Meet Henry Bae (@henrybae on Instagram). Henry is co-founder of SYRO, a footwear brand that makes non-conforming heels in large sizes. We met Henry briefly at the Capsule trade show about six months ago and were totally excited about his brand story. More and more, we see women on the streets in “men’s” shoes and men wearing “women’s” shoes, but we have yet to discover a gender fluid brand of this kind. Last week we met up with Henry to document five of his favorite looks, from the ground up.
“This shoe brings me a lot of joy because I like to wear it in a casual setting. A shoe like this is typically reserved for a club performance or drag show but I love wearing them with jeans and a casual top because, why not? If they’re comfortable, functional and I’m feelin’ myself, then ya!”
"I like to add elements that bring my outfit back to my rebellious nature… like the double belt. The fact that I’m choosing to wear this shoe is rebellious in and of itself but it all comes from a place of me wanting to express myself in ways that I never thought were allowed. When I was younger I thought you weren’t allowed to do these things… like my nails. As I’ve met different people and moved to different cities I’ve realized I’m very much allowed to do whatever I want."
“These shoes come stained and distressed and I think the reason for that is to enforce the idea of casual – yes it’s tall but that doesn’t mean you have to reserve these shoes for formal occasions. This is very much to me a ‘go to the grocery store’ kind of shoe.”
"I love wearing heels because of that click-clack sound. I just love that sound. It makes me feel like such a ferocious and intentional person. Plus, so many of my clothes and pants just look better when I have a shoe with a tall heel. Proportions, you know? If you catch me on the street chances are I’ll look like this."
“So much of me expressing my femininity is directly tied to my shoes. I like wearing t-shirts, pants, I don’t really wear any make-up and I do my nails but that’s about it. For me, footwear has always been where I express myself.”
"With this look in particular, from the ankles up, I’m pretty presentable for a normal dude. Then I happen to wear this dainty little thing on my feet. A kitten heel is too feminine for many women even, you know? So I love it. Also the color blends into my skin which gives me some sort of Sailor Moon fantasy…"
“These shoes are very special to me because they directly personify my aggressive side. When I do wear them out in the city (which I usually don’t because someone will get hurt) I’m like ‘Look at me in these shoes! I’m that bitch!’ They’re tall and violent and I just love them.”
"This look is me doing the most. So much of my vibe is reliving my teenage dreams that never got to actualize so now I’m older but I’m still like ‘I’m a little kid!’”"
“This shoe is named after a bully of mine in high school. His name was Intcher. He would throw chicken nuggets at me in the cafeteria. At that time I didn’t do anything about it… I wasn’t going to get beat up my a water polo jock, so I just took it. But I never forgot him and I think I expelled some of that energy into these…They are like Posh Spice, to me just 2000 fabulosity and aggressively feminine. I’m sure if he looked back he’d be embarrassed for teasing someone just for being different. When I wasn’t a threat at all…I was just doing my own thing.”
"I love the idea of wearing a hoodie, shorts and then these shoes. It just makes no sense!"