Nina Garcia on Her Role at True Gault, a New Customizable Shoe Line

by Sydney Sadick

Slide your feet into a pair of customized shoes by True Gault, a new line of bespoke high heels that guarantees total comfort and personalization. The brainchild of entrepreneur Sandra Gault, the company is part of the esteemed Google Accelerator program (which launched companies like Warby Parker). A little intel on how it works: The shoes are custom-made to your feet—so there’s no traditional sizing–using a patented fit formula that pioneers 3D measuring technology to capture the biomechanics of each user’s feet via their iPhone camera. The price? $250-$350. Gault brought editor and “Project Runway” judge Nina Garcia on board in an advisory capacity, who we caught up with to get the scoop on her role and, of course, what we can expect from season 16 of her Lifetime show. 

Nina, what sparked your interest in True Gault?
I’m always looking for groundbreaking, game-changing fashion and technology companies that think outside of the box. When I met Sandra [Gault], and she told me about the shoes and how comfortable they are, I thought, what woman is not obsessed with shoes? I wanted to be a part of this because shoes are what I love, and [True Gault] shoes are custom made to your foot and delivers on the comfort level, and that really intrigued me. I think that when you marry technology and fashion, and you can find the practical side of fashion, it’s a home-run.

Tell us about your role.
As an advisor I will be making creative decisions on the design while also consulting on marketing and strategy. I have been in this business for a very long time, and I think that I can point them in the right direction, in terms of the creative side.

Why do you think this business model is appealing to today’s consumer?
I think that companies are really looking for ways to use technology and deliver on different possibilities for the customer, and this is one of them. You can streamline the process. It comes directly to you. You can customize the shoe. You can choose the color, you choose the skin. If it doesn’t work and it doesn’t fit or you don’t find that the shoe is comfortable, you can send it back and you will get the shoe until it fits you—and that is a guarantee. I do believe in it. I have worn the shoes throughout the entire day—one of those long Fashion Week days!—and they’re comfortable. That’s the perfect test. I’m excited and optimistic about the technology.

What were the first styles you wore in the line?
The first one was a sandal-pump, which I think is a shoe that every woman wants, either for a cocktail party or for the office. Then I bought the Devin. I also like the Robin bootie.

So, how many pairs of shoes do you own?
A lot, but I’ve learned to recycle my shoes and am still learning to streamline that process. I think it’s all about editing. It’s part of what I do as an editor. It’s editing down to what I need the most. Shoes are one of those things that I think every woman, no matter size, weight, whether you’re pregnant, is always a constant.

Is advising for True Gault more or less challenging than advising the designers on Project Runway?
I think it’s equally challenging! Sometimes you’re saying things that people don’t want to hear, but they want to hear the advice, take it, and then you see growth. It’s just meant to be a suggestion.

You’re in the middle of filming Season 16 right now. What’s the takeaway so far?
Project Runway is again the mirror of the industry. You will see a very diverse group of models, of all sizes and ages and body types. The designers really stood up to the challenge dressing real women with real curves. It’s a great season. 

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