From finance to footwear: An interview with the creators of Baudoin & Lange | Luxury Lifestyle Magazine

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Words by Jessica Cooper

In 2019, a new store surreptitiously opened in the iconic Burlington Arcade: Baudoin & Lange, proudly displaying an array of glossy loafers that are Parisian in aesthetic but also blend the time-honoured tradition of English shoemaking on their shelves. Without much fanfare, I learnt that Baudoin & Lange have developed a hush-hush cult-like following since its creation in 2016. 

Intrigued, I sat down with founders Allan Baudoin and Bo van Langeveld – a French-Dutch Duo – to discover more of how their unusual background in technology, finance and race cars led them to finding their vocation in the world of luxury footwear.

Baudoin & Lange
Baudoin & Lange have developed a hush-hush cult-like following since its creation in 2016

How did you both meet?

We connected through the alumni listing of our masters’ university. We both independently had developed an interest in shoes without knowing each other. From day one speaking it felt we were on the same page, and it was meant to be that we would find each other. 

What was the catalyst realisation moment that made you both realise ‘we have got to create the ultimate comfortable formal shoe’?

Bo: It was in October 2015, I was contemplating my next move, that I realised that men in corporate senior positions removed their shoes after office hours due to discomfort, in preparation for the daily commute. I immediately identified a gap for a product and a prospective market that was ready to shift to comfortable shoes whilst still looking smart and stylish. This led me to approach fellow London Business School alumnus and newly turned bespoke shoe designer, Allan Baudoin. 

Within a few weeks and a few meetings, we partnered to create the first comfortable dress-shoe that would be versatile to wear from day to night and in most environments. 

Baudoin & Lange handmade loafers
Handmade in the fine tradition of bespoke shoemakers, the Baudoin & Lange range of luxury loafers are designed for timeless sophistication and engineered for modern lifestyles

What’s your core brand philosophy?

Baudoin & Lange is a product-lifestyle company, designing, crafting, and delivering footwear of high aesthetic and functional value. The brand seeks to amplify ‘well-living’ worldwide: through the comforting thoughtfulness integrated in every product made. We strive every day to make our brand ethos a reality.

Describe to me the quintessential Baudoin & Lange wearer.

Our consumer is international, well-travelled who has an interest in styling and quality. 

Baudoin & Lange is a lovely blend of European, British and Parisian aesthetics, is that something you both consciously aspired to achieve or did it come naturally?

The aesthetic direction comes from Allan as creative director of the business. Growing up in Paris, Allan spent his childhood in the intellectual heart of Paris surrounded by art and immersed in ‘Rive-Gauche’ aesthetics. As a teenager, he jumped at every chance to explore the renowned Savile Row while visiting the UK. 

Baudoin & Lange luxury loafers
Baudoin & Lange is a product-lifestyle company, designing, crafting, and delivering footwear of high aesthetic and functional value

The city that inspires you the most?

New York.

From race-cars to shoes, how did that happen?

Bo: After years navigating international racetracks, I began channelling the valuable skill honed by being a racing-driver towards an alternative career path. After studying around the world, I came to London where I graduated at Business School, and naturally took a job shortly afterwards in finance. Luckily, it was there where I had come to all of a sudden, an ultimately life-defining, realisation. I marvelled at the level of discomfort my co-workers (and myself) were experiencing and the lack of any solutions, which led me to approach Allan. 

luxury shoes
The brand’s commitment to innovative design and traditional shoemaking techniques allows them to handcraft a collection of the highest quality shoes with a strong sartorial edge

How did the collaboration with Alexander Kraft come about? And do you have any dream collaborations?

Alexander was firstly a client and became a friend of the brand soon after. It was a very organic process after a few meetings that we wanted to combine our expertise and allow his personal interpretation of our iconic Sagans. 

The collection sold out in a few days very rapidly. It is a clear appetite for special editions so we will see more of these collaborations moving forward. We don’t have a dream collaboration planned as such, every one is special and allows us a brand to push the limits of our creativity and explore new techniques and materials. 

shoe brand

What are the differences in style that separate you from each other? Or are you both on similar wavelengths?

We do have independent styles but are complementary. That has been the secret to our success so far. We bring a different skillset to the partnership that makes both stronger. 

Italian or French Riviera?

Both please.

Baudoin & Lange founders
The founders Allan Baudoin (left) and Bo van Langeveld (right)

Fictional characters that embody that would be the ultimate Baudoin & Lange wearer?

(I’m thinking Jude Law from The Talented Mr Ripley…)  The styling in the talented Mr Ripley for sure blends perfectly with our shoes, but as the ultimate wearer it would have to be Steve McQueen in Bullitt from 1968 as one of the most stylish, effortless and confident men. 

What can we expect from you guys in the future?

We want to remain focused on what we do best and become the best at it.

Follow Jessica on Instagram @ jbibicooper

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