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In Conversation with Sep Breukers of PERLIE

PERLIE is a Dutch men's footwear brand that provides dress shoes with the comfort of a sneaker. With ultimate comfort and classic design, these dress shoes can be worn comfortably all day long, for years to come. The brand has incorporated ten key features of a sneaker into their footwear, while retaining the build quality that characterises traditional dress shoes. This includes a sneaker insole and footbed, a newly created patented sole, all around comfort cushioning, and a new soft and more flexible leather for the inside. The result is a dress shoe that fits perfectly and requires no break-in period.

In a recent episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interviewed Sep Breukers, Founder of PERLIE about where the idea for his brand came from, his law background, and the obstacles he had to overcome to launch the brand. Our host Peter Brooker and Sep talked about manufacturing challenges, what differentiates a PERLIE shoe to others, the patent process, sustainability, and the steps of designing and creating an eCommerce website.

“PERLIE is a responsible men's footwear brand that provides shoes and boots with the comfort of sneakers. The idea is simple, we want to provide our customers with footwear you can comfortably wear all day long, while feeling like you're wearing a nice pair of sneakers. We did this by taking all the things that make our beloved sneakers as comfortable as they are and including those integrations such as soft cushioning, leather removable footbeds, anti-sweat breathable insoles, and a new type of softer and more flexible leather lining. This process took more than three years to get right. Whilst forming the brand we made many samples and got feedback from our customers directly. We're very lucky to have enough resources to build a good product from the ground up. Without having to compromise on quality, our asset to equity ratio is very healthy, the value of our assets substantially exceeds the amount that we borrowed.”

“I'm personally not too fond of having too much borrowed money in a company. The idea came to me when I was working as a tax lawyer and was looking for comfortable shoes. No matter how expensive the shoes were, or whatever brand I could choose from, there was simply no shoes on the market that satisfied my needs. There is a level of comfort in sneakers that weren't being mimicked by dress shoes at that time. Our shoes take a few steps extra to produce, and to make them more comfortable. And that's something that shoe factories are just not used to. A big part of the comfort is in the cushioning within the heel and the lining is made to be much more flexible and softer.”

This is a shortened transcribed edit of episode 152 of the MenswearStyle Podcast with Sep Breukers, Founder of perlieshoes.com. You can listen to the full version below or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favourite podcast player.


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