You may know Dre London as Post Malone’s manager, however, his talents don’t stop there. After years on hold, he has officially launched his own women’s shoe brand called Kruel London. And how he got here isn’t what you’d expect.
The London-born music executive was looking to break into the music industry in 2008 when he made his move from the U.K. to New York. By the time 2012 came around, he hadn’t taken off in the way that he had hoped so his vision started to shift.
“Sometimes in life something hits you, smacks you, with a passion that you didn’t even know you had,” he told FN. Despite no experience with shoes, London decided to take action.
After admiring women’s shoes day in and day out on the streets of New York and seeing a Bullets 4 Peace necklace one night, London was inspired to redesign a traditional women’s heel and replace it with a sleek, modern bullet. “I just started building off this idea of women’s empowerment and creating a shoe line that would empower women in every step she takes.”
Enter: the bullet heel — the brand’s signature design, which is patented and featured in every style.
This concept to create a unique heel shape motivated by female empowerment wasn’t exactly out of his realm. Growing up in a house full of women had prepped him for this moment, he said. “It just made me look at life in a different way from a lot of men and my appreciation for how we got here on Earth is unlike most.”
London began to take shoe design courses and he traveled to Italy countless times until landing on the Strappa factory in Civitanova Marche to help bring his vision to life. Then in 2014, when London was starting to see the beginning stages of his luxury label unfold, he meets unknown artist Post Malone. Because of this (and what has turned into the singer’s meteoric rise) Kruel London was put on hold. Though, London credits his passion for shoes for reinvigorating his love of music.
“I actually feel like without my shoe idea, I might not have made it in the music business,” London explained. “It made me think about chasing your dreams, chasing something that doesn’t have an end goal and to never give up.”
That mantra has since worked both ways. Despite his massive success in music, five years later, London knew he had to continue and finish off what he started in footwear.
Available now is the debut capsule of Kruel London’s spring ’21 collection, which features a black nappa leather sandal adorned with gold chain hardware and a neoprene bootie, available in olive green and stone.
London is launching direct-to-consumer through Kruel London’s own e-commerce site with multiple drops to help build buzz. Creating brand awareness is something he’s become an expert at in his music career, and starting a brand in a pandemic may have deterred others but not London.
“We can’t think about the traditional. We can’t think about everything that’s happened before. We’re in a different time right now. Nothing is normal anymore,” he said. “So ‘Why now?’ Why not now?”