“Vegan sneakers”, what is it exactly? 

In 2013, the Belgian designer Mats Rombaut launches his eponymous brand of vegan shoes, with a production system banishing leather and favoring natural materials, a will in line with the designer’s lifestyle, vegetarian since the age of 21. After working as a ready-to-wear and accessories designer for Lanvin and then for the designer Damir Doma, he decided to launch his own brand of shoes.

Mats Rombaut @DisegnoDaily

But how to replace leather?

At the launch of his brand, Mats Rombaut banned synthetic materials (only wanting to create entirely biodegradable shoes) and developed most of the materials himself: a method that proved too costly and complex, creating fragile shoes whose artisanal look did not correspond to the modern identity he wanted to give to the brand. The market has now evolved and the development of new materials (synthetic but also natural) opens up new possibilities. In addition to using tree bark or potato starch, the creator works greatly with Piñatex, a plant alternative produced from the fibers of pineapple leaf residues.

© 2017, ROMBAUT

Biodegradable, this material has a texture both flexible and robust, ideal for sneakers, shoes of which we expect comfort and durability.

Vegan style: responsible AND wearable ?   

The futuristic-looking collections are unisex (shoes range from 36 to 46) and offer a variety of styles (slip-ons, high-top sneakers, etc.) with both sleek and streetwear styles. Here we can mention the Odissey, the flagship “running” model of the brand, with velcro closure and laser cut-out sole.

Odissey – ROMBAUT 2017 (futalmagzine.com)

Engaged in the fight

 The Fall/Winter 17 collection of the brand was presented under the sign of fighting.

Indeed, at a boxing event at the Maccabi Boxing Club, a selection of heavyweight fighters (including world champion Tom Duquesnoy) were able to demonstrate their boxing skills by fighting, with vegan shoes at their feet. A moral fight in more than one way, the money collected being destined to the Karam Foundation, an association helping the Syrians of the city of Aleppo.

© 2017, ROMBAUT(Fuckingyoung Lookbook )

© 2017, ROMBAUT

By combining consciousness and responsibility with avant-garde design, ROMBAUT dresses our feet with an allured activism, promising for the future (of our shoes, and of so much more, maybe).

Alexandra hostier


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