Nicole Rebstock shows no signs of slowing down, quickly making a mark on the New Zealand footwear industry with her timeless, feminine shoe designs. We caught up with Nicole to talk shoes, her journey into footwear and her latest collection.
Tell us about your journey and how you got to where you are today.
I took a less traditional route into the footwear industry, studying law and business and being admitted to the bar in 2016. I always loved shoes and the excitement of entrepreneurship so after finishing my studies I took a chance and went to the London College of Fashion to learn about footwear and also started searching for a manufacturer. After a whirlwind year I opened my first store in 2017 and now have two stores and a third in the pipeline.
Do you design with a specific type of woman in mind?
When I design our collections, I like to think about how a woman might feel when she wears the shoe I’m designing. Does she want to feel relaxed, powerful, fashion forward, fun? This helps me create a picture of what kind of outfit she might be wearing with the shoes and what kind of detailing they should have. Many of the shoes are intentionally designed so they can be worn day to night and for a range of occasions. The brand really embraces the beauty of timeless silhouettes and designs. I call it “forever fashion” as opposed to “fast fashion”.
How do you go about your design process?
I start by identifying silhouettes and colours based on seasonal trends. From there I experiment with what the upper patterns might look like. At this point I usually tone down some of the more intense seasonal trends as I want our shoes to be relevant for years to come. Lasts (shoe moulds) are such an important part of footwear manufacturing so I spend a lot of time determining their shapes, fit and comfort. This often involves making several samples for each design before truly bringing the styles to life.
What are some of the trends you have followed in your Spring/Summer collection?
Square toes, earthy tones and metallics are all featured in our latest collection. As always, we have a strong pop of colour that features throughout the collection – this season’s must-have is mustard yellow! I’m also excited to be releasing my first collection of handbags to complement our summer range.
Favourite shoe instore at the moment?
My favourite shoe will always be our Nemesis pumps. I just love their silhouette and balance. They are our brand signature for good reason!