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AGENT PROFILE


Cheryl Taylor, Editor, pitches a few questions to footwear agents Paul Tobin and Kevin Buck of North and South Footwear Ltd.


Tell us about your business? How long have you been partners? North and South Footwear Company Limited is partnership between Paul Tobin and Kevin Buck and celebrated it’s 10th anniversary in May 2019.


Where is your home Town? Both of us are Londoners, Paul originally was from North London and Kevin from the South. Hence the name!


Where do you live now? Paul lives in Hertfordshire ( just) and Kevin has moved to West London.


Are you a family man? Both have young families, Paul’s eldest is 18 years old and Kevin’s youngest is 9!


When and how did you get into Footwear? Paul: 28 years ago, he started with the Overland Group- looking after Caterpillar, Travel Fox, Chevignon and Paul Smith, this was after a Saturday job in Russel and Bromley in Brent Cross! Kevin: Originally started in Fashion as a PR,


then worked in Marketing for Woodhouse menswear in Oxford Street in the 80’s, eventually moving into sales working with brands such as John Richmond’s Destroy, Moschino, Mui Mui and running Armani in the UK. Finally ending-up working as a freelance agent for Kangol, Dunlop Green Flash ( run by Paul’s Uncle, Gary then), Acupuncture, Ben Sherman footwear and Gola Classics.


Which brands do you represent now? Les Tropeziennes par M Belarbi: France Macarena: Spain Natural World: Spain Egos-Copenhagen: Denmark Moheda Clogs: Sweden Oak and Hyde: UK Le Frik bags: Spain


Which brands have you worked with in the past? Paul: Rocket Dog, Emu, Hummel, Replay. Kevin: Dunlop Green Flash, Acupuncture, Gola Classics, Mui Mui, Kangol, North and South; Sanita Clogs, Snipe,


Bogs, Coolways.


How many retailers do you visit regularly, any favourites? From our customer base, we try and visit as many as possible, not just for sales but outside of the selling window with store visits and staff training which we feel is an important part of the job now. Favourites? we love them all.


Which footwear trade shows do you attend? We attend as participants Scoop, Top Drawer, Moda, Harrogate Gift Fair, Micam and Berlin. We do try and get and see other shows such as Copenhagen when the time allows.


Which show works best for you? It’s ‘horses for courses’ really, Scoop works well for Les Tropeziennes and Macarena and both these will be at Micam along with Natural World. Moda; Oak and Hyde. Top Drawer and Harrogate are obviously the


best for Egos and Natural World and Lefrik. We have been working with Fair Trade and Eco brands for a while since Snipe and it’s something we believe in where possible and what the consumer is looking for too. Micam: gives us the chance to maybe catch up


with some people we haven’t seen yet as well starting conversations for the season ahead.


What car do you drive? We are in the process of changing over to reflect the philosophy of the agency. Kevin has just invested in a Lexus Hybrid.


Which Footwear brands do you wear? We do actually wear the products quite a lot, we really do enjoy the comfort aspect of them so


Paul Tobin, M: 07779 658955 • E: paul@northandsouthfootwear.co.uk - Kevin Buck, M: 07958 649 559 • E: kevin@northandsouthfootwear.co.uk 26 • FOOTWEAR TODAY • AUGUST 2019


Egos slippers around the house/office/trade show (we are not joking) and now the new wool Egos sneaker allows us outdoor use as well. Natural World feature a lot over the next few summer months. Otherwise names such as Grenson, Nike,


Adidas, Fila and Colchester Rubber Company can be found in our shoe cupboards.


What’s your favourite Footwear Brand? Both: Egos!!! we often wear them on the stand at trade shows and now we can even wear the new sneakers in the rain and cold!


Any funny stories to amuse the trade? Paul: early this century I was offered the Geox range for London but turned it down as the collection was too big! Kevin: We visited Copenhagen for the first time


and started at the Bella Centre. Going off in different directions we met up again with the same shoe in hand from the clog brand Sanita! We knew then that we had to work with them and did for several good years!


Any plans for the future you would like to tell us about? Keeping doing the same things really as we have been doing for the past 10 years. We still feel there is a massive potential in the Fair Trade/Eco field with all the brands, the times they are changing and each one we choose to work with has its own DNA, something that is important for us.


On the Fashion side we know the market that


Dresco have developed for Les Tropeziennes in Europe is enormous with multi- purchases the norm for the summer season and so hoping to develop that practice here in the UK with the help of some clever marketing!


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