When I can't pony up the moolah for more Margiela, I make a style statement with small, but bold touches, like my shoelaces. So thank the fashion gods that I discovered Ben Herts, a.k.a. the "colored lace guy" and the man behind Benjo's, which makes shoelaces in yummy jelly bean colors. My lace-up Thom Browne oxfords now pop with hot pink and my suede Coach bucks scream their way into a room with bright orange laces.
Hertz, who works in the "conservative industry" of real estate development in Minneapolis, came up with the idea for Benjo's while on vacation in Rome. His shoelace snapped so he picked up a pair of red, waxed cotton laces and everywhere he went people kept asking where he got his shoes.
"When it came time to replace the pair, I found it impossible to find red anywhere," he explains. "So I found someone to make them and Benjo's was born." The line which is sold in over 50 stores worldwide and online, now includes over 15 colors with names (and stories, which are all on the Benjo's website) like "Cousin Traci," "Monster's Spit" and Hertz's first and favorite the Roman red lace "Rosso Scuderia."
"Our laces are positioned as a luxury product," he says, adding "but at $6 retail and still very accessible." Needless to say, I have all 15 colors.