Paul & Finch: A Crafter, A De­sign, An In­spi­ra­tion

A Crafter, A De­sign, An In­spi­ra­tion

Shoes & Accessories - - Contents -

Chief In­spi­ra­tion Of­fi­cer and brand founder Satyen Nanda is an avid trav­eler whose shoe ad­dic­tion is in­sa­tiable and is ever search­ing for the next ex­clu­sive shoe for his clients. The leather, the stitch, the crafts­man­ship, there can be no Paul & Finch with­out qual­ity check by Satyen Nanda. It is his eye for de­tail that crafts the per­fect shoe. Launched 2 years ago, Paul & Finch is a con­nois­seur col­lec­tion of men’s shoes. It only uses pre­mium qual­ity leather, the finest ma­te­ri­als and highly ex­pe­ri­enced shoe crafts­men to create its shoes. There is great de­tail in ev­ery shoe. The range in­cludes a stylish for­mal line and a for­mal easy wear col­lec­tion. Soon the brand will be in­tro­duc­ing the full se­lec­tion of men’s ca­sual, for­mals and for­mal easy wear. Also lined up are PF by Paul & Finch – an al­ter­nate leather col­lec­tion, Paul & Finch ac­ces­sories, Paul &Finch shoe care kit and the much-an­tic­i­pated women’s line of Paul & Finch.

In or­der to meet the chang­ing con­sumer de­mands Satyen is al­ways on the front foot, know­ing be­fore the brand’s clients or rather what the next big thing will be. Satyen shares his views on as­pects rang­ing from the brand’s val­ues to its fu­ture with S&A’S Amit Cho­pra in an in­ter­view.

How has the re­sponse been so far?

Ex­cel­lent! The busy In­dian shoe mar­ket is see­ing quite a buzz cre­ated by Paul & Finch in se­lect out­lets in Mum­bai, Delhi and Kolkata. That said, it must be noted that the ris­ing dol­lar has cre­ated a dent in the im­ported shoe cat­e­gory with prices ris­ing. The fes­tive sea­son and the wed­ding sea­son will surely see a surge in deals and de­mand.

How would you dif­fer­en­ti­ate your prod­ucts from the com­pe­ti­tion?

De­sign aes­thet­ics, ideation, crafts­man­ship are per­son­ally looked into with a hawk eye on qual­ity at ev­ery stage. I am per­son­ally in­volved in cu­rat­ing the style, choos­ing the leather, us­ing dou­ble re­in­forced stitch­ing in high-stress ar­eas of the shoe to en­sure max­i­mum dura­bil­ity. This along with our zero com­pro­mise pol­icy on qual­ity and crafts­man­ship makes our shoes un­matched in the cat­e­gory.

Who’s your big­gest com­peti­tor?

Most in­ter­na­tional brands like Aldo, Steve Mad­den and home-grown brands like Ros­so­brunello and Tres­mode are a few of the top play­ers in the cat­e­gory. To­day’s trends are fast chang­ing; there is a lot of flu­id­ity in cus­tomers’ needs. Nat­u­rally, it is in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult to name a sin­gle brand as our com­peti­tor. In fact, even brands at higher price points need to keep an eye on Paul & Finch be­cause of our com­mit­ment to cus­tomer ed­u­ca­tion and su­pe­rior leather qual­ity and work­man­ship.

What is the price range?

This is what prob­a­bly makes Paul & Finch so ex­cit­ing. Our range starts from slip on ca­su­als at ` 5,490 up­wards with a wide range at key price points all the way up to ` 20,000-25,000. We are in­tro­duc­ing newer New York for­mal styles and street styles as well as in­ter­na­tional col­lec­tions of hand crafted wo­ven shoes and also a col­lec­tion of shoes from Europe.

What are the main driv­ers that will her­ald a boom in pre­mium men’s footwear like your brand?

The main driv­ers of change are the evolv­ing In­dian con­sumer and the dy­namic In­dian mar­ket. At the macro

level, ris­ing dis­pos­able in­come, glob­al­iza­tion, im­proved liv­ing stan­dards with in­creas­ing aware­ness of in­ter­na­tional fash­ion trends is cre­at­ing a vi­brant and buzzing the mar­ket for fash­ion and life­style brands.

Global travel and the in­ter­net has evolved fash­ion sen­si­bil­i­ties to an­other level. Con­sumers now con­nect with brands that res­onate their style, and they be­lieve suc­cess comes with the right look and footwear plays a very large part in how they present them­selves to the world.

If you see his­tor­i­cally men’s footwear was about longevity of use and style, it is now evolv­ing to stun­ning de­signs, artis­tic sense of crafts­man­ship and im­pec­ca­ble ser­vice. And of course, the brand name! Also, there is a new mar­ket emerg­ing and a lot of global footwear and fash­ion brands have started bet­ting big on small ci­ties.

What’s the pro­file of a Paul & Finch’s typ­i­cal con­sumer?

To­day the con­sumer is not con­strained to only a few types of footwear, they own dif­fer­ent kinds of footwear for dif­fer­ent oc­ca­sions. They are fash­ion-con­scious, de­mand­ing the lat­est trends and con­tem­po­rary styles. The Paul & Finch con­sumer is very dis­cern­ing and has an eye for de­tails. They also like chang­ing their look of­ten and want to be on point with lat­est styles, which is why our shoes are in­spired by New York the ur­ban fash­ion cap­i­tal of the world. You can feel the buzz, the struc­ture, the at­ti­tude and the style of New York in ev­ery shoe de­sign we choose.

We have also no­ticed the con­sumer has be­come more value driven than price driven they do not mind spend­ing more for qual­ity, in­no­va­tion, sus­tain­abil­ity and a great cus­tomer ser­vice ex­pe­ri­ence.

What’s your re­tail mar­ket­ing strat­egy?

We want to be the “im­pact” brand in a multi brand out­let. We are work­ing on bring­ing in tech­nol­ogy in all ar­eas of busi­ness, en­sur­ing our in-store ex­pe­ri­ences are 100% con­nected. We do not want our con­sumer to be lim­ited to one prod­uct or style. We will be cre­at­ing brand ex­pe­ri­ences that will ex­tend from the dis­play, the buy­ing and sell­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, the box, the bag and then ex­tend­ing our re­la­tion­ship with great com­fort and qual­ity. We wish to con­vert our cus­tomers into an am­bas­sador of style, lead­ing a flock of friends to our brand.

We have spent hours study­ing the ser­vice ex­pe­ri­ence at 100s of stores across In­dia. We know that ser­vice plays a huge large role in the fi­nal pur­chase of the shoe. We there­fore en­sure that the sales per­son at the out­let un­der­stands the unique­ness and de­tail that is gone into ev­ery shoe, and is able to match it with the cus­tomer’s spe­cific need. In the fu­ture, once our en­tire range of prod­ucts is avail­able we would like to grow and have stand-alone stores through the length and breadth of the coun­try.

What are the lat­est de­signs and shape that are trend­ing?

Fore­cast­ing fash­ion needs a trained eye. New fads and trends ar­rive ev­ery sea­son. And yes, some clas­sics never fade away. Then again, even the slight­est tweak can com­pletely trans­form a clas­sic.

Cur­rently, there is a shift from men’s lace ups like ox­ford and brogues and slipons to styles such as monk straps, tas­sels, wo­ven shoes and coloured soles. Com­fort + fash­ion + trans­for­ma­tion. The cus­tomer wants a shoe that moves seam­lessly between all the worlds they are part of their so­cial life, pro­fes­sional life and even be­lieve it or not sport. To­day ca­su­al­iza­tion has led to sport shoes be­com­ing a for­mal trend. There is a def­i­nite emer­gence of the high-end lux­ury mar­ket with Bally, Ber­luti, Gucci and Louis Vuit­ton.

“Paul & Finch is a crafter, a creator, a de­sign, an in­spi­ra­tion, an idea, a buzzing city and “an at­ti­tude. Like our cus­tomer, we are stylish, youth­ful, swift and we are ready to take on the world!”

Paul & Finch is a crafter, a creator, a de­sign, an in­spi­ra­tion, an idea, a buzzing city and an at­ti­tude. Like our cus­tomer, we are stylish, youth­ful, swift and we are ready to take on the world!

What’s the theme of AW’18 ?

Our lat­est col­lec­tion for AW 18 is based on trav­els around the world. Ital­ian hand wo­ven tech­niques and in­flu­ences from all over the world, comb­ing to create an un­apolo­getic New York style.

The wo­ven col­lec­tion will bring in so­phis­ti­ca­tion and crafts­man­ship to the fore. Soft, fash­ion­able, lux­u­ri­ous and very pre­mium.

We are look­ing at new lines in the fu­ture which will be a bal­ance of Eu­ro­pean and Mid­dle Eastern shoe and leather tra­di­tions with an ac­cent on moder­nity and city slick.

What are some of the chal­lenges that you are fac­ing now?

The ru­pee weak­en­ing against the dol­lar is im­pact­ing our pric­ing, es­pe­cially since we refuse to com­pro­mise on qual­ity. For us once a cus­tomer, for­ever a cus­tomer!

Se­condly, like food habits, footwear fash­ion also changes ev­ery 100 kms. Lo­cal or un­or­ga­nized play­ers ben­e­fit from this, they have greater flex­i­bil­ity but un­for­tu­nately are not very qual­ity con­scious. In­tro­duc­tion of GST will hope­fully make it a more level play­ing field. Prod­uct coun­ter­feits are still a huge is­sue for In­dian footwear brands in­clud­ing ours.

Fi­nally, we would like to bring the best of New York to In­dia, even the best in the world, our women’s line, there is so much to do, to create, to de­sign, to dis­cover and yet, so lit­tle time.

Will we see an ag­gres­sive pres­ence of the brand in the mar­ket?

We are in our launch phase and the buzz will only grow! In­dia get ready for Paul & Finch!

How in­te­gral is dig­i­tal me­dia to the brand?

In­dia is on high streets and on­line. We will be fo­cus­ing on dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing to create the Paul & Finch brand idea among cus­tomers. Dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing gets the brand Paul & Finch in front of its ideal au­di­ence, who be­come aware of us, pur­chase from us and in turn be­come our brand am­bas­sadors. Var­i­ous re­search and mar­ket stud­ies show that 11% of to­tal shoe sales will be gen­er­ated through on­line sales by 2020. We will be ready.

What would be your on­line strat­egy?

Aware­ness. This is our mantra for the year! Know­ing a shoe, its qual­ity, its style, its de­sign in­spi­ra­tion, and buy­ing it will never be the same again.

Re­tar­get cus­tomers through dig­i­tal ads, build our so­cial pages, videos, blogs, new trend launches, ed­u­cate, create style guides, we have a whole list of things to ac­com­plish!

What would be ma­jor chal­lenges for you in the com­ing year?

A. In­tro­duce In­dia to PAUL & FINCH – de­signed by NEW YORK B. Neu­tral­iz­ing the im­pact of the ex­plod­ing dol­lar. C. Quicker turn­around time from spot­ting a trend to be­ing on the shop floor. D. In­creas­ing the brand foot­print across In­dia. E. Zero com­pro­mise on qual­ity as we grow.

Your take on the cur­rent footwear re­tail en­vi­ron­ment in In­dia.

Ex­tremely op­ti­mistic! Var­i­ous mar­ket fore­casts show that the In­dian footwear mar­ket will grow by 10.1% year on year till 2021. Brands that can build a lux­u­ri­ous po­si­tion in the mind of the con­sumer and con­tinue to in­no­vate (new de­signs, pat­terns and con­cepts) that cater to the con­sumers ever chang­ing fash­ion palate will even­tu­ally thrive.

“Our lat­est col­lec­tion for AW 18 is based on trav­els around the world.”

“Fore­cast­ing fash­ion needs a trained eye. New fads and trends ar­rive ev­ery sea­son.”

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