Before Virón, there was Rombaut. The first brand created by Belgian designer Mats Rombaut made ethics and sustainability the focus of our sneaker goals. He's been vegan since he was 21, and offers you a way to also take the plunge; not necessarily by changing your diet, but by adopting its unisex, fashion-forward shoes. Taking his inspiration from a younger and socially responsible generation, he imagines an alternative future where we respect nature, its rights and those of its inhabitants – humans and animals alike. The result is a futuristic aesthetic that redefines our interpretation of minimalism, featuring chunky soles, bold details and innovative materials. Designed for her, for him, for them, Rombaut sneakers are made in various vegan leathers (using waste apple or corn peelings), using recycled materials and handmade in Portugal. Unsurprisingly, Rombaut's alternative and brutalist style has won over many fans. The brand's iconic shoe is the Boccaccio II. Minimalist and utilitarian, this rather classic-looking white trainer sits atop a notched sole. Perfect for walking in the city or countryside, or even for drinks in the evening, the Boccaccio II quickly became a must-have for cool kids everywhere. Given the shoe’s success, Mats Rombaut reinvents it with each season, and we find ourselves collecting the pairs. In a white, black, grey or pink leather alternative, it is available as low-top or high-top sneakers – whose laces are reminiscent of military boots – as well as clogs and super-quirky ballet flats. Our favourite Boccaccio II is probably the Harness: in white vegan leather, it is adorned with a coloured harness attached with metallic chains and is, without a doubt, the most eccentric sneaker the designer has ever made. Rombaut's flagship shoe also caught the eye of Chinese designer Angel Chen, who was keen to put her own stamp on the piece. The collaboration, named Boccachen, gives rise to an even more avant-garde version of the famous shoe. But, never one to rest on his laurels, Mats Rombaut never stops creating new and more surprising designs, now including the Enzyma and Fuji runners.

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