- Curtis Hinton
Looking great means having an ourfit that not only makes you look good but feel go too. Knowing you are wearing stylish, comfortable and quality garments will make you feel this way, even the footwear you put on to complete that outfit. Producing footwear for the tradtion and the urban gentleman, London based handcrafted footwear designer and brand Vivvant London is Where The Modern Gentleman Is Heading. This January we sat down with the founder of the brand to hear about where it all begun and why the tradtional hand crafted art is still popular today.
Jin, For those coming across your brand Vivvant for the first time, tell us a little about who you are and what you do.
Of course, hello, I am Jin. I am originally from Taiwan, and I’ve lived in London since 2009. Before I set up this brand, I used to work in menswear and retail industry for more than 10 years. I published a book in Mandarin called 英倫紳士潮 (meaning “dress like a Londoner”) in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore in 2016. I set up Vivvant and sold the first pair of shoes in 2019. And now I am still exploring the possibility of Vivvant.
When setting up your brand, what made you choose footwear?
I have always been passionate for menswear, especially suits, shoes, and men’s accessories like bags. I’ve worked in this industry for more than 10 years. But the reason I chose shoes over other categories actually came from a simple observation. I just noticed that most of the men around me, no matter if they are straight, gay, young, or old, like shoes very much and purchase them in a more frequent basis.
When you decided upon footwear, were you always going to go down the 'Modern Gentlema' route?
Yes. When I just arrived in London, I was totally amazed by the “gentleman style.” I see men shopping in Savile Row, Jermyn Street, Burlington Arcades just like 100 years ago. They are stylish but not flamboyant. They care about their look very much, but at the same time, they don’t make too much effort. They find a very good balance. And we would like to bring this spirit into our brand.
Your slogan 'Where the Modern Gentleman is headed', what does this mean to the brand?
We believe the concept or the image of gentlemen changes from time to time. So our products should also come back to match what modern gentlemen want and need.
Vivvant prides itself on classic Italian craftsmanship, how important is this to your customers?
Italian craftsmanship represents amazing quality in fashion industry. Vivvant is a new brand and so far, we only sell out products in our online store. I believe that the classic Italian craftmanship can somehow gives our potential customers the idea of the quality of our products.
How important do you think it is for a man to wear the right shoe to compliment the outfit he is wearing?
It’s very important. A right pair of shoes not only compliment the outfit, but can also highlight a man’s taste and reveal his personality. A right pair of shoes can make a simple outfit outstanding. But on the other hand, the wrong shoe can ruin everything, even he wears the most expensive Tom Ford suit.
You're quite loud in saying your brand is 'inspired by London', what does this mean?
London is definitely the most fashionable city in my mind. London has a long history of sartorial menswear as well as street wear. It has something very classic, but also something rebellious in its DNA at the same time. Just by looking at people walking around in London inspires me a lot.
You stock quite a wide range of footwear for men at Vivvant, why did you pick these types?
I find them very classic, but at the same time, can be quite versatile. We want to create a collection which men can dress up or down up easily with different outfits.
Our Chelsea boot is a perfect example. A nice pair of brown patina Chelsea boots can go very well with a navy pin-striped suits, but can also match a pair of dark jeans very well.
Are there any new types you're looking to introduce in the future?
We believe the future menswear trend will get closer and closer to smart casual look and people will care about the comfort more. And we would like to respond to this trend by introducing more casual styles in the collection.
Why do you believe more people are becoming conscious about the quality of the footwear that they are wearing?
We believe that people care about the details of many things nowadays, including shoes. More people are willing to spend time to understand what they are buying.
With 2022 just beginning what's the plan for the next 12 months?
Apart from putting more smart casual styles in the collection, we would also like to introduce a collection of small leather bags and goods. Besides, we would also like to explore more opportunities to introduce our brand toward Europe continent and Asia.
Jin, Thank you for your time.
Thank you, Curtis.
You can shop the full range of collections from Vivvant over at www.Vivvant.co.uk