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Up Close: In Conversation with Faryl Robin’s James Biolos

Up Close is Sourcing Journal’s regular check-in with industry executives to get their take on topics ranging from personal style to their company’s latest moves. In this Q&A, James Biolos, president of footwear label Faryl Robin, shares what footwear can borrow from bakers and why size inclusivity also matters for footwear.

James Biolos Faryl Robin
James Biolos, president of Faryl Robin Courtesy

Name: James Biolos

Title: president

Company: Faryl Robin

Which other industry has the best handle on the supply chain? What can footwear learn?

I think bakers have a better handle on the supply chain. We can learn from them to make what you can sell, keep it fresh and evolve as tastes change.

How would you describe yourself as a consumer?

As a consumer, I buy thoughtfully and use for a long time.

As a consumer, what does it take to win your loyalty?

As a consumer, a smart, subtle twist, executed with high quality, will win me over.

What’s your typical work uniform?

My typical work uniform is lightweight and, these days, monochromatic.

Which fashion era is your favorite?

My favorite fashion era is 1990s in Japan, where consumers created street fashion.

Who’s your style icon?

Rei Kawakubo is my style icon—meticulous elegance that breaks conventional thinking.

What’s the best decision your company has made in the past year?

Our best decision was to commit to our employees to make it through this together.

How would you describe your corporate culture?

Our corporate culture is a Socially Conscious Wolfpack.

What can companies learn from COVID-19?

COVID is teaching us all about what is essential—and what is not.

What should be the footwear industry’s top priority now?

The footwear industry’s top priority is to recognize and serve the rising standards of consumers.

What keeps you up at night?

The fragility of this moment keeps me up at night.

What makes you most optimistic?

What makes me most optimistic is 10,000 years of rising forces of equality and adaptation.

Tell us about your company’s latest product introduction:

We are so proud of our recent Faryl brand launch with Zappos, integrating style and inclusive sizing (5-16). Every person—regardless of the size of their foot—should be able to express themselves and be their best!