Max Martin Outfits Hollywood

A Minneapolis entrepreneur launches a luxury line of made-in-the-USA shoes so hip even Beyoncé can’t resist

These boots aren’t made for walking; they’re made for running—or rather,  inspired by running. Max Martin Co. founder William Panzarella is known in the Twin Cities for the High Heel Dash he started in 2010 to raise money for Project Healthy Smile. All those stiletto-clad runs down Nicollet Mall (Nordstrom carries size 11) taught him how painful looking fabulous can be. So when the local entrepreneur decided to create a line of luxury shoes made not in Italy but in the United States, he insisted on comfort as well as beauty. Crafting his bold, sexy styles in a shop in L.A., “We use state-of-the-art technology for cushioning and fit,” says Panzarella.

One of his first celebrity clients is reportedly tickled down to her 2-year-old toes; Blue Ivy Carter, daughter of Beyoncé and Jay-Z, has a pair of shearling booties picked up at the January Grammy Awards, where Panzarella launched Max Martin (named after his chow chow). In line for the company’s racier offerings is Steven Tyler (he ordered two pairs for his daughter), Chaka Khan, and Miley Cyrus’s sister Brandi. The shoes will hit stores in the fall, but early adopters can pre-order online in April with a countdown deal: a dollar off for each day before production begins, starting with a $120 discount (and an option to donate the difference to charity). Ready, set, dash! •