From Chanel’s foray into designer sneakers to the current collections of Alexander Wang and Phillip Lim, to the existence of Net-a-Sporter (your destination for high-end workout / apres-workout gear), the recent trend for luxe sportswear shows no sign of stopping. And Sweden-based Vagabond Shoemakers, with their retro platform trainers and sport-inspired pool slides, have truly found their moment in the sun.

vagabond 1

Originally founded in the late 1960s as a men’s shoemaker, the company relocated to Portugal and Italy during the 1980s and diversified into female footwear. Vagabond’s modern chapter began in 1993, when they returned to Sweden and opened their Varberg workshop.

It’s easy to see why their super-comfortable shoes are cropping up on pavements across Europe. This season, they’ve elevated their sneakers with discreet prints and contrasting fabrics, given the poolside slide edge by recrafting it in leather, and bet big on Swedish minimalism with simple sandals and neutral brogues. The club scene of 80’s/90’s grunge – a Vagabond signature influence – crops up in chunky-soled boots and retro platform sandals with oversized straps. Comfortable, youthful and with a luxury edge: it’s SS15 in a single shoe collection.

Vagabond has been canny, too, by featuring fast-rising models Ashley Smith and Dominique Hollington in the SS15 campaign; their insouciant and laid-back vibe seem to capture this summer’s devil-may-care attitude. We subjected them to a quick-fire Q&A.


Ashley Smith:

vagabond 2

How did growing up in Texas shape your fashion aesthetic?

I love high fashion, but growing up in Texas I appreciated the practical things.

What’s the best career advice you’ve been given?

Stay true to your beliefs and values.

What’s your most prized possession?

My smile!

Describe your personal style in three words.

Comfort, casual and vintage.

What’s your favourite shoe of the collection?

I love the Casey!

Dominique Hollington:

vagabond 3

How did growing up in New York shape your fashion aesthetic?

I always liked fashion but more urban fashion. I had no idea I’d be modeling for such high-end labels like Givenchy, Versace and a number of others.

What has been the high point of your career so far?

My first job for the Givenchy exclusive in Paris was the high point of my career as I had never been outside of New York until then, much less traveled overseas.

What’s the best career advice you’ve been given?

To be patient.

Describe your personal style in three words.

Dope, classy and elegant.

What’s your favourite shoe of the collection?

Definitely the lime green Apsley.

Stockists in the UK include primarily Office, Urban Outfitters and Planet.

 Words: Julie Reid




Subscribers are automatically entered into our fashion cupboard giveaway, with one winner every month! No spam, just our curated monthly PHOENIX newletter to keep you up to date.

All signed up!