McKinsey consultant Marie Chachuat launches sandals brand

10 August 2021 1 min. read

A junior consultant in McKinsey & Company’s Paris office has made the leap into the world of fashion retail. After less than one year with the firm, Marie Chachuat has launched a new brand of Cretan-style sandals.

Known as the cradle of civilisation, Greece’s culture and history are intrinsically linked to the modern world. Now, one of its most iconic – but arguably most underappreciated – aspects is about to get a revamp.

The traditional Greek sandal has existed for more than 4,000 years – with family businesses still dedicated to the production of the historic footwear across Greece. After encountering one particular family’s handcrafted products, McKinsey & Company consultant Marie Chachuat realised that there was a unique opportunity to export this high-quality product.

McKinsey consultant Marie Chachuat launches sandals brand

According to the website for Ilios – the brand Chachuat has launched to sell the sandals across Europe – her family has a passion for Crete, and many friends on the island. The family’s trips to meet with these friends eventually led them to discover a a family business, where “generations united around the making of handmade sandals.”

This sees the younger family members travel around the island to procure the best skins, before these are worked into sandals with the greatest respect for Cretan traditions.

Tapping into this heritage, Ilios offers sandals made by hand in a family workshop in Chania, Crete. They are produced from 100% natural leathers, supplied locally and tanned on site by “the best local artisans… supporting the local economy.” The sandals are available from the Ilios site in a variety of styles, at between €100 and €120 per pair.

Having arrived as a junior consultant at McKinsey in October 2020, Chachuat is a graduate of the Emlyon Business School. Announcing the launch of Ilios, she said that creating shoes in Greece is “a way of paying homage to the country which saw the birth of sandals and which we consider to be our adopted country.”