The fact that Louise Linton, aka Mrs. Steve Mnuchin, loves clothes—and gloves and bags and shoes—comes as no surprise. But the fact that the actress/director/producer/animal rights’ activist/philanthropist has now produced her own shoe line—a sexy, environmentally friendly non-leather one—is unexpected.
First off, “sexy” and “vegan” seem almost the opposite. Unless you live in Los Angeles. Sure, the Brit-born blonde won “Most Stylish Woman” at the Scottish Style Awards in 2009. But the stiletto loving 5’7” Linton is not someone you’d expect to wear, let alone create, vegan shoes.
“I was wearing a lot of Louboutin’s and Tom Ford’s,” she confesses. “But I’ve always had great passion for animal welfare. I’d been wishing there were alternatives out there, say, a vegan and sustainable stiletto.”
Stuck in D.C. during the pandemic (her husband being both Trump’s former Treasury Secretary and a movie producer), she dreamed up the non-leather high heel idea.
“Working with a stylist in D.C. is when I finally learned that every single item of clothing one wears there becomes a performance,” she says.
Her first brand, eponymously named “Linton,” was released in April, selling only on its website (Linton.world) and Insta page; there are no plans to sell other than direct to consumer. The present two styles, a gold chain four inch heel (“Le Chaine Puma”) and similarly spike heeled sandal (“Le Jaguar”), both with gold ring-tipped heels (“like a cigarette”) and British racing green soles, sell for $595 (to be fair, Louboutins run $800 to $1700).
Milan-based Coronet produced Lintons’ cruelty-free and sustainable fabrication; Italian shoe factory Minto Sandro, which produces many luxury shoe brands, made them.
“I wanted to make them affordable,” Linton explains. “But we’d have to do a bigger run. I hope to bring the price down when we start to tell more.”
Linton’s skyscraper shoes have further environmental benefits: “We donate five percent of proceeds to environmental welfare and conservation. For every pair sold we plant a tree with the group One Tree Planted. Our shoe boxes are also made in Italy from recycled paper—they have hand-painted watercolors of leopards framed in gold foil. The inside has the same green lining, made from responsibly managed forests. Even our shoe rods are a hundred percent biodegradable. This is not your typical vegan leather—ours is made without plastics which are harmful to the environment.”
Even if/when affordable, how many “normal” women run around in nail-file skinny four inch heels?
“They’re surprisingly easy to walk in,” laughs Linton, a woman who could probably sleep or sprint in stilettos. “I wear these with jeans, or wide pants and a blazer. It’s a bit of glamor on your feet, even if you’re dressed down.”
And how often does Louise Linton dress down?
“I have to admit,” she says, “after Covid, you won’t catch me out of a pair of sneakers very often.”