Every idea starts with a problem.
As far as clothing goes, a man’s shoes are amongst the most important items. As Hardy Amies once said, “It is totally impossible to be well-dressed in cheap shoes.”
The problem: premium quality shoes are expensive. A pair of shoes, made using high quality leathers, and crafted in Europe where one can be certain of ethical production standards will set you back around £400. Often, significantly more.
It turns out there is a simple explanation. By the time a pair of luxury shoes has been produced, wholesaled and then finally retailed it has been marked up somewhere between 5-8 times what it cost to produce.
This is the problem that founder Sepand Oboudiyat sought to solve when he left his City career and launched Sons of London.
“For a guy who needs dress shoes for work each day, quality shoes are a necessity and I was amazed at how hard it was to find a great pair of shoes without the accompanying eye watering price tags. When I spoke to my friends, they all had similar experiences. Where were our options?”
His firm is the UK’s first direct-to-consumer luxury men’s shoe company.
Their innovative new business model bucks the trend of most conventional footwear producers by reducing the steps between the artisan craftspeople that make the shoes and the arrival of the finished product in the customer’s hands.
By circumventing traditional channels, focusing on timeless designs, and engaging with customers directly, it is able to provide higher quality, better looking men’s dress shoes at a fraction (around half) of the going price – £180 for shoes, and £200 for boots.
The company uses the same premium Italian leathers and artisan construction methods used by other luxury brands. Their second-generation family owned workshop is located in Italy’s Le Marche region, the revered home of luxury shoe making. Every one of their 16 master craftspeople is an expert in their particular stage of the shoe making process, bringing over 300 years of combined shoe making experience.
Its core belief is that buying a truly great pair of shoes should be simple. It should leave customers looking good, feeling great and with money left in their pockets.
Today’s consumers have become savvier, demanding fewer middlemen, more transparency in the production process, and more honest pricing.
“We think men in the UK are currently getting a pretty poor deal when it comes to shoes. They either have to stump up the hefty sums for good design and quality, wait around for the sales with their fingers crossed that their size will still be available, or have to settle for less in the way of quality. We hope to provide those seeking an alternative the solution they’ve been waiting for.”
Available exclusively online at www.sonsoflondon.com