Scoop in the Summer with… Gerard Levy

Our Scoop in the Summer series is your passport to the summer holidays of Scoop’s key names, as well as your ticket to a sneak peek inside their SS20 collections.

With just a few more days to go until the Saatchi Gallery doors open onto Scoop SS20, we took a minute to find out a little more about Gerard Levy. Representing premium footwear label Arche at the show, Gerard told us a little more about his Maldives vacation spot and what he’s most looking forward to at Scoop this season.

It’s the summer season, so summer holidays are front and centre in our minds. Do you have a favourite holiday destination?
I love a beach holiday, so it would have to be the Maldives. We’ve been lucky enough to go 3 times now. Once as singletons and twice with family. It takes a while to get there and costs a bit, but it’s so
worth it. Each time has been amazing. Total relaxation on the softest beaches, blue sky and the most incredible crystal clear ocean. And of course, wonderful food and people.
Tell us a little more about your career in fashion.
I’ve been selling shoes since I was 10 years old. My Mother was one of the first stallholders at the original Dingwalls market, Camden in the 1980’s. Together with my sister too, we used to set up there 6am and not leave till 6pm. We sold hundreds of plimsoles and basketball boots for a pound or so every Sat & Sun! It was bloomin’ hard work, but it taught me so much. Then in 1985 we opened our shop ‘Spice’ in Primrose Hill (unheard of then) The shop has since won several Industry awards and is up for another Drapers awards this year too. I still continue to run the family shop. But over the last 20 years, I have ran and set up my own Agency. Since then I have represented several International brands & designers. Create my own trade fair, plus consult and curate for others major International fairs too. Now, I currently represent French footwear brand Arche & C.Doux from Menorca.
How do you decide which brands you want to work with?
By having a shop as well as an Agency, it puts me in a very unique position. Unless it’s already a very well-established brand, I always prefer to test the brand in my shop first. This way I can actually hear and see what the public feel and say about the brand. However, I am very particular about what brands I represent. Nowadays, there is sadly not as much diversity as there used to be. It’s all vey ‘samey’ now. So, when selecting a brand, they must have the full package and more than anything
else, have USP (a unique selling point) For me, I have to really love the brand I’m selling. I want the shops I work with to sell the shoes just as much as I do. It's about building a long-term relationship. I think (I hope!) my clients trust me to give them the right advice every time.
Can you describe the collections you’ll be bringing to Scoop? What are the aesthetics we can expect from your brands this season?
Arche was est. in 1968, but has evolved dramatically over the last 10 years. The brand was always well known and highly regarded for its quality and comfort. But they knew the look needed updating. This is all happened when Catherine Houlland took over from her father. Now, they are producing stunning footwear which is still incredibly comfortable, but its colourful and fresh and most importantly modern and contemporary too. Despite the change in design Arche still maintain high standards and continue to adopt a very complex manufacturing procedure. They use only the finest Nubucks and each sole is still injected with ‘lactea havea’ and each shoe has memory foam insoles too. It’s like walking on air! Arche is the perfect description of sports elegance and thus perfect for today’s market.
Why have you chosen to exhibit at Scoop this season?
I’ve always admired what Karen has done with Scoop. It’s the perfect location and perfect setting. Plus I agree entirely with the concept of matching art with fashion. In fact it’s one of the few trade fairs I have been to which I genuinely enjoy and look forward too. Not only that, I think the customer enjoy it too. And most importantly, we always get good orders and new customers at the show.