Rebecca Mink is a pioneer of cruelty free, high end fashion. She founded Mink shoes in 2004, and since then Rebecca's shoes have adorned the feet of some of the most famous and glamorous women in the world. I recently had the pleasure to speak with Rebecca, and was totally smitten by her effervescent style, magnetic personality and beauty inside and out. I am hoping very much to meet her in person soon, but in the meantime she has kindly obliged me for an interview....
How long have you been vegan?
Vegetarian since 4 (39 years) and vegan since 18 (25 years)
What's your professional background?
I am a celebrity stylist since I was very young. Before that I worked as a model. I have been in the fashion industry my entire life!
What inspired you to start Mink Shoes?
I was inspired to start Mink shoes because there were no shoes that were Italian, High quality, sexy, fashionable and vegan. I had no idea how hard it would be to make shoes at the time. I was interested in making an option for those that did not want to compromise on the look and fit and still wear a vegan shoe.
What defines a Mink shoe? What makes Mink shoes really special?
1) Vegan (no animal glue or materials)
2) Sustainable (made from recycled, organic, sustainable materials)
3) Each shoe is named after an animal (inspired by animals)
4) Made in the same Italian factories as Christain Louboutin, Chanel, Jimmy Choo, and Dolce and Gabbana
5) We care about the people that work on our shoes. They are artists and treated as such.
Where do you see Mink shoes heading in the future?
Mink will be a whole lifestyle brand. I intend to expand into all products we use in our life made sustainable and vegan.
Which countries are Mink shoes currently available to buy?
USA, Canada, South America, Europe and more.
What's been the toughest part of the journey so far?
Toughest part has been breaking into the shoe industry. It is made up of very large companies with a lot of backing and team. Being small in the shoe industry has made it almost impossible to compete. I am willing to work hard until we break through!
What's been the best/most rewarding moment/period of your journey so far?
Most rewarding is working with Italy. As hard as it is to work with them the product is insane. Always perfect. So much passion in everything they do.
It has amazed me over and over again. I have the best Italy has to offer. Including my VP of product that lives and works from Florence.
Where do you see vegan designer fashion in general headed in the next 5-10 years?
I think vegan fashion is the future. Customers are demanding to know the life cycle of the products they buy. The more educated people get the more we will see vegan fashion grow. Also I think that making high end and vegan fashion people like is important to help it succeed. All the struggles Mink went through will be worth it! I am leading the way into the future. Pioneering vegan fashion is not easy, but soon it will be mainstream.
Who are your favourite vegan fashion designers (if you have any)?
I would say that my favorite designers are the ones doing vegan shoes! All that do it! I embrace other vegan shoe lines not as competition, but as a great companion to help people see that leather is not a better material to make shoes with. Anyone that shows that vegan shoes are possible is someone I will take notice of!
For more about Rebecca and Mink Shoes, watch her video:
I am so excited to announce that Mink shoes will be available at www.youresovegan.co.uk very soon!