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IN CONVERSATION WITH JONATHAN PETERS OF AMBERJACK
The world of work is changing rapidly, yet dress shoes have barely changed since the 1800s. Through material innovation and a unique vertical supply chain, Amberjack is creating a new type of men's dress shoe. After years working with big companies like Cole Haan, Allen Edmonds, and Adidas, the founder Jonathan Peters got frustrated by how bleak the landscape of dress shoes had become. Work is changing, technology is advancing, yet dress shoes are stuck in the past. The brand wanted to create something new by avoiding the complicated supply chains full of shortcuts and compromises, and partnered with one of the best tanneries in the world. They've created entirely new materials for soles that are extra comfortable, and put leather and science fiction into the hands of craftsmen in Portugal. They also use 100% plastic-free packaging and promise their shoes will last a lot longer than the fast-fashion, disposable dress shoes they share a price-point with.
In a recent episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interviewed Jonathan Peters, Founder of Amberjack about his career to date, and the unique concept of this new brand operating within the dress shoe category. The idea came after the realisation of feeling unconnected with his shoes whilst working within the corporate world. He felt he could bring the same excitement many guys feel with clothing brands to the footwear world. Our host Peter Brooker and Jonathan also chatted about early prototypes, how to make shoes built for comfort, how the brand is adopting sustainability, and how to get a 10,000+ waitlist for a debut shoe.
“Amberjack is designing footwear for the future of work. It is essentially a footwear brand with a modern take on dress shoes, which we see as an old, antiquated category. We spent a long time on the product development side, developing some really cool new technology. I'm using the athletic world, and then coupling that with design that's a little more casual. Dress shoes are either very traditionally made products that kill your feet, or they are comfort brands that aren’t geared towards a younger consumer. When you look at the consumer landscape, from younger to older, people often get quite excited about their favourite articles of clothing. However, with dress shoes you just didn't find that. We're excited to see what people say when they get their hands a pair of Amberjacks. We work with an ISO certified tannery, which is also our business partner and as a result, we get our leather at cost price. We pass those savings onto the consumer and that's how we're able to have a 100% full grain shoe at our price point.”
This is a shortened transcribed edit of episode 101 of the MenswearStyle Podcast with Jonathan Peters, Founder of amberjack.shop. You can listen to the full version below or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favourite podcast player.