Oli X Oliver: An interview with the founder of the latest footwear brand, Oli X Oliver

Oli X Oliver: An interview with the founder of the latest footwear brand, Oli X Oliver

We caught up with Oliver, the founder of Oli X Oliver to find out more from the new to the market footwear brand. With such a positive start in the industry, we were keen to find out all about where it’s come from and what it’s about …

When did the idea for Oli X Oliver first come around?

The initial idea for Oli X Oliver came around in late 2015 early 2016. At first it seemed like an impossible dream but I decided to give it a go and after a great deal of work was able to launch the brand in November 2017.

Following the initial idea how did you go about designing a product? How long did that take?

I started by playing with initial drawings, from that I took forward different aspects to come up with the designs that would make up our first collection. Then the sampling process started and changes were made to improve each design until I felt happy enough to launch. This whole process took about a year before we went forward with the first production run.

In terms of materials, was leather always the first choice?

Leather was always the first choice of material. Leather has a very premium quality to it and it is very versatile. For our designs leather complements each aspect of the design. Also moving forward in the future there are so many different leather grades that we want to experiment with.

In the future, we’ll look at leather alternatives to accommodate the wider population.

What sort of steps did you take to source materials?

When it came to sourcing the right leathers for each design, it was very important to us that each material complemented the design of the shoe. I wanted the leather on each shoe to be extremely soft – this would then increase comfort for the wearer. It wasn’t enough to create a product that simply looked good; it also needed to feel good.

Portugal has developed a reputation for manufacturing luxury clothing and footwear in recent years, did that influence your decision to base production there?

Yes this did influence my decision. I wanted a premium product and for the shoes we wanted to create Portugal was the perfect place for this to happen.

Did you find it easy to build relationships with factories and manufacturers on the continent?

One of the biggest challenges from the start was finding a supplier that shares our vision for what we wanted to create. It was very important to me that our factory cared as much about our shoes as we did. Luckily for us we have been able to build a very good relationship with a factory that has a reputation for quality and shares our vision.

So you’ve got a product, you still need a logo, how did you settle on your branding?

When it came to branding I wanted something that would complement each shoe but would also be easily recognisable. It needed to be simple and classic, capable of being adapted in the future and something that would look good on a range of products. It took some time to come up with something that would work but in the end I feel we have come up with something that will stand the test of time.

Knowing what you do now, what advice would you give to other budding designers?

The advice I would give is that it isn’t a quick process and will take time so stay focused on the end goal. Progress can be very slow, there are many obstacles to face which can sometimes seem insurmountable and it is easy to lose sight of your vision but perseverance and a positive attitude pay off.

 What’s next for Oli x Oliver?

What’s next for Oli X Oliver is to release new shoes and expand our range as well as grow as a business. We want to achieve a bigger retail presence and to become a more ecognisable brand.

Shop the range of Oli x Oliver footwear online now. 

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