So I’ve started working with an AMAZING shoe brand called “MINT” out of Hong Kong. Stumbled across their IG page and fell in love with their kicks. I started talking to their San Fran rep but he eventually passed me on to the head honcho Leo Now in Hong Kong because I felt I could help their progression into the US. Leo and I hit it off splendiferously! ( yea I use big words ever so often) But anyway, we have decided that MINT needs a US debut and have decided on MBFW 2013 Feb. in New York city, the Fashion Capital.
I think we will run the shows out there. I totally believe in this brand. Their more then just a shoe brand. Their the whole package and they have nowhere to go but up.
Mint is a small company, for now at least the kind we know you want to support. The little guy, trying to create something for his family. A few hard-working creative people just trying to make a name for ourselves in the shoe world. The owner of Mint, Leo Now, is a Chinese American who grew up in San Francisco and moved to Hong Kong, which is where he created Mint. He has been an entrepreneur from the beginning, starting a car detailing company in high school, which morphed into an aftermarket car parts company which he still owns and runs in San Francisco. He met his wife in Hong Kong and they have beautiful twin boys, and part of the reason he created Mint was to leave them a legacy. I asked Leo a few questions about how he got started.
How did you go from designing and producing car parts to designing shoes?
I’ve always had the knack for design and the eye for what works… and I found a problem with today’s shoes. Insoles were getting thinner and quality of the shoes were getting cheaper, BUT the prices were going higher and higher. I felt that it was my duty as a designer to deliver a quality product that functioned well beyond their expectation of price they paid. Given my quirky style and demeanor, I like to add a twist on things that best represents me as a consumer with individuality and the desire to stand out as an artist.
How did you come up with the idea to use EVA on shoes?
EVA has actually been used in shoes for many years. It’s just the purity of the EVA in which companies use in their products that determines the quality. The purer the EVA, the better it absorbs shock, which in turn gives extreme comfort. Like walking on clouds, which turned into one of our mottos. To cut down on costs, companies mix recycled EVA and or lower quality EVA to make their shoes. As a designer, I don’t sacrifice quality for profits. I believe customers value a quality product and will pay for something they believe is better.
Did living in Hong Kong and being closer to all the factories in China influence you in a way that wouldn’t have happened if you were still living in the US?
No, actually Hong Kong only opened me up to being more acceptable to colors in my clothing. Which you see reflected in our shoe colors.