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Kory Stevens    

CEO & Founder of Taft

What do actor Dwayne Johnson, singer Tim McGraw and NBA player Dwanye Wade have in common? Look down at their feet. All three celebrities are big enthusiasts of the high-end footwear from Taft Clothing. Taft was launched by Kory Stevens and his wife Mallory, 26, in 2014—originally as a sock company. They switched to shoes a year later, making colorful twists on classic kicks like oxfords and lace-up boots. "Companies keep designing the same shoes over, and over, and over. There's an underserved market of men who want to stand out," says Stevens.

Taft's footwear start at $235 and go up from there. Many come in playful two-tone versions. And there have also been gold-floral-print boots and ones with snake-skin-like detailing.

Kory, a Brigham Young grad who once dreamed about becoming a consultant, handles product design and operations. Mallory runs the marketing strategy. They brought it in outside money for the first time this year—$5 million from several angel funds, as well as uber fan Dwayne Wade.

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