Behind Nelson Made: Meet Jamie Nelson
We are excited to introduce a new brand to Head over Heels - Nelson Made.
Nelson Made was founded in 2018 by Kiwi Creative Director, Jamie Nelson. Based in Melbourne, they create beautifully crafted, elegant footwear with a focus on transparency and sustainable and ethical practices.
Nelson Made shoes are made by hand between a local, clean energy Melbourne studio and a family-run, ethically accredited partner factory in China. Their shoes are made in small quantities in a slow and respectful way, with low impact materials like recycled and LWG certified leather.
Jamie has over 15 years' experience in the footwear industry and was recently named by VOGUE as one of the top 60 designers to watch in Australian fashion for her commitment to manufacturing sustainable footwear in Australia.
We caught up with Jamie to get to know a little more about her. Nelson Made is now available in our Christchurch store and online.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what a typical day in your life is like.
Jamie: Running a small business means you never really have a typical day. Every day brings a new challenge, but I love it. Usually, I spend half the day working from home and half at the NM workshop. My days consist of meetings, shoots, design and production management and customer care.
What has the process of starting Nelson Made been like to where you are now?
Jamie: Launching NM was a natural progression for me as I had been working as a designer in the fashion industry for years. I spent some very happy years in what seemed like my dream job, but the longer I worked in the industry, the more I found the system to be broken. I started Nelson Made to create a better, more sustainable model. NM is built on a foundation of transparency, sustainability and ethical manufacturing. I’m proud to have built a values-driven brand that continues to innovate as we grow.
How did you begin your journey in fashion, was this something you studied straight out of school and what are your earliest memories of your love for fashion?
Jamie: I loved art and craft from a very early age, I remember drawing outfits on women and knitting or sewing from a very early age. I studied sculpture at Elam in Auckland and then moved to London to complete a Masters in Shoe Design. Shoe design was the perfect marriage of fashion and art for me, and the sculptural element is what first drew me to it.
What influences your personal style?
Jamie: I’m a casual minimalist. I’m very active and often found in the NM workshop so I dress in a way that makes me feel good but is also practical.
What's your personal favourite style from your current range and how do you wear it?
Jamie: I love the Layla Slide and am wearing them with oversized pants and a blazer.
What do you love to do when you’re not working?
Jamie: Food, wine, and friends! I also love the beach, dog walking (with coffee of course) and gardening
What do you feel is important when designing footwear?
Jamie: Great question. I believe form, function and comfort should always come first in footwear design, once those core principles are right you can add the aesthetic and details. I have a very minimal aesthetic, so the emphasis is always on colour, materials, and shape for me.
What and who in your life inspires you?
Jamie: Art is everything. I find great inspiration in art, design and music. Whenever I’m feeling a little sluggish in creativity, I head to the NGV or Heidi Museum and I always come away with fresh ideas.
Where is your favourite destination of all time and why?
Jamie: Lisbon, Portugal is such a special city for so many reasons. The people are divine, the food is perfect and the little streets with families literally living their lives half inside and half outside, with washing hanging between the houses, it’s so fantastic.
What are you reading / watching / listening to at the moment?
Jamie: Watching, Morning Wars. Reading, Conversations With Friends, Sally Rooney
What are your most cherished rituals?
Jamie: My morning cup of tea and dog walk
Who is your ultimate style icon?
Jamie: Iris Apfel – Not necessarily because I dress like her but because she completely owns her look. Love her.
What’s your most treasured item in your wardrobe?
Jamie: A Scanlan Theodore cardigan I bought many years ago which has never dated and I still wear on high rotation and my Arnsdorf black dress pants – can’t live with them.
Colourful or neutral?
Jamie: Neutral clothes and colourful shoes for me!
Heels or flats?
Jamie: Flats for me
EXPLORE NELSON MADE