are inspired by the contemporary art world, with artist Morgane Tscheimber even contributing a design for the debut collection. Celestial Derby is designed with women of all ages in mind, with the statement flats acting as wearable, and most importantly functional, art. Marie’s shoes are about inspiring creativity. “Structurally, they are about leaving more time to dream”, she explains, “Without the soreness of an uncomfortable shoe. I want that for everyone.”
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“I think a shoe is arguably one of the most important items in a wardrobe, representing both beauty and function”, explains Marie, “I wanted to dedicate myself to women of all ages, who wanted something that was beautiful, durable, artful; something that made them truly happy.” And who would Marie like to wear her shoes? “I would love for Louise Bourgeois to wear my shoes if she were alive”, she says, “But in terms of now, I love Claire Tabouret, Sophia Narrett, Yayoi Kusama, Cindy Sherman, Morgane Tschiember.”
 
Text Lizzy Vartanian

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