Mink is a vegan shoe line that sidesteps leather for eco-friendly, animal-free materials. It has rapidly outpaced all its competitors in the arena of “green” footwear.
Mink shoes are made in Italy, and every new style is perfected in fit, look and quality before even being considered for production. Each shoe is hand crafted by 4th and 5th generation shoe masters.
GV: Where are you based out of?
RM: Venice Beach, California and the shoes are all handmade in Italy.
GV: Why did you decide to become a shoe designer?
RM: I founded a luxury vegan shoe company 15 years ago to offer women the option to have a sustainable made vegan shoe without compromising fit, quality or style. Mink shoes are made in the same factories that make Chanel, Christian Louboutin, and Jimmy Choo except Mink does not harm animals, people or the planet!
I created Mink because I love animals. I was a celebrity stylist for 25 years while I built Mink. During my peak as a stylist I spent $10-15,000 on luxury shoes for clients a month! I spent time looking at these gorgeous shoes …and as a vegan.. I could not resist! I wanted my dream shoes to be vegan. I believed it was possible to make shoes without using animal products. I took the first step. I went to Italy and met with over 15 factories over the span of 2 years and stayed focused and driven on finding the best shoemakers in the world to make Mink shoes. I was not interested in making a cheap alternative in plastic that was already available for vegan options. I wanted to make the best vegan shoes in the world so I just did it!
GV: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
RM: I am inspired by animals. Building a vegan shoe company is very difficult. If I was doing this for pretty shoes I would have given up a long time ago. I am passionate about the quality, fit and look, but I am more passionate about animal welfare then anything else. I am on a mission to shift the way people think about leather vs non leather shoes. Everyone… as it is normal… believes that non leather shoes are cheap and not well made and that leather is luxury. – I am here to change this mindset. I do not in any way feel you need animal products to make luxury goods. – I have proven it by researching and making vegan shoes for 15 years in Italy.
GV: What is your favorite part about being a fashion designer?
GV: How do you select the materials that you use?
GV: What has been the most exciting milestone?
GV: Who is your ideal client?
GV: When and why did you become vegan?
How I became vegetarian .. and later vegan…* When I was 4 years old I was at a birthday party / BBQ and a boy told me the hotdog I was eating was made of a dog. I sat there not eating my lunch thinking I WILL NEVER EAT ANIMALS and I made sure of it. From that day forward I asked what everything I ate was and I really gave my mother a hard time. My mother supported me after getting over her fear that it was unhealthy to be vegan. At one point all 3 of my siblings were vegetarian too!
GV: Do you find it’s more challenging being a vegan designer?
GV: Tell us more about your line?
Mink shoes are sold in vegan boutiques worldwide and direct to consumer from the website.
GV: Choose a question you would like to answer?
GV: What are your plans for future?
RM: Looking forward Mink is focused on making luxury vegan / sustainable shoes available worldwide. We are looking to expand our online business in a tremendous way this year. We also are looking to launch Mens very soon! I want to make belts, bags, clothes, lingerie, sleepwear, and more. Mink is sustainable lifestyle brand. I am just getting started!