The Face behind the Front Door: Reinhard Frans


The building on Frederikstraat 8 was earlier a fish shop and then an estate agency until July 2014 when it was transformed to the shoe shop of Reinhard Frans. We spoke with the manager, David Jacobs.

As read on the website, designing, developing, fabricating and selling shoes is the passion of Reinhard Frans Withaar and his sons. He started years ago in Apeldoorn selling exclusive shoes of expensive brands such as Ludwig Reiter, Church, and Croquet & Jones which can be sold at about €600 per pair – not for everyone.

As of 2008, when the crisis started and the demand of expensive shoes diminished, he worked together with his sons for the development of an own brand. The necessary experience was built through the long cooperation with international top shoemakers and at the end of 2012 he introduced his own collection. David mentions: “back then we had a business at Noordeinde and later at the Plaats, named Mbech, and since July we are here under the name Reinhard Frans.

Reinhard Frans is a graphic designer and he designs all shoes himself. Of course, quality and exclusivity have a price but they strive for quality with a low price. Only quality leather from France and Italy is used and all shoes are “handmade” in their factory in Bucharest, Romania, where 15 shoemakers work. Since everything is designed and fabricated under own administration, the shoes – all shoes – can be sold for €150 per pair. The shoes have leather soles but they can be delivered, upon request, also with other material.

The collection includes mainly men’s shoes, from size 38 to 49. A pair of “ballerinas” was also to be found in the shop, also for the price of €150, but according to David the plan is to design and produce also some “pumps” in the future. Nevertheless, men’s shoes remain central.

The from of the shoes is very important. Each foot is different, from narrow to broad, from small to big. There are 15 different kinds at the shop, said David, but even if a certain form does not exist, it can be made for only €30 extra. Also, the client can buy a matching belt in the colour of the shoes, which can also be custom made. Or what about a matching telephone case of the same colour?

Besides the business on Frederikstraat, they also have a shop in Apeldoorn and soon they will open one in Zwolle. Moreover, they also have a “shop in a shop” in clothing stores of Amsterdam and Arnhem.

The clients can also find them on the website, also on their profiles on Facebook and Twitter, while there are flyers made regularly and spread in the neighbourhood.

Are you looking for quality, handmade shoes? Then visit Reinhard Frans at Frederikstraat 8.

15 Januari 2015, Josephine de Vijlder (DP)