Ariel Nelson and Lane Gerson, two men who had their story covered by Bloomberg business, saw an opportunity in the shoe market when they discovered a big gap in the price range of men’s dress shoes. In 2012, they developed an idea that became a reality with help from Bertrand Guillaume, Saks Fifth Avenue Brands Director. The slogan “Cut out the Middleman” was all the rage in areas such as sunglasses or mattresses, so why not try it with leather shoes? There are three main qualities to look for when shoe shopping; style, color, and price. Normally, only two of the three are obtainable, but Nelson and Gerson sought to make all three a reality by selling the shoes straight from the source.
Paul Evans, founded by Ben Earley and Evan Fript in August of 2013, has also cut out middlemen. Earley and Fript moved to Italy to establish their product with only one goal in mind: to make sophisticated, comfortable shoes with the highest quality of materials at an affordable price. The company delivers straight from their hands to the customers. This process leaves no retail space for price markups of middlemen, resulting in a reduced price. How did they remove the middlemen you might ask? It’s simple. Sell online. Thanks to the internet, Paul Evans is able to sell luxurious, Italian footwear directly to consumers on a global scale.
Paul Evans high quality shoes are made directly in Naples, Italy, an area known for producing the finest shoes on the market. The factory uses the same quality of leather used by well-known fashion houses like Gucci. These two factors provide the important qualities of style and color, but unlike a company such as Gucci they provide it at a more affordable price. Big name companies sell their products for thousands of dollars, but Paul Evans products range from $200 – $500.
Not only does Paul Evans make very stylish men’s shoes, but also men’s boots and sneakers, as well as leather backpacks, briefcases, and belts with the same high quality material. The company has had tremendous success since it’s opening in 2013, and now enjoys six figures of revenue. It is with this success that the company continues to add new styles of shoes, and is even talking about expanding the business into the women’s shoe industry.