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  • Paul Evans

Turning the Men’s Luxury Footwear Industry On Its Heel

Turning the Men’s Luxury Footwear Industry On Its Heel

Evan Fript had always wondered why there weren’t stylish, high-quality yet affordable shoes for men. Suits had undergone a revolution with companies selling Savile Row-level duds at big-box store prices. Why hadn’t the same thing happened with luxury shoes?

Fript didn’t see an answer that satisfied him, so he decided to start Paul Evans, a direct-to-consumer shoe brand that would eliminate the middlemen and bring upmarket footwear from the factory to your feet.

With Paul Evans, Fript’s mission is enabling men everywhere to step up their shoe game with premiere Italian footwear at a more reasonable price. Combine that with the convenience of a digital-first shopping experience, free two-way shipping, and a generous 365-day return policy, and Paul Evans has turned the luxury-shoe industry on its heel.

Comparable shoes from high-end brands can run $1,000 or more at a department store, where the markups can be astronomical. But by avoiding conventional retail channels and selling directly to consumers, Paul Evans can sell a pair or oxblood loafers or chestnut Chelsea boots for less than $400 and provide a more high-touch customer experience even with a higher production lead-time.

No wonder Paul Evans has built a loyal following of discriminating millennial professionals. The brand has more than 87,000 followers on Instagram. All the products—belts, boots, shoes—are handcrafted in a factory in Naples, in southwestern Italy, where artisans employ Blake stitch construction, an old-school cobbling technique that produces a lighter and more flexible shoe. The uppers, lining, and soles are made of Italian calfskin. For the final touch, each pair is hand-painted.

Since launching in 2013, Paul Evans has shipped shoes to customers in more than 100 different countries. Fript expects annual sales to eclipse $5 million this year. The direct-to-consumer revolution is here, and Evan Fript is making sure that the uprising is dressed to kill.

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