Rachel Bilson Talks ShoeMint, Red Keds, and Dream Collaborations

rachel bilson

Photo courtesy of BeachMint

If the shoe fits ... Rachel Bilson (wearing the Pauline wedge), surrounded by the fruits of her design labors

She may be besties with Karl Lagerfeld, but when it comes to shoe designers, Rachel Bilson’s her own biggest fan.

The actress, who has teamed up with her stylist, Nicole Chavez, and Steve Madden to create the ShoeMint line of footwear, introduced her brand-new collection with a breakfast event at the London Hotel in West Hollywood.

“It’s been fun and we love working together,” Bilson told FashionEtc. “And Steve Madden is an amazing company to work with. We’re in good hands for sure, so it’s fun. I can’t wait for months to come.”

“When we got the first notice that a certain style actually sold out, it was just such a cool feeling that people actually liked the shoes,” the Hart of Dixie star said.

“I mean, we were really hopeful that people would like the shoes but we started selling on Thanksgiving, and by that Monday, we were being notified that we were almost sold out of a bunch of things,” added Chavez (who has quite a project of her own coming soon: the designer is just weeks away from the birth of her first child!).

The wallet-friendly collection (every shoe is $79.98, with free shipping) includes a range of booties, pumps, and more, all meant to complement customers’ personalized styles.

“[Our inspiration] came from our own experience and what was missing in our own closets,” Bilson explained of the designs.

“A lot of it came from what we like to see and touch and look at,” added Chavez. “We also just talked about things that we love and bits and pieces of things in our own closet that we love and would like to tweak.”

Of course, they probably didn’t take inspiration from one pair of Bilson’s in particular.

“My mom kept my first pair of little red Keds,” the brunette beauty shared of her early footwear. “But I was like, ‘Red Keds, Mom? What, was I a boy?’”

Today, she goes for shoes that are a little more glam. Bilson told us that her favorite style is the Hattie (not yet available), while Chavez favors the Janis.

"I really like shoes that make you stop and think and really look at them," said Chavez. Of course, a little edge goes a long way, and both designers admitted that Lady Gaga's signature heel-less shoes (by Noritaka Tanaka) aren't exactly their style.

"That’s a little extreme," laughed Chavez.

"That’s not really our vibe," added Bilson.

ShoeMint is the footwear branch of the ever-expanding BeachMint family of companies, which also includes Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s tee collection, StyleMint; Kate Bosworth and stylist Cher Coulter’s jewelry collection, JewelMint; and Jessica Simpson and skin care expert Nerida Joy’s skin care collection, BeautyMint.

And though, for now, ShoeMint is limited to women's offerings, Bilson revealed that she’s open to branching into men's shoes, and it may not be that far off.  “I think that would be so much fun and I kinda think that we should talk to them [the ShoeMint powers that be] about it soon,” she proclaimed.

Meanwhile, both Bilson and Chavez agreed that they'd love to do a collaboration with a brand like Brian Atwood or Chloé.

Get ready for the ShoeMint empire!

Reporting by Amy Webber

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