Question: How did you come up with the idea for Paul Evans?
Evan: I had trouble finding shoes I was really in love with at a price I thought was appropriate. Having spent time in Europe, I was envious that Europeans had many different options to suit each individual’s sense of style. I wanted to bring a similar edginess in style, color and cut to our side of the pond. After endless Google searches and conversations with industry contacts, I realized my vision was attainable. I recruited Ben, a good friend from Tulane to join me. Though initially skeptical of a couple young financiers leaping into a competitive fashion market, he was game for a challenge. After a few intercontinental flights, bilingual emails and a pile of failed samples we finally had a product we loved.
Question: We noticed the fleur-de-lis in the Paul Evans logo. What’s the significance?
Ben: Evan and I both attended Tulane University in New Orleans. The fleur-de-lis has been a symbol of the city since it was founded by the French in the early 18th century and is unique because of its constant reinterpretation and redesign through history. We view our shoes as modern interpretations of the classics and wanted a symbol that would represent that notion.
Question: Why did you choose to sell your shoes online versus a physical retail location?
Evan: Paul Evans plans to capitalize on the rapid growth of e-commerce, which currently represents only 5.50% of total retail sales in the United States, providing a significant opportunity for online retailers. E-commerce is still in its infancy and will continue to exhibit strong growth versus traditional store sales. We plan to initially operate exclusively online, catering to the growing number of internet shoppers by offering free shipping, free returns and excellent customer service. By sourcing our own suppliers and avoiding the costs associated with traditional retail, we can deliver high quality dress shoes with an unmatched mix of craftsmanship, material quality and style at a more attractive price point.