Mats Rombaut is a young up-and-coming designer who focuses on the conception and implementation of modern sneakers and shoes. Particularly noteworthy is his strive for sustainability and his approach to producing every shoe vegan. The vision and goal of the young Belgian designer are to have a forward-looking future, humanity that must change to get along with each other on this planet for the next centuries. His progressive train of thought looks into a rich and necessary future, which will be essential for mankind and its existence. A far-reaching, ecological view and his claim to aesthetics and human morality make Rombaut unique. Sustainable production of fabrics without toxic or harmful substances and with non-animal products are the cornerstones of Rombaut's manufacturing process and philosophy.
In contrast to many assumptions, Mats Rombaut is not the descendant of an eternal generation of shoemakers or designers. For Rombaut, making shoes is more of a challenge in the sense of craftsmanship. He loves the challenge of designing and assembling such a complex structure as a shoe. The designer has over a decade of experience in the fashion industry and his shows have always been the crux of a collection. However, it was these difficult tasks that have given him the most pleasure.
Another characteristic that manifested itself in his early days of design, was his reluctance to work with leather. In the end, this even resulted in Mats becoming a convinced vegetarian.
Ultimately, Mats was dissatisfied with the market and the fact that vegan shoes were almost impossible to find. Only Dr. Martens offered some vegan models and that was not enough.
In 2015 Mats Rombaut realized his conceptual idea under his name as a brand. Rombaut became symbolic of vegan shoes. At first, people were rather skeptical about the unusual non-leather products. PU-based leather substitutes, combined with alternate leathers made of fibers such as pineapple, cork and tree bark are used to create a Rombaut silhouette.
Initially, all shoes were 100% natural degradable, made from natural products and handmade in Italy, and even more important- not affordable. However this wasn’t Rombaut´s vision, his shoes were still supposed to be luxurious, but he wanted to spread and carry his thoughts further. As a result, all shoes are now handmade in Portugal. Every month Mats visits the factories in Portugal and beyond that stays in permanent contact with his craftsmen to have a constant overview of the production and quality.
After studying at the Brussels HUB, the Belgian-born designer quickly gained a foothold in the industry. Mats worked as an assistant designer at Lanvin and then quickly moved to Damir Doma, where he was involved in accessory manufacturing. Mats Rombaut received attention in social networks with his parodies of the presentation of a "vegan sneaker" - so on the Rombaut Instagram page, there are pictures of collages of onions, cabbage, tomatoes, and herbs. But he's not that dog in his views, because the shoes are supposed to be anything but the shoe of a stuffy, know-it-all vegan who annoys everyone. He is someone who may go shopping in the organic market around the corner and maybe on the road by public transport rather than by car, but that's it. Mats loves the rave and party culture, especially in his home country Belgium and this attitude inspires him a lot in his work. One of his most iconic silhouettes, the Boccaccio, is also inspired by the nightclub of the same name in Ghent. This hard contrast between this fast-paced lifestyle and a serious examination of sustainability is what Mats loves and what Rombaut as a brand stands for.
Boccaccio The Boccaccio is named after a legendary nightclub near Ghent. The club was known for its colourful & crazy clientele, as the birthplace of the New Beat and its drug excesses. The Boccaccio shoe is a symbol of a lifestyle one would have experienced if he were on his way to this famous dance hall. A raver with unhealthy habits, the desire to celebrate, full bags and a passion for veganism.
Boccaccio CowboyWhat makes the Boccaccio so special is now clear. Here comes the update of the flat silhouette with a noble appearance. The whole thing started as a joke but this joke should become serious later. A Cowboy boot shaft with marijuana leaf elements was added. The Boccaccio Cowboy boot was worn by Estonian rapper Tommy Cash during his tour in 2018, so Rombaut was once again carried out on the stages of the world. The Boccaccio Cowboy is, of course, also vegan.
Also, the Insight III is a handmade flat shoe with a luxurious silhouette, often in patent leather and plain colors, the Insight III comes along. The hidden eyelets, which underline the elegant note, are particularly to be emphasized with this model. The flowing upper is completed by a laser-cut sole.