At ADDICTED we talk a lot about dreams. We discuss getting to live out our thanks to this platform, we try and help make others come true, and we share stories of those who help to inspire all of us to strive to fulfil our ultimate goals.
That’s why we started the Dream Job Diary.
This week’s person of interest does seem to be living the dream, so we wanted to chat with Paul Janssen from ECCO to learn more about him, his journey and hopefully learn a little more about one of the most talked-about men’s dress shoes of the moment, the Vitrus Mondial.
His career began in Switzerland with one of the oldest and best-known premium department stores in the world – Jemoli – working in Retail Sales. From there, he returned to his home country, Holland, working with shoemakers Manfield, firstly as a Product Manager, and then as a Quality Inspector.
The next 20 years Paul worked in Italy with premium and top luxury shoe brands like s.Oliver, Marc o Polo, Paul Smith, Kenneth Cole, Rockport and Hugo Boss. At Hugo Boss, he helped set up their first shoe collection in 1994 and was responsible for Product Development in their shoe-factory. More than 15 years of experience here refined his passion for luxury Men’s shoemaking, within the high-end Italian fashion market.
Since joining ECCO 6 years ago, Paul has overseen the Product Strategy in Men’s, using his experience in premium footwear to help re-position the brand amongst formal shoe collections globally. For Paul, the launch of the VITRUS™ platform, and its current Vitrus Mondial project mark a significant turning point for ECCO and an exciting opportunity to redefine how consumers interact with the brand.
So what did Paul have to say about his success, career and the latest offering from ECCO? Well, let’s dive right in!
What is your official title? Do you have one?
Category Director men’s shoes
How did you get into this line of work?
To make a long story short: I have been In the shoe business for over 30 years. I started as a salesperson for three years in retail in Switzerland and the Netherlands. Then I moved to Italy in the shoe- industry.
Did not plan but happened to be there for 23 years. Learning by doing day by day taking care of development new collections, production and quality management, and international sourcing. Meanwhile started set up own factory in Italy and in 1995 started the licence Hugo Boss shoes (development and production). After eight successful years, I became M.D. of Hugo Boss shoes and accessories business unit until I decided to leave Italy for family reasons.
How did you come to start working for ECCO?
I decided to move away from Italy with my family and ECCO being a great professional shoe-company was my first choice which I am convinced was the right one.
What do you think you bring to the table?
Good match with ECCO. I bring 360 degrees experience in shoe development/production/
What sets ECCO apart from other brands?
Our embedded permanent drive for innovation plus our state of the art production facilities and methods.
Tell us about the latest collection from ECCO.
Vitrus Mondial is a true formal shoe – range with a slightly elongated last. The product is smart, sleek and stylish. We have used a full leather sole with a smooth leather welt and with intarsia protection. This makes the product suitable for a 12-month use. We are using premium calf leather made in our tannery with a unique antique finish, which makes the shoe look very different than any other product. It took us two years to get this innovative technology with leather sole done.
A real formal shoe with sneaker-wearing comfort.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to get into your industry aka one day has your job?
Have the right mindset, learn, listen, observe, go the extra mile and nothing is impossible and never give up mentality are the most important ingredients.
Big thanks to Paul for chatting with us!
The Vitrus Mondial is stylish, well made, and one of the most comfortable and durable men’s dress shoes I’ve ever tested. I have to tip my hat to Paul and the team at ECCO, for making a remarkable collection of innovative yet classic men’s footwear.
If you’re looking to learn more or pick up a pair of the Vitrus Mondial for yourself, visit the ECCO Website today.
This is a sponsored post in collaboration with ADDICTED Media Inc. and ECCO Canada.