Five Ques­tions

Anext-gen leader is con­tin­u­ing the Ge­orge Clev­erly legacy.

Footwear News - - CONTENTS - By Bar­bara Sch­nei­der-Levy

1 Now that you’ve taken a larger role at the fam­ily-run brand, what’s the most im­por­tant les­son your fa­ther has shared with you?

“He comes into the of­fice most days and loves to see clients. For him, it’s never been about the money but al­ways a pas­sion for the busi­ness. He’s al­ways had me fo­cus on the prod­uct, fit and cus­tomer ser­vice. Do all of those things cor­rectly and cus­tomers will keep com­ing back. I try to fol­low his ad­vice ev­ery day.”

2 Ge­orge Clev­erly boasts a num­ber of celebrity clients. What is it about the prod­uct that con­tin­ues to in­ter­est them?

“We’ve al­ways had a strong con­nec­tion to Hol­ly­wood, from Cary Grant to Fred As­taire, and to­day at­tract even more from all dif­fer­ent as­pects of the world. Clients like Ja­son Statham, Sly Stal­lone, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant and so on are very stylish guys, and they want the best. Once a per­son [rises] to a cer­tain level, he learns about brands that are of high qual­ity, and we’re eas­ily found at that point. Plus, we’re a found­ing part­ner of Mr Porter’s ‘Kings­man’ ap­parel and footwear col­lec­tion, in­spired by the film, which cer­tainly helps.”

3 Has the grow­ing buzz around the Bri­tish royal fam­ily in­creased con­sumer in­ter­est in her­itage brands like yours?

“The young roy­als are do­ing a great job for Bri­tish style and in­creas­ing aware­ness of Bri­tish prod­ucts, for sure. How­ever, since the early 1970s, we’ve been us­ing rein­deer hides [re­cov­ered] from a brig­an­tine 1786 ship­wreck off Eng­land’s Ply­mouth Sound. The first pair of shoes we ever made it with was for HRH The Prince of Wales. He’s had them over 20 years and still wears them to­day.”

4 Who is your com­pe­ti­tion to­day in the up­scale men’s arena?

“We feel we don’t have com­peti­tors. Most brands at our [level] are owned by big cor­po­ra­tions. We’re 100 per­cent fam­ily-owned and -op­er­ated, which sep­a­rates us from the rest. It’s im­por­tant to be aware of the mar­ket but fo­cus on our own ser­vice and prod­ucts. I have so many styling ideas I want to work on and in­tro­duce that it takes all of my time.”

5 How will­ing are younger shop­pers to trade in their sneak­ers for a pair of your pol­ished brogues?

“We’ve found over the past five years that the av­er­age age of our cus­tomer is get­ting younger. We think it’s mainly due to the fact that gentle­men are start­ing to un­der­stand what true lux­ury is and want­ing to in­vest in items that are not mass-pro­duced. Own­ing a pair of hand­made shoes, or some­thing that’s made in very lim­ited num­bers in Eng­land, is lux­ury — not to men­tion time­less. With the rise of so­cial me­dia and ac­cess to [more] in­for­ma­tion, peo­ple are be­com­ing more knowl­edge­able about [these] prod­ucts.”

An ex­clu­sive look for Nigold in Ja­pan

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.