Baudoin & Lange designs and crafts luxury footwear of the highest aesthetic and functional value while focusing exclusively on the creation of category-defining products. In this interview, RLI sits down with Bo Van Langeveld, Founder & CEO and Allan Baudoin, Founder & Creative Director to learn more about a company that has quickly found its feet in the market.
Since its launch in 2016, Baudoin & Lange has become a vehicle for the development of a different kind of luxury, one that is defined by equal parts beauty, well-living and cultural heritage. The brand seeks to create a new sense of “well-living” for their clientele, through the comforting thoughtfulness they integrate into every product they design.
The Co-Founders both independently identified a common problem in the industry and made a commitment to solve it together and thus Baudoin & Lange was born.
“We launched our flagship boutique within the iconic Burlington Arcade back in October 2019 and the boutique allows us to introduce the brand’s cornerstone values – including fine craftsmanship and timeless design – to the celebrated London landmark,” explains Allan Baudoin, Founder & Creative Director of Baudoin & Lange.
“The store offers clients a personalised approach with the opportunity for customisation and this is only the beginning of a further retail expansion in years to come… starting this year with our first flagship store in New York City,” adds Bo Van Langeveld, Founder & CEO of the company.
The company are currently working on their upcoming New York site and they are also looking to open their second London store, with the perfect location for this still being decided on.
While the owners remain coy on the development pipeline for the business, they both assert that they are constantly looking into new ventures and markets, but that they need to proceed with them when it makes the most sense. They currently distribute online almost everywhere in the world (over 100 countries so far) and they always keep an open mind on when the next venture will take place.
While still a young brand, Baudoin & Lange has a distinctive aesthetic and remains true to their brand promise and focuses on quality which maintains their relevant place in the market.
“These days it is not so much about the big fish in the pond but the small, fast and reactive ones that are able to adapt faster to a very changing environment,” explains Langeveld.
“We believe in focus, doing a few things exceptionally well. All our products are category-defining and 1000s of samples of are being worked through in our R&D stages to make the perfect shoe for its category,” Baudoin comments.
One reason why the retail store remains relevant is because visitors can receive knowledgeable expertise and advice, which makes a trip to a store or boutique worthwhile. At Baudoin & Lange’s boutique in the Burlington Arcade, London, they provide a relaxed environment where clients can enjoy choosing their shoes and even accessing the company’s “Made to Order” program where they can customise almost every aspect of their Sagan Classics from colour combinations to initial personalisation elements.
In offering this expertise and customisation, the business is looking to continue building loyalty with customers, continue to engage with customers face-to-face and continue to improve their brand experience for new and returning customers.
A brand that was born digitally, Baudoin & Lange has embraced social media from day one as part of their promotional exposure. This has supported their expansion and continues to do so but the Co-Founders both agree it is a very different landscape and is now a very crowded field. Remaining relevant is the next chapter of the challenge and they agree that again, if the products are of the highest quality, they will speak for themselves.
Moving on from social media, we ask the founders about sustainability within the business and how they play their part within this important aspect of retail today?
“Our commitment to the “Conversation of Balance” is integral to our functioning as a company, requiring commitments that are both technical and principled. In terms of technique, this refers to our sourcing, careful use of natural resources and minimal waste. This means guiding the product through its entire life cycle from production to consistent and joyful use,” explains Baudoin.
“Meanwhile at the level of principles, conservation demands that we prioritise slower, responsible work and products through extensive research. By working with local suppliers and tanneries together as a closely bound group, they are committed to a deliberate and inherently thoughtful production process – approaching each project with the determination to create the next category-defining product,” Langeveld elaborates.
As a young, entrepreneurial business Baudoin & Lange always try to look forward and are always looking to stay relevant and always looking to add value for their customers. They are not a brand created through smoke and mirrors and they aim to remain that way moving forward. They believe in a mix of brick-and-mortar paired with a strong online presence and they want to ensure guests get the same high level of service and branded experience, wherever they buy their products.
“In recent years luxury has been redefined, with consumers now prioritising craftsmanship, expertise and meaningful experiences. There has been a shift in finding the right balance between casualwear and smart attire. By promoting effortlessness and versatility, we occupy a significant and prime position within the new luxury sector, as it continues to satisfy both the formerly established luxury set and a legion of new affluent clientele,” highlights Baudoin.
“We are a product-lifestyle company, designing, crafting and delivering footwear of high aesthetic and functional value. As we stride forward on our journey we seek to amplify ‘well-living’ worldwide through the comforting thoughtfulness integrated into every product we make,” Langeveld concludes.