Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Adam Derrick Of To Boot Plans Growth Of His Company Through (gasp!) “Trust”


I had coffee today with Adam Derrick of To Boot (which most Sartorialists know as the best shoe store in New York which just happens to be nestled inside the best clothing store in New York, Bergdorf Goodman). Of course we spent most of the time talking about shoes we own, shoes we want to own and shoes we used to own. It was really funny listening to him talk about the horrors of a fine shoe fanatic trying to find a sneaker to work out in. Needless to say it ran along the lines of “do these make my butt look big?” jean shopping stories every woman can relate to.

I asked him about his business which he admits is growing at a very strong but manageable rate. Of course my next question was “what’s next? ” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard first hand or have read about these huge completely unrealistic expansion plans; New stores, more ads, new product lines, blah,blah, blah. Adam on the other hand, without a second’s hesitation, says to me “build more trust with my existing accounts.” So simple, so effective and so achievable a plan.

Adam confesses to not knowing all the minutiae of every door of Nordstrom or Saks or speciality stores that he is in but he does know he customer, no matter where they are in the country. By focusing on building trust, Adam has been able to get his buyers to literally “buy into” his vision of what is right for the To Boot customer in their store. If you have ever dealt with store owners or buyers it sounds like an easy thing to do but it really is not. With how the balance of power is in the business though right now, it is brilliant to focus on this because he will have to answer for it at the dreaded end-of-season gross margin meeting anyway. It is just refreshing to see someone putting their focus where it really matters, the customers they already have.

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15 comments

  1. Anonymous

    January 10, 2006 at 10:16 pm

    For the benefit of out-of-towners (in fact i’m not even in america) what up-market lines does To Boot carry? do they have a bespoke service on behalf of any shoemakers?

    matt

  2. Timo

    January 11, 2006 at 1:21 am

    Would be great to see another picture of him. I’m interessted at his scarf! Thank you.

  3. Anonymous

    January 11, 2006 at 1:22 am

    Unbuttoned sleeves… tsk tsk, how careless.

  4. The Sartorialist

    January 11, 2006 at 6:55 am

    I will do a style profile post on him soon and list his big shoe vendors. The ascot he was wearing was great, I’ll see if i have another photo that spotlights it a little better.

    ps, I think his buttins are undone because just as I got to the cafe I saw him helping change a tire on a taxi. He is really very nice

    • simpsonsmovieblew

      June 16, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      Nice is tipping a taxi driver. That’s something else.

  5. Anonymous

    January 11, 2006 at 10:58 am

    Ive got two pairs of To Boot New York shoes. The hold up pretty well and are great for someone with narrow feet.

  6. Otto

    January 11, 2006 at 1:47 pm

    A good look for work-a-day.
    The scarf (ascot?) prevents it being completely ordinary.

    I’m all for leaving those sleeves unbuttoned. Why go to the trouble of getting them if you don’t enjoy wearing them open?

    I have a pair of his suede pumps.
    With bows even!

    Fit is on the narrow side as mentioned above. Quality is pretty good. Style is middle of the road. Price seems a bit high for what you get.

    I wish him all the sucess he can stand. Nice guys shouldn’t finish last.

    I look forward to more about him.

    Otto.

  7. Anonymous

    January 12, 2006 at 6:24 pm

    The shoe dept at Bergdorf Goodman is second to none!

  8. Anonymous

    March 27, 2006 at 2:53 am

    Jacket buttons are undone to show off the real surgeons cuffs on the sleeve. Cheap jackets only have buttons sewn overtop without being able to unbutton. I just bought a piar of To Boot’s. Love em already.

  9. Anonymous

    July 12, 2006 at 5:15 pm

    Unfortunately, I have never bought a pair of To Boot shoes that didn’t fall apart within 6 months. They are, based on my experience, the worst quality expensive shoes available.

    • simpsonsmovieblew

      June 16, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      (I love my AD shoes as well — but I googled my way to this very fine page bc they too fell apart! I didn’t even know shoes had so many things that can go wrong.)

  10. Anonymous

    July 23, 2006 at 3:25 pm

    I have been buying his shoes for years and they are GREAT. Excellent quality and style. Worth every penny. I just wish he had his own store …

  11. Obaid

    February 1, 2009 at 4:12 am

    The unbuttoned jacket sleeves are a style statement… they are what’s called “functional” buttons and are a mark of a good jacket.

    See his profile picture on his own website… his first 2 sleeve buttons are also undone here

    http://www.toboot.com/about.aspx

  12. Patrick

    February 20, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Coincidentally I happen to be wearing a pair of To Boot shoes, bought at Nordstrom in LA about ten years ago. I purchased two pairs at the time in different colors. They often get compliments. Recently the most fashionable guy I know, an investment banker who travels to New York at least three times a month, asked me who made them and I replied, “To Boot” not at all imagining he’d know the brand and he responded, “Not surprised, they make great shoes.”

  13. Charles Sharoubim

    April 9, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Adam is an individual whom represents effortless style and it informs his design language in his footwear collection. Style is timeless and fashion is timely.

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