After taking a hiatus from posts through the holiday and new year season, I felt that this next one would be a fitting return to figuratively ‘walk’ back into the office with. Paul Evans is a New York City shoe company, that is cutting out the middleman and offering your quality shoes at a great price. I have been in touch with Evan Fript, Co-Founder and CEO of Paul Evans, and he has been kind enough to take some time and answer some crucial questions about Paul Evans and the shoe business in general. Check them out!
MTR: What brought you into the men’s footwear business?
EF: I had trouble finding shoes I was really in love with at a price I thought was appropriate. Having spent time in Europe, I was envious that Europeans had many options to suit each individual’s sense of style. I wanted to bring a similar edginess in style, color and cut to our side of the pond. After endless Google searches and conversations with industry contacts, I realized my vision was attainable. I recruited Ben, a good friend from Tulane to join me. Though initially skeptical of a couple young financiers leaping into a competitive fashion market, he was game for a challenge. After a few intercontinental flights, bilingual emails and a pile of failed samples we finally had a product we loved.
MTR: What sets Paul Evans Footwear apart from other companies?
EF: Paul Evans plans to capitalize on the rapid growth of e-commerce, which currently represents only 5.50% of total retail sales in the United States, providing a significant opportunity for online retailers. E-commerce is still in its infancy and will continue to exhibit strong growth versus traditional store sales. We plan to initially operate exclusively online, catering to the growing number of internet shoppers by offering free shipping, free returns and excellent customer service. By sourcing our own suppliers and avoiding the costs associated with traditional retail, we can deliver high quality dress shoes with an unmatched mix of craftsmanship, material quality and style at a more attractive price point.
MTR: What has been your greatest challenge while starting Paul Evans Footwear?
EF: The greatest challenge thus far has been generating traffic to our website. We are competing with other websites and brands for internet consumers’ time and money. We are actively building advertising relationships with menswear blogs and holding events in New York City to generate buzz for our brand and drive traffic to our website. Additionally, we are focused on creating a quality blog with fresh content that resonates with the successful urban male.
MTR: What is your favorite Paul Evans shoe and your favorite style of shoe in general?
EF: My favorite shoe is The Brando. It’s a timeless, elegant look that is still very fashionable. The current model is available in oxblood which really makes the shoes pop. After a good shine everyone notices these shoes. My favorite shoe style in general is an oxford. You can’t go wrong because it’s such a versatile style that’s appropriate for multiple settings. If you’re wearing a suit an oxford just makes sense.
MTR: Other than shoes, what is your favorite aspect of menswear and who is your go to brand?
EF: I love all facets of menswear. Custom suits, great ties and pocket squares are all readily accessible to define your own look. I don’t have a go to brand because I like to try out products from a variety of vendors. I think it’s important to continually be on the hunt for new and interesting products so you can stay informed of what trends are going on within the industry.
MTR: What can we expect in the near and distant future of Paul Evans?
EF: Expect new styles, colors and a full range of sizes. I was in Italy a few weeks ago collaborating with my factory on 11 new styles. We also negotiated on deal terms so I will be able to provide a full range of colors and sizes per style. We continue to reach out to menswear bloggers and the press so expect to see us popping up all over the internet!
MTR: Anything else you would like to share with us?
EF: Please check out our shoes and let us know what you think. I receive numerous emails daily from customers and take the time to respond to each and every email. Customer experience is extremely important to us. We want to become the brand that everyone knows and has had a personal “relationship” with. We’re young, we’re new and we’ve got great product. So check us out!
In addition to the great shoes that Paul Evans has to offer, they are currently in the process of increasing their options! Check out their Look page for pictures!