Lisa Simpson has been wearing the same pair of red Mary Janes for 23 years—but if it was up to Yeardley Smith, the comic voice behind the lovable cartoon character, that surely wouldn’t be the case.
Succumbing to a lifelong obsession over shoes, Yeardley recently launched her first collection of luxury pumps and booties under the name Marchez Vous—meaning “you walk” in French.
With a flair for design and comfort, the designer talks to us about how her brand isn’t just any celebrity shoe line.
When did you discover your passion for shoes? For as long as I can remember I’ve loved clothes and shoes and putting it all together.
How did you get started designing your own line? Two years ago, my friend and manager, Jay Froberg, asked me out-of-the-blue, “What are you passionate about?” I said, “Shoes!” He said, “Why don’t you start your own shoe line?” The gauntlet had been thrown down! Four days later I had a meeting with my now-business partner, Ben Cornwell, about starting Marchez Vous. I brought in 40 pairs of shoes and 80 swatches and talked to him for 2 hours about what I loved and didn’t love about each pair.
How do your shoes fit into the everyday woman’s wardrobe? My goal is to make shoes that are both beautiful AND comfortable! Women shouldn’t have to sacrifice one for the other. My motto at Marchez Vous is that we make shoes for women who feel half their age and have too much to do.
Do you have a favourite pair you designed? Oh no! That’s like asking if I prefer one of my pets over the others! Well, I do consider VALENTINE and GISELLE to be our signature shape. To me they’re classic and timeless. VALENTINE blue/grey is the first pair of shoes I designed and she turned out more beautifully than I had even hoped! I will always love her for that.