The Dandelion Chandelier Luminary Café is the place to find a series of personal interviews with fascinating people who are stellar achievers in their chosen field of endeavor. Our Luminaries are sharing their origin stories, life philosophies, secret songs, guilty pleasures and hidden talents. In this edition, we interview founder and designer Rebecca Allen, head of the luxury shoe brand that bears her name. They’re shoes to match every skin color, and they’re gorgeous.
Rebecca Allen’s Biography
Rebecca is the founder of Rebecca Allen, Inc. a new footwear brand. The company makes timeless styles in five skin-tone shades to complement women of all complexions. Her mission? “We’re bringing a referendum on nude and colorism everywhere we go, and we’re just getting started talking about what it means to be size brave in fashion.”
Rebecca launched the brand after years of her own frustration of wanting a true nude pump to wear as a private wealth advisor at Goldman Sachs. A graduate of Columbia Business School and Williams College, Rebecca lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband Yosef Johnson, their daughter Barbara, cat Montell and a very resilient house plant.
where to buy Rebecca Allen shoes
Just in time for the warm weather – peak season for “nude” shoes – you can purchase a pair of Rebecca Allen shoes by going to her website, here.
Use the discount code DANDELION50 and receive $50 off your purchase.
The pumps are also available on the Essence marketplace, here.
Our interview with Rebecca Allen
Tell us your life philosophy in 6 words or less.
You are one in 7.5 billion.
How did you decide to do the work you’re doing now?
I have longed for a nude shoe in MY shade of nude for years. Although there were a couple brands making them, I didn’t think there was anyone in the market doing it as well as I could. I just kept asking myself, “why not me?”
Who lights you up?
My new baby girl Barbara. She is four months old and becoming more and more delicious every day. I know it’s cliché, but I still can’t get over her. She just makes me squeal.
How do you like to celebrate?
A delicious dinner with family and/or friends is one of my favorite ways to celebrate. With busy work schedules and growing families, seeing friends and family for dinner is in itself sometimes the cause for celebration!
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Where would you stay?
There are a lot of places I haven’t been to, but it’s hard to pick something I haven’t experienced before. So, I’d say the Dolomites. My husband and I took an incredible trip there a few summers ago. We stayed at Rosa Alpina. The backdrop is magnificent, the food was fantastic, the hotel concierge and service were perfect. We hiked and biked and ate one of the best meals of my life on a mountain top.
What’s the last new food item that you tried for the first time? Did you like it?
I tried chia pudding. It’s not for me.
What song is on your playlist that people would be surprised by?
The original Broadway recording of CATS. Well, my friends probably wouldn’t be surprised, but show tunes are my secret, guilty pleasure. Broadway is very nostalgic and comforting for me.
What’s your favorite form of exercise?
I love HIIT workouts and dance cardio. Brick is my favorite studio for HIIT and DanceBody for dance. I prefer a group class to one-on-one training (I work harder…). I have been an athlete all my life and feel best getting sweaty and beat up.
Who is your favorite artist?
For music, Stevie Nicks is probably my favorite artists. I love her voice, the way she commands a stage and her style. I mean, obviously Beyonce, too. For physical art, I love Marlon Mullen. We purchased one of his works a couple of years ago and I’m super excited that his work will be featured at the Whitney Biennial this year!
What are you reading right now?
I’m reading Billion Dollar Whale, on the 1MDB scandal. It’s wild.
Tell us about your style.
My style is clean and a little androgynous. I always look for pieces that feel good and easy to wear because the least stylish thing is when someone is visibly uncomfortable in their chosen outfit. I prefer clothes that fit my body well over clothes that are “on trend.”
What is your favorite item of clothing? Who’s your go-to designer?
Well, I would say a pair of my own flats! They go with everything and always look elevated.
But aside from my own wares, I have a Wendy Nichol Holster Pouch (it’s a fanny pack) that Wendy helped me design in her store on Sullivan Street. My preference is always for discreet luxury and Wendy’s pieces are so thoughtfully designed and beautifully crafted. I don’t have a go-to designer these days because I’m in the trenches in start-up mode and my clothes are all so old, but I always like Helmut Lang and Theory for basics.
What’s your dream car?
I’ve always loved driving the Porsche Cayenne, but I’ve never owned one!
What are you looking forward to?
My husband and I are about to embark on a renovation. So, I’m looking forward to seeing the end product and making it our home.
What skill do wish you had that you don’t currently possess?
I wish I had the skills of a digital marketing guru, but I’m working to obtain them!
What’s your hidden talent?
I know how to ride the unicycle. One of my childhood friends had one lying around in her garage and we spent a lot of time attempting to ride it that we eventually learned. Ultimately, I saved allowance and bought my own and we used to meet up to ride our unicycles around.
What’s the most extravagant thing you ever bought?
Oh, I’m not super extravagant! Probably a pair of shoes that I had no business paying for at the time. Shoes have always been my weakness. I think I get it from my mother.
What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
My parents always gave me watches for graduations. Eighth grade, high school, college. I like the idea of marking the milestones with something that keeps time and is also timeless. I hope I can also do this for my daughter.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Aside from Broadway musicals, these days a long shower is a real treat. I’ll call it self-care, but I’m lucky if I get a face mask in.
What does luxury mean to you?
For me, the physical manifestation of luxury is quality materials, sourced diligently, crafted to withstand the test of time both in terms of style and durability. But luxury is also being able to choose how you spend your time and with whom. A long, leisurely vacation breakfast spread with really good coffee is one of the most luxurious things I can think of.
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