Hsuan Pai and Harel Waldman

Lauren Tamaki

Hsuan Pai and Harel Waldman

Brand: Wal & Pai

Age: 39, 47

Where: Los Angeles

Category: Shoes

The mission of made-in-LA footwear brand Wal & Pai is a simple one: “We make shoes, and we make them well.” Since the company’s inception in 2014, founders Hsuan Pai and Harel Waldman have been doing just that: crafting minimalist, experimental footwear with an emphasis on quality.

After putting in time at brands like Elie Tahari and Charles David, the two linked up while working at Chainson Footwear in Los Angeles. “We both shared the same aesthetic and passion for shoes, style, and quality,” Waldman remembers. “And we both were fed up with compromising and working for other brands.”

Fast forward just a year, and Wal & Pai’s first collection is currently stocked at indie e-tailer Need Supply Co. Styles such as thick-strap sandals and espadrille-inspired flats nod to some of the footwear options dominating the market today (Birkenstocks, anyone?); still, each feels timeless and sophisticated. —Liza Darwin

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