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How Two Male Fashion Bloggers Created a Nordstrom-Approved Shoe Brand

Barbara Schneider-Levy

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When fashion influencers Marcel Floruss and Moti Ankari joined forces in 2016 to launch men’s footwear line Ankari Floruss, the partners were committed to going direct to consumer. However, when Robert Evans, VP and DMM for men’s shoes at Nordstrom, approached them two years later about offering the collection in seven of its department stores and online for fall, they quickly switched gears.

“We’re fans of Marcel and Moti and appreciate their approachable point of view on fashion,” said Evans.

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Ankari’s style blog, The Metro Man, and Floruss’ One Dapper Street blog, which have a combined 1 million followers across their social media platforms, caught Evans’ attention early on.

He said, “The collection they’ve put together makes it easy for someone to build a shoe wardrobe that is on trend at a very fair price. It also introduces our customers to new and exciting brands they might otherwise not see.”

The line, which targets customers from 18 to 34, offers a curated assortment of updated classics that include cap-toe dress shoes, Chelsea boots and sneakers. “We’re not reinventing footwear, but curating a collection of our favorite versions of a shoe,” said Floruss. In addition to the core collection, Nordstrom also will carry exclusive looks from the label. The shoes, made in Italy, retail from $165 to $295.

“The beauty of the brand is that it can appeal to a range of customers,” said Evans. “We think it will especially appeal to someone looking to create an easy, go-to selection for all the occasions in their life.”

According to the partners, sales through Nordstrom could account for 60% to 70% of overall business.

“Customers [on our website] had been asking where they could try them on,” said Ankari. “Now they have that opportunity. Nordstrom also gives us the ability to capture a new  audience.”

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