With one foot in the role of planning director at TBWA\London, and the other firmly planted in a black calf leather, matte-heeled sandal, David Frymann talks to a sensibly-shoed Ryan Watson about furious footwear, following women, and juggling strategy and killer heels as a business model.
David Frymann spends some of his time as a planning director at TBWA\London following women around as they test his luxury shoe samples. Having launched Fury, a range of female footwear in 2010, it’s been helpful, he says, having them around.
“The good thing about working in the office is that there are so many girls there and you can use them for feedback,” he states, as he takes me through a selection of the high-end designs. In the mix is a mushroom court shoe; a peep-toe wedge; a black calf leather, matte-heeled sandal; and a white python-skin ankle boot.
“I’ve always been a big fan of python skin, so it’s no surprise that it features in the range in black and white separately. You don’t often see white python boots and they’re a bit of a head turner,” he adds. All the designs are very different but share consistent features such as an origami swallow branding and signature zip pull.
Frymann’s female agency peers have actually been a major influence in aligning his brand’s stance as a result of their reactions to the designs. Having been with TBWA for 12 years (previously at the Manchester office for five of those) Frymann’s strategy planning has also been a big help in getting the business off the ground. “I put my planning skills to the test and started talking to the girls,” he says. “After showing them a load of shoes, the feeling was that they thought they were fierce.”
After several ‘consultation sessions’, Frymann and his business partner, shoe designer Lisen Magnusson, decided on the name Fury and the ‘fierce luxury footwear’ tagline and haven’t looked back since. Launching the brand two years ago, Frymann now spends Tuesday to Friday at the agency while Magnusson works on the shoes full-time.
And when he’s not at TBWA, the rest of Frymann’s week is spent galvanising Fury’s brand activity which, he’s discovered, has been an eye-opening experience. “For our first shoot, we burned one of our flagship lines. I ended up buying this garden weed spray unit, filling it with mineral oil and blasting a spray out in the back garden,” he recalls. “It didn’t light at all, because it was the wrong stuff, but I’d read about it on a fire-breathing website.”
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