Moti Ankari, Advertising and Marketing Communications ’14, Marcel Floruss, Fashion Merchandising Management ’14

Authentic, high-quality, and dapper describe Ankari Floruss, a new online men’s footwear brand inspiring the gent in all of us. Founders Moti Ankari and Marcel Floruss sought to create a direct-to-consumer business that provides high-octane design while educating its wearers on the grammar of elegance.
Culling from his experiences as an associate fashion editor at Bloomberg Pursuits and as the founder of the blog The Metro Man, Ankari first conceived of this idea in late 2015. He then approached Floruss, a close friend whom he had met at a party for Nylon magazine while both were attending FIT. Floruss was a seasoned blogger himself, running One Dapper Street since 2013.
Social media accounts for all of their sales, with Instagram providing the most engagement: even the brand’s 2,000 followers are enough to move product. (It should be noted that Floruss’s own Instagram account has 300,000 followers.) Ankari Floruss veers away from advertising or overly promotional posts and opts for organic posts laced with storytelling potential. “Authenticity is very important to both of us, so our brand voice is critical to building our community,” Ankari says. “We’re our target customers’ age, and we talk to them like that. Colloquial yet respectful, like friends with good manners. After all, we all do aspire to be gentlemen.”

“Friday Navy” tasseled calf suede loafers.

Featuring a different design for every day of the week, Ankari Floruss’s fall/winter 2016 collection focuses on core styles that reflect the brand’s elevated-yet-approachable sensibility. Take, for example, the lean contours and whimsical tassels of their “Friday Navy” calf suede loafers ($245) or their buttery nappa leather “Saturday White” sneakers ($195). Both classic styles demonstrate expert craftsmanship. The dress shoes are produced in Spain while their leather kicks are made in Italy.
Funded through both founders and a silent investor, Ankari Floruss is a three-person operation that also includes a licensor with years of industry experience. “We wanted to create a collection consisting of any guy’s favorite pairs of shoes,” Ankari says. “Nothing more, nothing less. We want to be a trustworthy source for our customers…a place where they can shop without having to second-guess the validity of our fashion choices, neither too bland nor too extravagant.” —Christiane Nickel, Fashion and Textile Studies ’11

Featured Photo: Ankari wears “Tuesday Espresso” double monk straps, and Floruss wears “Wednesday Sand” calf suede Chelsea boots.