Comfortable Australian Shoe Brands
With comfortable footwear high on everyone’s list of essential wardrobe items, we’re all looking for Australian shoe brands that can deliver exactly that! We spoke to Olga Millar, the brainchild behind comfy and eye catching new slides label NYOF – Not Your Ordinary Flop. Equal parts practical and ‘out-there’ , this is one value-for-money designer slide you need to know about!
What is NYOF?
NYOF stands for Not Your Ordinary Flop and is basically a slide sandal that can be worn anywhere from the beach to a restaurant. It’s a shoe with a personality and you can change the patches (tops of the shoe) to suit any kind of outfit and style in about 10 seconds. So you can wear them to the beach and once you are done sun baking , swap the patch to a more fancy one and off to a cocktail soiree you go!
Describe NYOF in three words.
Innovative, Sustainable, Stylish
Where did the idea come from for this amazing new Australian Shoe Brand?
It is a bit of a story. The idea came to me when I was pregnant and my feet were so swollen, the only shoes I could wear were slide sandals. I ended up buying all the top brand slides at the cost of $300 to $600 per pair. And I thought why can’t someone do the sandals that can be changed to suit every outfit? After searching online throughout the world, I could not find anything … And that is how the idea was born.
From concept to creation, how long did it take to get NYOF off the ground?
It did take a while to get the project off the ground. A lot of thought was put into the quality of the shoe itself as the idea was to make it extremely comfortable and use a good quality rubber. The next part was the design of the patches, which took a lot of creative thinking and turning the visual ideas in my head to a product was extremely hard. The next stage was finding the right factories that could replicate the samples of patches as a lot of them had to be hand made with extensive beading and sewing. So, it was a lot of sleepless nights and hit and miss attempts.
The hardest part was finding the factories to execute the patches. In the end there were 9 different factories involved.
Which are the most popular patches? Is that surprising? Will you be bringing out more? How long do we have to wait?
The most popular patches are the Denim Sky and Girls With Pearls, which is not really surprising as they can go with any outfit and easy to style. Interestingly enough, we do have a lot of interest from men and that was surprising to be honest. I do have a lot of ideas for new collections in my head like the neutrals and marine collection with a lot of shells and earthy colour pearl beads and maybe the man shoes as well. I am extremely interested to also have a branch of NYOF kids as being a mom taught me that kids love to stick things on their clothing.
How you come up with designs for each new patch?
It is actually very random. I just look at what I am wearing one day and think: Oh, it would be cool to have a patch with these colours, materials, beading. I do read a lot on fashion history and you can probably see it through the insta posts, it is fascinating how the trends come back in fashion from decades ago.
How does NYOF fit with your lifestyle?
My lifestyle is extremely hectic at the moment as I run an accounting firm as well as working on NYOF and having a toddler who doesn’t stop or sit for a second. So NYOF is my sort of escape from the reality of numbers and gives me an opportunity to unleash my creative side. And of course, running after my son cannot involve my beloved heels anymore, so NYOF is my go-to footwear at the moment.
How is NYOF made?
The prototype designs are all designed and made in Australia and then outsourced overseas for production. The flop itself is made out of high-quality rubber using the moulds for each side. The top of the flop is the combination of eco leather and commercial grade Velcro to ensure the patches stay once they are attached. Each patch is made with all sorts of things. A lot of them are hand beaded and hand made at the factories, which I guess makes each patch quite unique.
Originally, we looked at producing in Australia, but unfortunately, no factory was willing to take us on board. Times have changed now, and we are in negotiations with local factories again to make sure we are supporting local businesses and the workforce.
When you watch people’s reactions to them, (first response is usually “amazing where can I get them”) what are you thinking?
It actually does make me feel very happy. I did not want NYOF to be just another pair of shoes that you put on to take your rubbish out, and I did not want them to be your Havaianas. So, the Wow Factor really makes me feel like I have made something that is not common and is unique. I also wanted to make them affordable so basically it is pretty on par with the mainstream brands and much cheaper than any of the designer ones with the same quality, as for $89.95 you get the flop and 2 patches , so you basically get 2 shoes.
Want to see more? Check out Slides the Summer Footwear Must Have