Buying a pair of shoes is like buying a fragrance. You know the overall scent you're looking for, but it's the subtle notes and hidden details that makes the purchase more unique.
Alan Buanne and Vanissa Antonious, creative directors of Neous, know this all too well. The pair have built their brand on creating footwear that is high quality, functional and accessible, but also features striking details like vivid colour and Spartan-inspired accents. The brand has a unique identity that doesn't conform—and as such, has gained a cult following. Fast.
We spoke to Buanne and Antonious about what they think makes Neous so different, how they built a successful brand and the shoe trend they predict will reach peak popularity in 2019.
Courtesy of Neous
What makes a successful shoe brand in 2018?
For NEOUS it has been creativity, wearability and quality.
You have managed to grow your brand very quickly, why do you think it’s so popular?
Both of us have worked in the fashion industry for over 10 years, we've witnessed and learned a great deal.
We think the popularity comes down to all the knowledge we've absorbed, timing and a unique proposition.
How long does it take to make a pair of your shoes from start to finish?
A long time! There are so many different components which make up a shoe. First you have to develop a last, which is the mould that the leather is wrapped around, followed by the heel, the pattern, and then any other elements on the shoe. Depending on the complexity of the shoe, it can take several months to get it right. But then again sometimes the simplest styles are the most difficult—every millimetre counts.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start a shoe brand?
Take your time to find your own voice, look for inspiration outside of fashion and be curious.
What do you think will be the biggest shoe trend for 2019?
Fashion loves to work in extremes. We're sure strappy sandals will remain in some capacity, but chunky heels and platforms are also on the way up. In some ways we shy away from the big trends, we like to think that our customer invests in a mix of timeless pieces as well as fashion forward pieces with a unique point of view.
How has being stocked on Net-A-Porter impacted your brand?
Net-A-Porter has helped as reach women all over the world and of course increased our brand awareness globally. Being able to see the response to the brand globally has given us insight into our women in different regions of the world.