I’ve always been a fan of Rombaut shoes. Originally, it was the brand’s forward thinking and aesthetically pleasing designs that caught my eye. Each style more refined and subdued compared to it’s trendy high fashion dad shoe competitors (sans the cowboy boot sneaker which is amazing and it’s own thing entirely!)
It wasn’t until recently that I learned they are ethically made and vegan. I know, I know…Shame on me for liking them before this information. But now I do and so do you.
Your shoes are vegan and ethically made. Is it true that you use stone, tree bark, natural rubber and coconut fibers in your shoe production?
I have used all these materials, but not all together in the same shoe. I’m still working with natural rubber and coconut fiber, but lately we are using more pineapple fibers and ecological cotton.
If you were stuck on an island and only had a few things to make shoes for yourself - what would you use?
Preferably not wasting my energy on making shoes! ;-) I guess I would make ropes and tie them into a sandal, maybe adding a basic Geta-type sole. It would be very Japanese. I think these days most islands have washed up plastic & trash, so I could get really creative.
I read somewhere that you are a self proclaimed "unhealthy vegan". What is your favorite guilty pleasure food?
I’m unhealthy in the sense that I probably drink too much alcohol, too little water, eat very irregular quantities at irregular times, and I LOVE sugar. There is no “pattern”…it’s a mess. Also I don’t like vegan food in Paris. My favorite guilty pleasure used to be pancakes with hazelnut-chocolate spread, banana and loads of whipped cream inside. U can make it in a vegan version with whipped coconut cream but it’s not as disgusting or satisfying.
Do you have a favorite pair of guilty pleasure shoes?
When I was 12 I used to have ART shoes: they look a bit like Buffalo but go two steps further with their metal snowboard boot closures. I recently found them again in a vintage store and bought them out of nostalgia.
What is your opinion on the "dad shoe"? Do you consider your shoes to be part of the Dad Shoe trend?
I like dad shoes. I love a good 80s running sneaker. I think only our bestselling model BOCCACCIO is part of that trend, which is probably also why it’s selling so well. But I was going more for a hospital-rave vibe.
How did the cowboy boot sneaker evolve? Describe who you see wearing them: Where are they going and What are they doing?
I was disillusioned with fashion, the industry, all the effort that goes into creating a sustainable line for people who don’t really give a fuck. I was also not having fun anymore, so I thought: let’s have fun, switch off your brain and play the fashion game.
Tommy Cash wore them on tour, Solange wore them in Dazed. I couldn’t wish for better representation to be honest. I feel the shoe is so particular, it chooses the wearer, not the other way around. I can see Tommy wearing them day and night: to party, make music, watch a documentary about black holes, or ride a mechanical bull.
If you were to release a perfume, what would it be called and what would it smell like?GRASS by Rombaut, freshly cut grass. No, actually I have a perfume in mind, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise if I ever release it. Just waiting for a perfume house to contact me…
Are you tough as nails or are you a sensitive guy?
It depends. I guess I’m sensitive to the very few people that are close to me. When I have to be, I can be tough. It would be impossible to run a brand and do 3 other jobs on the side if I weren’t not tough.
What is the first pair of sneakers you ever owned?
I can’t remember but when I was a child we went shopping in outlets with unknown brands. My parents didn’t spend money on clothes. My first memory of a sneaker was an orange one with black sole from Durto. I just Googled this brand and it’s dead since 2000, there aren’t even any product pics online.
Is it true that you can judge a person by their shoes?
Yes, I love to analyze what people are wearing! There’s a big category of brands and styles that I’m indifferent about - where the personality of the wearer could turn out to be any kind. Sometimes people wear ugly shoes because they have no idea about fashion, but they have a great personality. Sometimes they wear ugly shoes in an ironic way. And some categories of brands or footwear styles are for very specific types of people. I could never date someone who wears *********.
Images courtesy of ROMBAUT
interview ASHLEY MUNNS
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