I'm Lauren Bucquet

My friends call me Labucq, which is how this brand got its name. I am the founder and designer of Labucq.

We make what I want to make. Either what I want to wear or what I want to see someone else in. Shoes are personal, and not everyone has the same taste. If you get it you get it.

I’m proud of Labucq and every shoe we’ve brought into the world. I’m proud of our success, and to have achieved what we have without compromising the vision.

But what is that vision? What is Labucq? Why make shoes at all?

However you’ve ended up on this page, I’m glad you came. If you want to see our offering, click here. Alternatively, keep scrolling for more about me and how I came to make this company.


I’ve wanted my own fashion line since I was young. I was the type with cut out vogue editorials all over the walls of my suburban bedroom. The type that made their own prom dress. I’m sure you knew someone like me…

I went to Parsons to study fashion design. You’d still see Tim Gunn walking in the halls. They started shooting project runway in my senior year. It was, at the time, an amazing education straddling the complex inter-workings of art and commerce. I came away from it with a reverence for design and the role of the designer. Designers aren’t wild artists, flinging paint at a wall in a divine frenzy. We must navigate a complex maze of functional demands. This isn't to downplay their importance:

I believe a designer’s touch can elevate a product from a mere commodity into something that resonates emotionally, and symbolizes something more than its material composition.

My senior thesis was inspired by Bauhaus minimalism and sting rays. I completed it while interning at Rag & Bone, which was then a company of four people. They hired me after graduation.

You could say my true education came at Rag & Bone. At the beginning, I had a hand in nearly every category. As the business grew, the design team began to specialize. One day Marcus Wainwright called me into his office and asked if I could make a boot. I said yes. The boot took off, and since then it’s been all shoes.

Backstage at rag & bone in 2007 with Marcus Wainwright and Heesung Choi

Why I came to like shoes

I like shoes because they are honest. They are grounded. They have to work. You’re not just designing, you’re also engineering.

Clothing to me feels less anchored in utility. With shoes aesthetic concerns can not completely overshadow function.

A good pair of shoes needs to be beautiful, have the correct style and look, but also be comfortable, and durab​​le. If they fail in any of these aspects, they are fundamentally flawed.


During my time at Rag & Bone I got to make shoes with factories all over the world. I came to learn that footwear was a little world unto itself. And I knew I’d spend the rest of my career in that little world…

In 2008, Rag & Bone had something special. We had a great, tight-knit team of people who I’m still friends with today. We would stay up all night during fashion week, and hang out with one another outside of work. The cool people loved our brand, and they loved our product. We struggled to make as much stuff as the department stores wanted to buy.

But there were growing pains on the horizon.

From my perspective, as time went on, the design department felt more and more subordinated. We were growing too fast, perhaps. And the aggressive growth expectations led to a feeling that the art side of things was increasingly the slave of the commerce side. Where before we were product focused, and talked about fabric, material, production—now we were all about pricing, and margins.

I’m not saying those things aren’t important, they are.

But somewhere along the way, our ambition had begun to outstrip our inspiration.

Our value proposition became fuzzier. Customers weren’t as turned on by what we were doing anymore. In chasing more and more customers, we were trying to be too many things to too many people, perhaps.

Was this an inevitable byproduct of the brand’s immense success? I’ve begun to notice this happens over and over in the American contemporary market. It makes me question whether or not us Americans in this industry aren’t running a race that inevitably ends up on the discount racks.

I left Rag & Bone after ten years and moved to Los Angeles with my first kid, Norman. I consulted for other brands for a while, but I felt disconcerted about the direction the industry was going in.

Wholesale was struggling and in decline, and it seemed like American designer brands were getting elbowed out by direct to consumer brands. These DTC brands were telling a good story about sustainability and affordability, but what they lacked and seemed clueless about was for me sacred: design.

Because I came from a design background, and valued design, I thought this was a loss, a shame. The solution to me seemed to be to do a digital first “designer” / contemporary brand. I knew I could make shoes that were more relevant and beautiful than the DTC brands, but I didn’t know anything about selling online. I believed if I could just make the best shoes I could, I would find customers who could appreciate them.

My husband and I started Labucq in 2018. We flew to Italy with my then 14 month old son and spent two weeks working with Fabio, a factory owner who I'd worked with for years with Rag & Bone. It was insanely cold, and snowing in Tuscany. We eventually psyched ourselves up to place our first order and had it delivered six months later to a rented warehouse around the corner from Highly Likely Cafe in West Adams, LA.

Over the last five years we’ve moved twice, moved warehouses four times, and steadily grown our community.

Our goal has been to make beautiful shoes, and to find a group of loyal customers who share our values.

In this pursuit we feel successful. We believe in growing Labucq slowly, and we aren’t trying to build the biggest business in the world. We believe being designer led gives us a competitive advantage at the level of the product. People who buy our shoes love our shoes.

We don’t compromise on our production, quality, or the little details that our best customers appreciate, in order to sell more or make more margin.

We still make everything in Italy, in the same factory since day one. It’s the best shoe factory I’ve ever worked with over my now 15 year career in the industry.

Check out our quality page, or this video, for more from our factory.


If you have any questions, ideas or feedback, write me at lauren@labucq.com. I’ll try to answer as quickly as I can (within reason).

Labucq is a growing, evolving thing. I hope we can stay vital, inspired and true to our vision for many more years to come.