#MadRadRollCall 03: An Interview with Vincent Lebon

#MadRadRollCall 03: An Interview with Vincent Lebon of Rollie

Have you ever sent an email that turned into way more than you ever imagined?! That's exactly what happened with my connection to Rollie Nation and it's creator, Vince Lebon. My connection with Vince was instant. After emailing back and forth for a couple of weeks we jumped on a call to discuss all things Mad Rad Media. The conversation was so fluid and we were totally aligned on each other’s overall vibes and goals. The natural next step was to turn that conversation into a partnership. I am so excited to introduce you all to the man behind the shoes!

What did you do before you started Rollie? 

I completed an advanced diploma in Multimedia design (Web, Video and Graphic Design) and began in the footwear industry hired as a Multimedia designer for an independent footwear company designing their flyers, lookbooks etc. Within six months, I started designing footwear with the owner and spend the next five years learning, travelling to factories, tradeshows and on research trips. I then started going to China six months a year for a few years designing shoes in partnership with a Chinese trading company; designing shoes for leading international brands like Steven Madden, Bronx and COS. 


Since you starting Rollie over six years ago what has been your biggest challenge and success to date? 

There are different challenges at different stages of the business, but I feel the biggest challenge has been funding the rapid growth. 


What’s made you take the plunge to bring Rollie back into the US market?

We never exited the market, but I just felt that we weren't doing it justice from Australia. We are proudly an Australian brand, but I wanted to dive in, understand and react with the US market first hand. We are a brand that at its core is a travel brand, so it just made sense not to limit where I create and share the love! 


What entrepreneurial hacks have you developed to stay focused and productive in your day-to-day?

I'm a bit of a productivity junkie, so I have a lot! I would say the most important has been finding the right framework (I use a mix of the OKR and Agile Scrum framework). I also use tools like Asana and use Upwork regularly to outsource many tasks to keep me focused on the value I bring to the company by doing what I do best. 


You just recently did a Holiday Influencers Campaign with Mad Rad Media. What did you think worked well and what would you like to try on a future campaign? 

The best thing about our recent Holiday influencer campaign with Mad Rad Media was that we were both aligned with the brand values and overall aesthetic; this reduced a lot of back and forth, presenting the right influencers right off the bat which made the campaign easy, fun and on-brand. Hannah was so on-brand and delivered as briefed; ultimately making me feel comfortable to work with her again and bring her in at an earlier stage to work on the strategy for any future campaigns. 


We hear you have an upcoming collaboration launching later this year with Oh Joy! ⚡️That’s so exciting! How did this come about? What can we expect to see? 

We have been big fans of Oh Joy for years. She used our Derby Punch Rose Gold shoe for a post last year, and we just kept in contact since. Joy and the team were open to a collab and the team has been fantastic to work with! I can't give anything away, but you can expect some super fun shoes!  


When you see someone wearing your shoes out in the wild what do you do? 

It still puts a smile on my face. From time to time, I may ask people if they like them and I generally get OMG, I love them and have five pairs haha. 

But, rarely will I tell them that I designed them :) 

I enjoy seeing people happy in them! 


Do you have any big goals for the brand in the coming years?

I tend to dream big! So, I see a lot in the works. We have a vegan range coming out later this year, more men's product and maybe a few things outside of footwear. We'll be launching in new international markets and explore some fresh, innovative ideas in the online and experience retail space.

Feeling motivated and ready to hit the ground running?! To keep up with Vince and all things Rollie Nation be sure to follow along @RollieNation

Hannah Wallner