The New Red Wing Shoes HQ Europe In Amsterdam
Red Wing Shoes recently moved into a new building in Amsterdam. The building has a multiple function for the Amercian heritage footwear brand. Scroll down to read all about the ins and outs.
The new Red Wing Shoes HQ in Amsterdam. Photo by Rik van Dijk.
Interview With Rik Van Dijk (Red Wing Shoes)
Red Wing Shoes moved to an extraordinary new location in the city centre of Amsterdam so I sit down with Rik van Dijk, marketing manager Europe, to talk about this milestone. We also talked about the brand in general, his role at Red Wing, upcoming releases, and many more. Below the interview and some exclusive pictures of the new HQ.
LJ: To kick-off, can you introduce yourself? Who’re you and what is your function at Red Wing Shoes?
R: My name is Rik van Dijk. I’m responsible for the European marketing of Red Wing Heritage in Europe.
Originally I’m coming from the action sport side of the business. I started in the footwear industry for a footwear and apparel company from California as a salesman. From there I started working as a marketing manager for Vans. As all skaters that grow older you try to find some passion that keeps you sharp next to skating. For me that was Custom Motor bikes. That’s also how I came in contact with Red Wing. The Red Wing boots are perfect for riding a motorcycle. They last, they’re durable, safe and of course they look good…haha.
When I started at Red Wing I found out what a great company it is. It’s still family owned and all company decisions are taken with the workers in mind. I also love the fact that quality is always key, Red Wing always look at this aspect first before anything else. If Red Wing can’t guarantee the quality, they just don’t make the product. If for some reason there is a problem with a boot Red Wing will do all they can to fix the problem. This makes our work really rewarding. We’re always working towards a positive result and we know the company is supporting and protecting us.
LJ: Red Wing Shoes recently moved to a new building. Can you explain why it moved? What was the reason?
R: We recently moved because we needed to leave the building where we were located first. The owner stopped all the leases and is going to renovate it completely. That left us no choice and we needed to find a new space. We were sad in the beginning as we had a nice and unique office with a perfect view over the water in Amsterdam. But I guess we deserved some extra luck as we found a great place in the center of Amsterdam. It’s part of an old Church that was build in 1621 (even older than Red Wing, haha). This place fits us as a glove. The old and robust character of the building made it easy for us to build our office and showroom. We’re very happy to be here.
LJ: What’s the function of the new building?
R: It’s the Head Quarter for Red Wing Heritage in Europe. We have a small team of 5 people in the office that take care of the Red Wing Stores, the multibrand stores, the customers service and marketing. From this office we work closely with our sales agents that work from their country’s.
LJ: Next to the new building, what can we expect more of the brand this upcoming period?
R: We’re always working on new products and idea’s to expand our collection. Because of the nature of our product, the factory in Red Wing and the quality we desire, we’re always moving slowly. It takes a long time before an idea becomes a real product at Red Wing. This is why we do not chase trends or try to be seasonal. We only release products that are supposed to last for years in the collection. There is no time pressure to release new products. We release new products when the product is ready. We have launched a full Red Wing Heritage women’s collection in the end of 2016. (Read more about this collection here.) This collection is relatively new, so you can expect new models every year. The women’s collection has plenty of room for extra silhouettes and we just began exploring that specific women’s quality leather footwear channel.
For men’s we have a new collection of boots coming out in Fall 2018. We have been working quite long on designing, working and fine tuning this collection. I can’t tell you too much yet, but it’s a high-end quality collection of boots with the best leathers from our tannery (Featherstone Leather, from the SB Foot Tannery in Red Wing Minnesota). It’s a more dressed boot that can also serve you when you need to dress up. It will not take long before we will be able to show you how they look like.
LJ: Recently Red Wing Shoes launched also some t-shirts. Are there more items scheduled to launch next to footwear?
R: We did decide to bring a small t-shirt collection. We have so much demand from our brand fans for t-shirts. The Red Wing Work division has of course some t-shirts in the collection, but it’s not easy to find them in Europe. So we thought the time was right to make some real Red Wing Heritage tees for our customers. They’re made in the USA. We always had socks and foot beds in the collection, they play an important role in the right fit of our boots. Fit is key for a Red Wing boot and in some cases a foot bed (insole) or the right sock just creates a perfect fit. We’re adding a lined insole as well to keep your feet even warmer during cold Winters. Especially the Nordic country’s and Russia need a lined insole.
Than we have our relatively new leather goods collection with wallets, card holders and so on. (Read more about them here). Here we try to create pieces that last forever and will have a purpose in the next generations. This means we try to make items that you could pass on to your grand children and they can use it as well. Maybe they will use it. We try to stay away from telephone covers that are not useable after the phone is replaced. No disposable items that are here for a short term, but items that last and are relevant for generations.
A Look Inside The New Red Wing Shoes HQ In Amsterdam
Photo’s by Tom Bing.