New Kid on the Block: Jack Erwin

Jack Erwin outsideShopping for a nice pair of men’s dress shoes can be frustrating. They’re often jaw-droppingly expensive, drunk on trends, or shoddily made.

Enter Jack Erwin, founded by Lane Gerson and Ariel Nelson, which aims to disrupt the men’s shoe business the way that Warby Parker and Bonobos have affected their respective categories. The new “Fitting Room” at Hubert and Collister looks like a traditional shoe store, but it’s not: There’s no inventory, just shoes to try on, so costs are kept minimal. That means the shoes retail for around $200. “When we started, we wanted to be direct to consumer,” says Nelson. “But we always knew we’d have physical spaces, too. You need to see the quality and the fit.”

The shoes are made in Spain from Italian and French leather. There are only around a dozen styles—sizing differs from collection to collection—and the founders want to keep it that way. They didn’t come from the fashion world, so they’re immune to trends. “This product is about quality,” says Nelson. “It’s hard to say, ‘This is what we’ve got,’ and commit to it.”

The best news for folks around here is that expedited shipping is included if you place your order at the Fitting Room—the shoes will arrive at your home within a day or two.

Why Tribeca? “It’s my favorite block in the city!” says Nelson. “I’ve been saying forever that I want to live on Hubert Street. When the space came online, the landlord—a Jack Erwin fan—sought us out. We didn’t even use brokers.” These guys take their direct-to-consumer commitment very seriously….

Jack Erwin is at 10 Hubert (at Collister);

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EGG by Susan Lazar