The Best Advice From Footwear Founders on Launching a Successful Shoe Business

by | Sep 26, 2023 | BUSINESS | 0 comments

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It’s not simple to start a company, much alone a fashion one. Most entrepreneurs will tell you that the process of coming up with a concept and seeing it through to completion is a drawn-out one that requires a lot of trial and error.

2020 saw the rise of several companies via direct-to-consumer sales, while conventional retail saw a decline. enterprises that were formed digitally were able to be more nimble at the time, which attracted customers and revenue. This led to an inflow of enterprises that were born digitally. The market is still saturated, thus competition is now more intense than ever.

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Here are some tips on how to launch a shoe brand and make a lasting impression from the creators of up-and-coming labels Courser, Amanu, and Larroudé.

Tips on how to launch a shoe brand

Build a solid foundation and identify your mission.

In April 2018, renowned stylist Anita Patrickson founded Amanu with the intention of fostering human connection and honouring the age-old art of sandal-making. After five years, the brand has grown tremendously. Since then, in addition to Amanu’s own direct-to-consumer website, she has created a flagship studio in Los Angeles and outposts at the Esperanza Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and at Singita lodges in Africa. She has now entered the wholesale market with collaborations with Saks, Nordstrom, Net-a-porter, and Moda Operandi.

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It’s not simple to start a company, much alone a fashion one. Most entrepreneurs will tell you that the process of coming up with a concept and seeing it through to completion is a drawn-out one that requires a lot of trial and error.

2020 saw the rise of several companies via direct-to-consumer sales, while conventional retail saw a decline. enterprises that were formed digitally were able to be more nimble at the time, which attracted customers and revenue. This led to an inflow of enterprises that were born digitally. The market is still saturated, thus competition is now more intense than ever.

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Here are some tips on how to launch a shoe brand and make a lasting impression from the creators of up-and-coming labels Courser, Amanu, and Larroudé.

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Kerry Washington Shines in a Vibrant Maxi Dress and 7-Inch Heels While in Jamaica

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Build a solid foundation and identify your mission.

In April 2018, renowned stylist Anita Patrickson founded Amanu with the intention of fostering human connection and honouring the age-old art of sandal-making. After five years, the brand has grown tremendously. Since then, in addition to Amanu’s own direct-to-consumer website, she has created a flagship studio in Los Angeles and outposts at the Esperanza Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and at Singita lodges in Africa. She has now entered the wholesale market with collaborations with Saks, Nordstrom, Net-a-porter, and Moda Operandi.

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ENTERTAINMENT

Patrickson attributes her brand’s current success to its honesty.

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It’s clear that the internet made everything more equal for everyone. However, it also made so much noise that, now more than ever, you have to cut through so much noise that it’s critical to identify your point of uniqueness and what makes you really distinctive, she told FN.

Maintaining a brand’s identity and understanding its core values are equally crucial, according to Patrickson.

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“As soon as you start losing it, it simply becomes another brand, object, or piece of apparel that you can either wear or not wear and throw in your closet. Making that link between what you purchase and it,” she said.

Sandals Amanu

The Italian-made premium performance trainer firm Courser has found that building a personal business has helped it overcome obstacles.

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“Have a sufficiently compelling, deeply personal concept. Make sure this is something you really want to accomplish since you’re going to be dedicating all of your time to it,” said Johnny Kraljevich, the creator and creative director of Courser.

Even though Patrickson had a lengthy career in design, she had no prior expertise when she joined the shoe business, therefore she believes that asking for assistance has been essential to her success.

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Nobody excels in every endeavour. I do need the advise of people who are more knowledgeable than me in whatever field I am not so well-versed in, but I want to learn so that I can still feel in charge’, she said. Patrickson just appointed Catherine Leavitt president of Amanu in order to achieve this goal.

First, get experience.

Marina Larroudé said, “My sincere advice to anyone is to get your experience somewhere else first.”

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After years in the business, the former Style.com editor and Barneys fashion director utilised all of her industry knowledge—from editorial to retail—and created her own lifestyle brand, Larroudé, in 2020. “It’s crucial, regardless of whether it’s shoes or whatever else. It like raising a kid. Always on. There is never a moment when you are not considering it or making progress on it. You’re going to make less financial errors if you already know what to do, in my opinion,” she said.

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Larroudé Mary Jane flats

Give up your ego

In order to effectively run a business and serve customers, experts concur that you need to leave your ego at the door.

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“Vanity does not exist. When it comes to creating the designs for her women’s shoe line, Larroudé said, “There is no ego in that sense.” “My desire for women to dress a certain way is not what inspired me to enter the industry. Thinking, “Who is this woman?” when I first walked in. She is heading where? What kind of lifestyles do people lead? How then can you improve that day-to-day existence a tiny bit?

Tyler Fairchild, managing director of Courser, said that maintaining composure and being modest in business matters is equally crucial.

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“Nobody entering a scrappy opportunity like this is going to be well versed in everything,” he said. “You will commit a great deal of errors. Simply make sure that you learn from your errors and do not do the same ones again, and that your mistakes are controllable. Although you will never be a flawless brand, all of the difficulties you encounter only make you stronger and more knowledgeable.

Have an omnichannel strategy in mind.

After just three years in operation, Larroudé has grown to become one of the fastest-growing shoe brands, with stores including Saks, Nordstrom, Revolve, ShopBop, and Bloomingdale’s. The firm currently employs 70 people, compared to its initial four. Part of the brand’s growth may be attributed to its sales approach, which combines direct-to-consumer and wholesale sales.

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“If you are just getting started, you must comprehend margins. As you may then change course, I would use a mixed approach to distribution. I believe you are already limiting your alternatives if you start in one direction or the other,” she said.

For several companies, going direct to consumer is the simplest and most economical method of introduction. However, the executives of the digitally native company Courser said that the days of creating a billion-dollar DTC brand only via one channel are long gone.

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As much as possible, we want to attempt to maintain control, but we need help. Other digital channels are necessary, according to Fairchild. “Digital and the digital aspect of some of these other huge luxury department stores are our main areas of attention. You have [credibility] if any of these more upscale retailers have accepted you. There is a merchandising staff that has thoroughly examined the brand, as you are aware. However, you will not find us everywhere since we will always be very picky.

Avoid waiting for funds

Both raising money on your own and obtaining financing to launch a company have numerous benefits and drawbacks. Furthermore, even though Courser has so far received a significant amount of money, they do not believe it is necessary for them to start.

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Luxury performance shoes from Coursercourtesy of the court

Kraljevich said, “We would not be here if we had waited for money.” “You may begin modestly; that is how we began. We succeeded in creating a project that we could show to others. People are more open to supporting your concept if you have already put some effort into it, whether it is something physical or something you can see taking shape in the future. You certainly need to control your expectations, but I would not allow money stop you from getting started.

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