Nicky Hilton Rothschild is returning to Sole Commerce this season with her latest collection for French Sole, and to share her extensive kicks knowledge on The Daily’s panel discussion. Ahead, some intel on her latest designs, her pedicure habits, and the shoe trend she’s so over.
You’re part of our panel at Sole Commerce! Do you ever get nervous speaking in public?
I used to, but I’ve gotten better. I’m really excited about this panel, because I usually don’t know the other panelists or the moderator; it’s not as natural. Doing this panel with Tina [Craig], who’s one of my best friends, and Aliza [Licht], who I’ve known forever from the industry — I think there will be a lot of funny storytelling. It’s going to be like eavesdropping on a Sunday brunch!
Did you ever see your love of fashion turning into a job?
Yes, definitely. I was always interested in fashion. My first internship was at a magazine, and I loved picking up the samples, going on the shoots, eavesdropping on the styling.
Why are you drawn to ultra-feminine designs?
I’m a girly girl, and I always have been. I don’t think I have an ounce of tomboy in me. I have always liked a feminine, pretty aesthetic.
What’s your go-to pedicure color?
I mix Essie shades — Ballet Slippers on the bottom, and Mademoiselle on top.
Have you ever done your own pedicure?
No. I know my strengths! Although I did see my daughter painting my other daughter’s toenails the other day, and it was pretty cute.
Do their personalities come through when you dress them up?
Absolutely. It’s crazy. My two-year-old is opinionated about what she wants to wear. Right now, they’re running around in matching Elsa Frozen dresses. They like matching. My sister and I loved matching too when we were little.
Do you have any fashion regrets?
I used to think that all those logo outfits were so cheesy, but now it’s all the rage. I find it so funny how history repeats itself.
Do you think the oversize sneaker trend is going to continue?
I mean, when is it going to end? It’s so ugly. It’s been going strong a few years now. I don’t get it.
What shoe trend do you hope takes its place?
Hopefully a great, classic, chic, sustainable sneaker. [Veja sneakers] are canvas, sustainable, and super chic. They sort of look like Keds. I also love how the shoe industry is becoming super socially conscious. I’m actually looking at a bunch of eco-friendly materials right now so I can do something more sustainable.
What sustainable choices do you make on a day-to-day basis?
Certainly rewearing things. And I never accept a shopping bag, plastic bag, or grocery bag; I’ll always hold it or put it in my purse. Also, I purchase sustainable brands. My friend Amanda Hearst has a great website, Maison de Mode, where they sell only sustainable brands.
Tell us about the latest iteration of your French Sole collab!
It’s very feminine. Lots of cotton-candy-colored pastels, laser cuts, and bows. The collection is mostly made in Spain, so it’s really beautifully made. It’s what I live in — ballet flats and loafers.
When did you start wearing French Sole?
I’ve been wearing French Sole since I was in high school. I went to an all-girls Catholic private school on the Upper East Side with a strict uniform. No makeup, no nail polish; our only way of expressing ourselves was through our footwear. I stumbled upon French Sole’s flagship on Lexington [Avenue] and immediately fell in love with their flats. I just thought they were so well made, pretty, and well priced. I went from being a customer to a collaborator. It’s come full circle.
Do you stop by the boutique when your latest designs drop?
Absolutely. Whenever I’m doing meetings or appointments on the Upper East Side, I’ll pop into the store, say hi to the owner, get feedback from the sales floor on how the collection is doing, and which styles customers are gravitating toward.
Do you think the future of women’s shoes will be all about flats?
More women are wearing flats, even sneakers; it’s becoming completely acceptable for eveningwear. I think the rules of fashion don’t even really exist anymore. Anything goes. But for me personally, I live in ballet flats. My everyday look is skinny jeans, a blazer, and ballet flats; now, as the mother of two toddlers, that’s has never been more true. The ballet flat is the equivalent to a sneaker for me. It’s much more polished and chic. They’re comfortable, pretty, and there’s nothing sloppy about them.
Did your mother pass down her ideas of fashion to you?
I definitely got the ballet flat bug from my mom. I remember her picking me up from school, always wearing a Chanel ballet flat, in the ’90s.