In 2012, two friends founded luxury footwear brand Paul Evans with the singular goal of bringing high-quality Italian shoes to a wider range of customers. Benjamin Earley and Evan Fript, who both held jobs in finance, launched the brand’s online site in 2013 and featured three styles of shoes, all designed in New York and made in Naples, Italy. In the following years, the Paul Evans lineup has grown to over a dozen styles of shoes, ranging from loafers and Oxfords to Chelsea boots and sneakers, all made from Italian calfskin and suede leather. But their story isn’t about breadth of (very handsome) styles, or about a friendship — it is about the intersection of extreme high quality and shockingly low price points.
That “extreme high-quality” owes itself to the factory in Naples that produces Paul Evans shoes: it’s owned by a single family that has been producing luxury footwear for generations. Their impressive products include highlights like hand-painted leather (in colors like Oxblood, Midnight Blue and Aged Cognac) and Blake-stitch soles, the latter of which allows for a sleek design and increased flexibility throughout the sole.
“Shockingly low price points” almost speak for themselves: prices range from $299 for The McQueen driving shoe to $399 for The Martin whole-cut shoe — numbers that are a noticeable departure from similar Italian-made shoes selling for almost three times as much at high-end stores. To facilitate affordability, Paul Evans is a vertically integrated company, meaning all the back-end business functions (e.g., designing, manufacturing, importing, warehousing, shipping) are done in-house. They also sell direct-to-consumer online and offer free international shipping (they’ve sold to over 30 countries) and free domestic returns (if the fit is off, return shipping is covered for a year). There are no middle men to soak up costs and inflate prices (which are, according to the company, 60 percent lower than traditional, middle man-laden retailers).
Customers looking into Paul Evans can be sure they’re investing in quality and style without the superfluous retail markups. With 15 shoe styles currently available online, there is something for every man and every profession and every occasion. And if you’re in New York City, the brand has opened a Guide Shop at 35 Christopher Street — look into sizing and learn more about their products, and if you decide to buy your order will be fulfilled online and shipped to you.
Regardless of where you’re based, just meet Paul Evans at the intersection of extreme high quality and shockingly low price points.