Meet the NYFW Newcomer Who’s Making Chic Vegan Footwear

Ask any fashion editor or insider about the “it” brands they are watching right now, and Nanushka is bound to be named. The Hungarian brand has swiftly raised its status, thanks to some savvy digital marketing (and investment), which has taken it from an Instagram brand to showing its collection live at New York Fashion Week on Friday for the fall ’19 season.

A vegan leather dress with knit booties from Nanushka’s fall ’19 collection.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Nanushka

The brand’s buzz is equally thanks to founder and designer Sandra Sandor, who talked to FN following her debut presentation to explain her process:

What was the inspiration for the fall ’19 women’s collection, which also included a menswear launch? 

“The main inspiration was to explore the relationship between women and man, and the fluid bond between them by playing with the feminine and masculine silhouettes. The Nanushka man and woman complete each other, and they can dress from each other’s wardrobes if they want to.”

Why is it important for you to work with vegan materials, including the leather you’ve become known for?

“One of the core values of Nanushka is to respect and and cherish the planet. Fashion is the second-most-polluting industry [worldwide], and it’s important that we try to find alternative ways to preserve the environment for future generations.”

Nanushka’s Pipe mule with wooden heels designed by Sophie Monet for the fall ’19 collection.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Nanushka
Nanushka’s knit Daya bootie for fall ’19.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Nanushka

Have there been any challenges in creating footwear using only sustainable materials in terms of comfort and/or fit?

“It’s a complex task; you can’t just make all the changes overnight. At this stage, our accessory range is not fully vegan, but it’s a step-by-step process, and I want to make sure that we provide the same quality, fit and comfort. First [we used] vegan leather in our ready-to-wear collections, trying to source organic materials. Now [we are] using faux shearling on our shoes and collaborating with designers like Sophie Monet, who is well-known for his sustainable wood designs. He created wooden heels as a special accessories capsule collection.”

Nanushka fall ’19 with faux-shearling mules.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Nanushka

How did you develop the faux shearling you used on the fall ’19 footwear?

“This is the first time that we used faux shearling in our shoe, as it’s a complex process and we have to check a lot of criteria. We used a lot of stretch knit for the shoes; these boots come in different lengths, and they are very flattering.” 

Nanushka”s Bimba bootie with faux shearling for fall ’19.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Nanushka

Why was it important for you to include footwear in the brand? 

“Accessories complete the look, and I wanted to have a full picture [for] the Nanushka woman and man (Sandor also launched menswear this season). I like experimenting with different materials and shapes. This season, we did two collaborations: one with Monet, who created these beautiful heels for us, inspired by ’70s design elements like modular sofas, lamps and door handles. The other one is a hiking boot collaboration with Diemme where our aim was to take a sportier element and adapt it for the busy urban life. It comes in beautiful muted colors both for women and men.”

A look from Nanushka’s fall ’19 collection.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Nanushka
A hiking boot from Nanushka fall ’19.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Nanushka

Access exclusive content