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About the Founder

In 2011, then-chemical engineer Nelissa Hilman decided to pursue shoemaking at the POLIMODA Fashion Institute in Florence, Italy. The opportunity opened up her world to the immense world of art and fashion. Combining her passion for science and arts, she established her namesake footwear label in 2012.

Nelissa Hilman designs shoes that celebrate women. When trying to craft the perfect pair of shoes, emphasis is given on classic design with distinctive youthfulness, comfort, sustainable material, and craftsmanship. Each pair of shoes is handcrafted locally to revitalize the heritage of the Malaysian shoemaking industry. Since its inception, Nelissa Hilman has actively collaborated with local and international fashion designers, visual artists, and design studios.

Follow us on Instagram at @nelissahilman for the latest updates on the brand, sale events, and new arrivals. For some exclusive BTS and inspiration behind the shoes, follow our founder @nelissahilman_


We all leave an impact on the planet, so we should all play a part in minimizing our ecological footprint. At Nelissa Hilman, we're working to do our part by building an ethical supply chain that creates high-quality, low-impact, long-lasting products. We carefully consider our materials and work with our production partners to reduce waste, chemicals, and plastics that endanger our planet's ecosystems. We are making progress, but we still have a long way to go. We are ambitious – we want to significantly reduce our environmental footprint and positively impact our supply chain.

We believe in manufacturing shoes and accessories responsibly. We try to source our raw materials locally first to minimize our products' ecological footprint. Our leathers are premium stocks leathers, which are sourced directly from Italian tanneries. Stock leather encompasses several different products: overruns, tannery lots, and sample stocks.

Overruns are are overproductions of leathers from Italian and European handbag and shoe manufacturers. Overruns are sourced directly from top well-known brands that produce in Europe.

Tannery lots are stocks from overproduction, color mistakes, etc.

Sample stocks are year-end collection lots and involve all sample room leathers to make room for new leathers. Leathers are carefully separated and selected.

The Cradle-to-Cradle principles have inspired our sustainability goals. Through our sustainability practices, we aim to:

  • Make products that are used and loved for as long as possible
  • Eliminate serious toxins throughout our product and packaging
  • Seek biodegradable or recyclable materials and products where they make sense
  • Reduce waste and energy consumption through our entire process
  • Actively pursue a better understanding of our impact and how to reduce it

Proudly Made in Malaysia

We're fully committed to doing everything in our power to rebuild the reputation of the footwear manufacturing industry in Malaysia. We want to ensure that the excellent work of many suppliers in the area, who succeed in providing good jobs and good working conditions, are not undermined. We try to ensure that the impacts embedded in making our products aren't wasted at the end of its life. Therefore, we're looking at how we can actively help reduce our products' ecological footprint in several ways.

Our test-and-repeat model means that we have very little 'post-production' waste. We order minimum quantities of each item and then only re-order the lines that are selling well. 

Our Locations

While the carbon and plastic footprint of our office, retail store, and warehouse is a small percentage of our business's overall impact, we believe it's important to role model what we are asking our suppliers and partners to do. We're starting small by recycling all cardboard, boxes, paper, and plastic waste at all sites; and replacing lighting with LEDs.