Founders Footwear - Mens Footwear Crafted In Italy - Official Affiliate Thread

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Founders Footwear, May 3, 2017.

  1. Founders Footwear

    Founders Footwear Well-Known Member Affiliate Vendor

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    18
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2016
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Hi Styleforum!

    My name is Mike Strout and I'm the founder of Founders Footwear.

    Founders Footwear began in 2015 producing what we've always called Essential Luxuries - timeless silhouettes and styles that every gentleman must own, crafted in the highest quality. We sell online only - but for seasonal trunk shows or events like The Proper Kit - allowing us to offer that high quality at an affordable price.

    Our first collection of styles was produced outside of Naples, Italy in a century-old family-owned factory. It would be simple, straightforward, classic: a cap-toe oxford, a half-strap penny loafer and a nine eyelet cap-toe boot - all available in black or chocolate brown calfskin.

    We sourced our leathers from northern Italy. We produced our cap-toe oxfords and penny loafers with double leather soles on Blake-Rapid construction. Our cap-toe boots were made with a single leather sole and single Vibram rubber sole, again on Blake-Rapid construction.

    For Fall 2016 we introduced a bow-tie loafer. It is made on the same last as our half-strap penny loafer and offered in a chocolate or sand suede. Again, double leather soles on Blake-Rapid construction.

    Throughout the process of conceiving the brand, developing a last, sampling various styles, building a website, finding a distribution and logistics partner, developing a social media, marketing and customer acquisition strategy and finally coming to market with a product we were incredibly proud of, we learned an immense amount. We learned not only an endless amount about how the traditions of Italian shoe making, but about starting a business in the ever evolving and highly competitive menswear market.

    Recently, our factory in the south of Italy as come into some trouble and we have unfortunately had to cut ties with them. As such, we are looking to sell all of our current inventory at 50% off. Visit our website at here and us the code SF17 at checkout.*

    That all written, this is not the end of Founders. We're actually thrilled about what's ahead!

    We've begun conversations with several factories in the north of Italy and are in the process of developing an entirely new collection of product. We're going to re-launch the brand no later than the fall - let's call it Founders 2.0. While you won't see products like the Founders 1.0 cap-toe oxford, our new products will certainly remain distinctly and uniquely our own.

    This affiliate thread is a place for two things: (1) a place for you to ask any and all questions about our the Founders 1.0 legacy collection, and (2) a place for us to share with you developments of the new brand we're building and the new product we're designing.

    So, go ahead, ask away. And stay tuned for a bunch of exciting new things to come!

    I'll be checking in as often as I can with photos and updates. In the meantime, follow along or feel free to contact me directly at [email protected].

    Cheers,

    Mike

    * All sales are final
     


  2. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Messages:
    34,626
    Likes Received:
    12,154
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    Welcome, Michael.

    Cheers,

    Fok.
     


  3. Patrick R

    Patrick R Senior member

    Messages:
    1,801
    Likes Received:
    2,373
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Mike, is the coupon 50% as your post says or $50 as the website is showing?
     


  4. Founders Footwear

    Founders Footwear Well-Known Member Affiliate Vendor

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    18
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2016
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Patrick - good catch! My fault - I just set the coupon up today in advance of starting the thread. Now fixed for 50% off.
     


  5. usctrojans31

    usctrojans31 Senior member

    Messages:
    1,322
    Likes Received:
    307
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    Tried these on at the SF trunk show a few months ago. While the fit did not work for me (I have narrow feet, and both shoes I tried on were too wide), they were pretty great. Excited to see the next round.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2017


  6. Founders Footwear

    Founders Footwear Well-Known Member Affiliate Vendor

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    18
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2016
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Thanks @usctrojans31 ! I will say, particularly with the two loafer styles - to accommodate folks with a wider toe box and narrower heel - the toe box does open up a fair bit over time. I wear our 9D and the toe box has definitely opened up enough to accommodate my wider front foot. Feel free to shoot me a note at [email protected] with any other questions and, yes, otherwise keep a close eye for the new stuff!
     


  7. Patrick R

    Patrick R Senior member

    Messages:
    1,801
    Likes Received:
    2,373
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    So for the loafers, if you have a slightly narrower than standard foot, is there enough length to go down half a size?
     


  8. Founders Footwear

    Founders Footwear Well-Known Member Affiliate Vendor

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    18
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2016
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Hey @Patrick R - I can't say there's necessarily more length merely because your foot is a bit narrow. Length-wise, the general consensus across customers is the shoe fits true to size. I may be able to help if you offer up a few references from other brands and specific styles / lasts. For instance - our 9D fits similarly to the C&J Cavendish 9D. Feel free to shoot me a note at [email protected] and we can get as deep in it as you want! There's also always the (understandably, less than ideal) solution of a heel or tongue pad...
     


  9. Founders Footwear

    Founders Footwear Well-Known Member Affiliate Vendor

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    18
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2016
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Nothing you can't really see on our website, but here's a close up of my personal pair of our black half-strap penny I'll be beating up around town today...

    We found a lot inspiration for this one in the EG Piccadilly.

    Anyone catch a glimpse of that branded "MLS" shoe tree? A little holiday treat we did for all our friends at Proper Kit! Unfortunately, we can't brand trees for any online orders, but all our shoes still do include complimentary cedar trees!

    [​IMG]
     


  10. Founders Footwear

    Founders Footwear Well-Known Member Affiliate Vendor

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    18
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2016
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Our classic cap-toe oxford. Double leather sole. We removed as much of the spring from the toe as we could to keep a sleek, low profile.

    FOUNDERS_075.jpg
     


  11. starro

    starro Senior member

    Messages:
    767
    Likes Received:
    176
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2016
    I think more info on the leather used, what tannery, etc would be helpful to alot of readers. At this price point there's a fear that the leather is less than full grain, so any info you can provide to allay those fears would probably be helpful to you. Just my 2 cents.
     


  12. Founders Footwear

    Founders Footwear Well-Known Member Affiliate Vendor

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    18
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2016
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Thanks, @starro ! Hopefully I'll be getting many more questions - that's why I'm here!

    For our first styles that are all available on our site - remember the SF17 discount code - we sourced full grain from d'Annonay tannery.

    Olof Nithenius was kind enough to write a nice piece on our shoes last summer, and I remember him speaking to how well he thought the leather broke in (drop this into Google translate - good enough to get the idea :tongue:)

    Going forward, as we move production to the north, it will be both d'Annonay and Ilcea.

    manolo.se.jpeg
     


  13. starro

    starro Senior member

    Messages:
    767
    Likes Received:
    176
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2016
    Appreciate the kind words. It's not often a new brand is open about its sources and process, so kudos.

    What do you use for heel stiffener?
     


  14. Founders Footwear

    Founders Footwear Well-Known Member Affiliate Vendor

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    18
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2016
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    I should also mention - we currently use and will continue to use Stead suedes.
    Heel stiffeners are leather board.
     


  15. LAluck5

    LAluck5 Senior member

    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    140
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2017
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    How long does the free shipping take? Just ordered a pair of the brown penny loafers. Have been looking for a pair for a little while and figured why not pull the trigger.
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by