I do very much respect independent shoe designers.
By that I mean individuals who sit down and sketch their creations, carefully select their materials from uppers to laces to bows and buckles, and oversee their creations coming to life.
What I don’t mean is those who travel to Europe twice a year, visit shoe shops and take covert photos, and then copy the designs back in Australia.
I stock brands who do both and that’s fine. But the independents are a personal favourite … like Rollie Nation.
I’ve only stocked Rollies for three seasons and it’s been interesting watching my customers get to know the brand and fall in love with the super lightweight, fun and quirky styles.
Rollies make you smile. I love a shoe that makes you happy!
Created by Melbourne man, Vince Lebon, who now lives in New York with his family, Rollies are on happy feet around the world.
And it’s easy to see why.
First, they are incredibly light. Rollie proudly claim they weigh less than two bananas! Indeed, they get even more specific saying they weigh 20g less than a pair of Havaianas.
Vince says he was inspired by his wife, who is a flight attendant, and the problem of travelling with several pairs of shoes and the subsequent extra kilograms. With Rollies being so light, the idea is that you can travel with as many pairs as you want. Sounds like heaven to me!
Inspired daily by music, fashion and the colour around him, Vince took a punt and self-funded his creations in 2012 (the same year that The Shoe Garden opened!).
He sold 500 pairs in five weeks at the South Melbourne Market and fast forward to today, and his creations are stocked in 11 countries, and range from casual to stylish, for men, women and children.
What’s the old saying … “Imitation is the greatest form of flattery.” Well, everyone seems to be copying Vince these days, but I reckon no one can match his flair for either design or style.
Until next time
Carol & CCx