We talk to Nina Di Matteo, the woman behind the brand
Tell us the story of Nina Armando, the brand.
Having spent most of my working career working in law, whenever I had holidays, I was fortunate enough to regularly travel to Brazil to visit family, who have been involved in the Brazilian fashion industry for over 40 years.
Whilst in Brazil, I would spend a lot of time with my family at their businesses, or going shopping - spending much of my holiday dollars purchasing shoes and handbags. On my return to Australia, whenever I wore a pair of those much-loved Brazilian-made shoes, I would constantly be asked, “Where did you get those shoes?”
It became apparent that similar shoes weren’t as readily available in Australia and if they were, they were perceived as being very expensive and out of reach for most.
In 2004, I decided to develop my own footwear brand. I sought Brazilian craftsmen who would be interested in wanting to work with my ideas and translate those ideas into the Nina Armando collection. We opened our first store in 2005. Now, we are The Iconic’s number one shoe brand!
Your shoes are handcrafted. Can you tell us a little bit more about what that means, and what goes into crafting a Nina Armando shoe?
Brazil is at the heart of our brand. Brazil is such a diverse country, encompassing many cultures. Similarly, our products are diverse and edgy, rich in style and colour and immediately recognisable as a quality offering, incorporating natural materials including a variety of leathers, silks, cottons and semiprecious stones.
When it comes to designing shoes, why is comfort so important?
Nina Armando shoes are known for their comfort. In fact, we aim to raise the comfort level of our customers to new heights whenever they wear a pair of Nina Armando shoes. If a pair of shoes is not fitted to the foot correctly, this can lead to possible injury or even long-term complications with your feet. A well-structured and balanced shoe should be easy and comfortable to wear and must feel as though the shoe was made just for your foot type. Nina Armando shoes are all hand crafted and are specifically designed around the foot anatomy, giving higher levels of comfort and stability.
Tell us about your customers. What do you love about helping find them the perfect shoe?
Our customers inspire us every day. Our customers have very specific needs, and often this includes a particular style or colour to match a particular outfit. At any one time, we have a huge selection of shoes on offer which allows our team to meet our customers’ high expectations. In return, our customers are willing to freely give us feedback, which is so uplifting. They are so appreciative of our products and what each pair of shoes means to them personally. We are so touched by those personal stories, which gives us a great sense of achievement and happiness, knowing our products are genuinely making a difference to people’s lives.
What are some of the current trends in footwear?
At Nina Armando, we get a lot of its inspiration by paying attention to local fashion trends, seasonal colours, listening to our customers’ needs and incorporating that into each new collection. The future trends will see a focus on loose fitting boots, classic courts and studded suede and metallic leather pumps. Customers will also see a new direction as high cut uppers and sophisticated conceptual heel shapes bring a modern yet demure appeal.
What is your favourite shoe from your current collection?
It’s very hard to pick a favourite as every shoe is unique in its own way. It might be hard to believe, but they are all my favourites and each has a purpose and fulfils a requirement. However, the winter collections – warm and comfortable with an array of colours, textures and sensual feminine styles – are always a pleasure to create.
I’m also really excited about the new bridal collection that will arrive in store this Spring/Summer – stay tuned!
Visit Nina Armando
The MLC Centre
(02) 9232 3232