Vince LeBon’s wife works as a globe-trotting flight attendant and it wasn’t “unusual” to walk 25km a day in order to pack a variety of shoes to ease her sore feet. .
Still, the Melbourne-based designer knew there had to be a better solution in the absence of extremely comfortable, sleek, and lightweight shoes on the market at the time.
He wanted to create a shoe that felt like a sneaker and had the smarts of a dress shoe.
“I saw a brand that was successful not just in Australia but globally, and … it was a product like Converse or Havaianas, so I wanted to make a shoe version of that, and making new colors every season works well. I thought,” he told news.com.au.
Ten years ago he started a shoe business out of a street stall in South Melbourne and sold 500 pairs.
Now and in the last 12 months, Rollie Nation has sold nearly 100,000 pairs online and wholesale.
Covid has also helped change the game for shoe designers.
Raleigh Nation’s biggest months and days are post-pandemic, Levon says, where comfort is key and high heels have all fallen victim to Covid.
In May, the company made $2 million that month and sold a whopping $535,000 worth of shoes in one day.
The 38-year-old said he set out to design shoes that were so lightweight that people felt like they were “wearing nothing.”
“No one else was playing in that field, and my two years at Nike started pushing it, and I was able to ride that trend,” he added.
Since his first foray into footwear, he has worked with some of the biggest brands.
Brands like Adidas, Asics and Footlocker, and global stars like professional basketball player James Harden, singer Macklemore and model Ashley Graham.
Rather than selling directly to consumers with Rollie Nation, Lebon turned to wholesalers to actually build the brand.
“We got our first wholesale account and it was the world’s largest shoe store in Dubai. Then we started promoting an online store,” he said.
“Within three years, we were selling to 11 markets around the world and selling in stores like Anthropologie and Free People in the state.It was really popular, especially internationally.
“So what I did was use those funds to fund an Australian business to grow and go online.”
Lebon is also particular about the color of his shoes, determined to help people feel “uplifted” when they’re feeling down.
He said the rose gold shoes he created early on were a top seller for six years and remain popular today.
“We looked at the emotions and picked a lot of colors very early on and rode those waves, so we’ve had a lot of success,” he said.
“After two years of lockdown, people are looking for ways to feel more uplifted and with the economic downturn people are actually considering buying and people are getting a kick out of it.” to get out.”
But it’s not just Lebon’s design, who said he’s working hard on the technical aspects of the shoe, with the goal of extending the shoe’s lifespan by 15-20%.
“While fashion brands try to design the next big thing, I focus on comfort, flexibility, or layers, but my strength is creating better shoes each season.
However, Levon said the pandemic was “harsh” and brands were “hit hard” as discretionary spending “decelerated dramatically” and forced brands to change course.
“We looked at our audience and where we could best serve. We have a huge nurse client base and they are still working,” he said.
“To thank them for their work, we ran a promotion highlighting them. As a result, we saw a huge 92% increase in sales from that initiative.”
The brand also made its first entry into the world of physical retail.
Rollie Nation’s first brick-and-mortar store will open in Fitzroy, Melbourne in July 2022, with two more planned within the next 12 months, and the company hopes to reach five sites in the next two to three years. I aim.
Meanwhile, Lebon predicts that footwear will change “dramatically” in the future, as big leaps have stalled in recent years.
“There has been a big shift from individualization and high-quality products to mass production, but the mindset of that mass production has really changed, and now we are starting to see that high-quality products and innovation are the biggest drivers. I am,” he said.
“Materials are going to have a big impact on footwear in the next five to 10 years, and people will take a more engineering-minded approach.
“If you look at niche shoes that didn’t exist in the industry 10 years ago, there will be more innovation because they are a big part of the market now.”
Rollie Nation’s Australian shoe designer Vince Lebon earns $2 million in a month
Source link Rollie Nation’s Australian shoe designer Vince Lebon earns $2 million in a month