Hart of Dixie actress Rachel Bilson is a fashion darling adored by most designers, notably Karl Lagerfeld, who nabbed her as face of Magnum Ice Cream last year. Bilson has been on a gazillion red carpets (hyperbole, of course) and loves fashion. This fueled a collaboration with several designers, including DKNY and Edie Rose. Bilson is taking her love of designing to a whole new level by taking a project of her own. Last last year, she added footwear designer to her resume by launching ShoeMint, an online shoe subscription site that allows users to buy shoes monthly at a price of $80.
ShoeMint is a collaboration between Bilson and her stylist, Nicole Chavez, who together come up with inspirations, designs and concepts of each shoe. Steve Madden then works closely with them to create the footwear to be sold under the ShoeMint brand. Bilson was interviewed by Wayne Niemi for Women’s Wear Daily yesterday. Below is an excerpt from the article.
How did you get involved with BeachMint?
RB: I have been a fan of the BeachMint brands since my friend Kate Bosworth launched JewelMint and I was asked to be a guest curator for the Giving Back program. I got to choose my favorite pair of earrings from the collection, and the proceeds from the sales were donated to Invisible Children, a charity I’m very passionate about. The BeachMint business model is amazing. Not only do I get to design with my friend and stylist Nicole but I will have the opportunity to be involved with customers every step of the way, giving style tips, interacting with social media and more. And Nicole and I named each shoe after important people in our lives — and some four-legged [friends] — so it’s very personal to us.
What have you been doing to learn the footwear business and build your design skills?
RB: In the past, I’ve been lucky to work on design collaborations with DKNY Jeans and with Macy’s for my homeware line, Edie Rose. Footwear is really exciting and challenging. Nicole and I have very strong opinions about what we like and what style elements we want to incorporate. Steve is absolutely fantastic at translating our vision and designs, and we’re learning a lot about shoes in the process.
What first attracted you to the footwear business?
RB: I am a shoe fanatic, but I have always had a tough time finding cool shoes to fit me, as I am only a size five. I’ve been dreaming about my ideal shoes for years. Versatility has always been really important to me. I’m all about finding an accessory you love and making it work with different looks.
How are you balancing your acting career with your burgeoning design career?
RB: Starring in a network TV series is definitely tough on my schedule, but I find the time because I’m so passionate about this brand and I have a great team helping me every step of the way.
How big do you think ShoeMint can be and what are your plans for growing it?
RB: The potential for the site is huge. Customers have really come to trust the BeachMint brands. There’s already a relationship there, so we hope to engage those members and attract new ones.