New York femme footwear brand Syro wants more men in heels

Two queer designers in New York have launched Syro, a femme footwear brand, with the goal of creating wearable heels for men and gender-nonconforming people.

According to Shaobo Han and Henry Bae, Syro’s co-founders, men wearing heels is much more than just a trend.

“The market is mainly catered towards drag and bondage communities, or high-end custom/luxury price points,” Han told i-D. “The thirst for casual heels in larger sizes is very real.”

“We are part of a bigger generational movement living outside the binary,” Han said.


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I have ALWAYS wanted to find a heel I could wear everyday to the shops ?? dream come true!! I love you @shopsyro

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The pair made a small run of shoes in 2016 to test the market, receiving an “avalanche of support”.

With a tagline of “femme footwear: gay as in happy, Queer as in Fuck You”, the Syro website describes the brand as a “queer cult” in Bushwick that makes heels, disrupts systems and “voted for Cynthia [Nixon]”.

The designers also said, in an interview with Refinery29, that Syro’s goal is to “Refuse femme oppression. Liberate femme expression. Heels for men.”

A Syro customer, according to Han and Bae, is “excited about life”.

“They crave freedom, they are fashion daredevils, they are transgressive, they are rambunctious, they are troublemakers, and we fucking love them for it,” Han said.

“The inspiration for our designs comes from within,” said Han.

“The inner dialogue goes something like: ‘I want a femme boot, but maybe a chunky heel will feel more sturdy than a stiletto? And the toe-box should be wide, so that I’m comfortable. But will this feel ostentatious enough, or would I enjoy putting this all on a gigantic platform?’”

Shop Syro’s shoes in its Instagram shop.