Australian shoe designer Vince Lebon from Rollie Nation makes $2m in one month

Vince Lebon’s wife worked as a flight attendant travelling around the world and it wasn’t “unusual” for her to walk 25km in one day leading to her luggage being stuffed with a range of shoes to try and counteract sore feet.

Yet, the Melbourne-based designer thought there had to be a better solution with no lightweight shoes that were super comfortable as well as sophisticated available on the market at the time.

He wanted to create a shoe that combined sneaker-like comfort with dress shoe smarts, moulding to the wearer on the very first wear, which was also durable.

“I looked at brands doing well in Australia and globally and … they were products like Converse and Havaianas, so I wanted to create a shoe version of that and I thought doing new colours each season would work,” he told news.com.au.

So 10 years ago he launched his shoe business at a South Melbourne market stall, which sold 500 pairs.

Fast forward to now and in the past twelve months, Rollie Nation has sold approximately 100,000 pairs across online and wholesale.

Covid also helped change the game for the shoe designer.

Rollie Nation’s biggest months and days have been post-pandemic, where comfort is key and high heels have become all but a Covid casualty, according to Mr Lebon.

In May, the company made $2 million that month and on one day sold a whopping $535,000 worth of shoes.

The 38-year-old said he set out to design shoes that were so lightweight that they would feel like people had “nothing on”.

“No one else was playing in that space and two years on Nike started pushing it and I could ride that trend,” he added.

Since that first foray into footwear, he has collaborated with some of the biggest

brands

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