From Detroit to New York: Shane and Shawn Ward

Written By , on September 11, 2007

Time and again, it has been said that one must suffer for beauty. With the summer season coming to an end, finding a shoe that is not only sexy, but also comfortable is almost unheard of in the glamorous world of fashion. With all the different looks of stilettos, platforms, and wedges, etc.-the beautifully constructed shoes that make our legs look so great are misleading in how they actually make us feel.

Thankfully, Shane and Shawn
Ward, a twin design duo, launched in 2003- Detny by Shane Shawn and then Shane Shawn shoes (a higher-end collection). Hailing from Detroit, MI and now residing in New York City (hence the name Detny), Shane designs the collections with their own patented luxury liner, and Shawn handles all the business aspects.

Their goal is to construct aesthetically beautiful shoes for fashion-loving jetsetters. Designing for both men and women, they have perfected the concept of modeling a shoe that not only looks wonderful, but also wears comfortably. All shoes are insulated with performance EVA foam, (sometimes used as a shock absorber in tennis shoes*), lightweight rubber and arch-support technologies that you find in running shoes.

With backgrounds in mechanical engineering and industrial design, it was unforeseeable that one day they would venture on a career path that would lead into footwear. Shawn, who studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan, interned at Chrysler and was sure he would work in the automotive world until retirement. Shane, who also attended the same school, studied Industrial Engineering. In this program, he learned to design everything from cars, to furniture and flashlights and held an internship designing furniture and then another designing auto show exhibits for General Motors. It was through a referral from a friend of Shane’s that their career paths changed.

“A couple of months before I graduated from Michigan, a buddy of mine that went to school with me was working at Adiddas. So he called me and said, ‘Hey, do you want to come out and interview?’ so I went out for the interview in Portland, OR and fell in love with it. So that is how we got into shoes,” says Shane.

Starting out, Shane and Shawn designed for the likes of Adidas, Puma, and Converse, etc. through their freelance consulting business SW2DESIGN. They decided to start Detny because, “we wanted to actually design shoes that we wanted to wear because most of the
shoes we were designing were majority athletic. We liked the feel and fit of those athletic shoes, but wanted to do something that we would wear and the girls around us would wear,” explains Shawn.

Not only can these two “talk the talk,” they can definitely “walk the walk.” Self-titled “Boardroom Rockstars” their rock-star personas are daringly innovative, sexy, and cool. So, it’s only natural that their shoes have already captured the attention of
high-profile celebrities such as Jessica Simpson, Jamie Foxx, P. Diddy, Green Day, and Black Eyed Peas, to name a few.

Their very charismatic personalities make it possible for them to successfully market their brands directly via in-store appearances, annual parties in the Hamptons, and celebrity gift suites at award shows, such as the Grammy’s and very soon the ESPY Awards.

The Detny and Shane Shawn collections are refreshingly stylish and cutting edge in design and concept. With looks ranging from day to night, casual to elegant, the line definitely befits a jetsetters lifestyle. Already carried in select Macy’s and Nordstrom’s department stores, the shoes can also be found at specialty boutiques around the country and on online stores,, and For more information about the designers and their collections, visit



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