Q:How did the name Mephisto come about ?
A: When Martin Michaeli, a young German shoemaker, founded the company in 1965 he chose the name MEPHISTO for the following reasons: He needed to find a name that was not yet registered internationally. From the beginning, he wanted to sell his shoes not only in France but also worldwide, so he looked for a name that could be pronounced the same way in all languages.
He finally made the decision to call his brand MEPHISTO one day when he was in his house in Sessenheim, a small village close to the German border in the North-East of France, where Goethe himself has lived from 1770-1771. After having searched for a name in several books, that day he started reading “Faust” from Goethe. Right away, he liked the name of the character “Mephistopheles”. He shortened this to Mephisto & the name was not registered and can be pronounced easily an all languages.
Q: Can you explain the design process? Do you think the design process matches the name of the brand? Is there a correlation between the company name and company vision?
A:Mephistopheles is a German folklore character….. and as they say, “The Devil is in the details” – Mephisto is focused on details in every shoe we produce….nothing is overlooked or ignored when it comes to making the perfect Mephisto shoe.
Q: Talk about the Mephisto culture, how is it different from other brands?
A: We are true shoe makers at Mephisto. We own our own factories and can therefore monitor the production process from design to distribution. We do not outsource our production to third parties and take pride in every shoe that comes off our line. This is becoming a rare feature of most global shoe brands but is the cornerstone of our culture.
Q: I’m aware that Mephisto has won a few awards. Tell me more about the awards and what they mean to the brand?
A: MEPHISTO has received several awards: in addition to the Export Oscar' received twice from the French government. The brand is a three-time winner of the “Escarpin de Cristal,” given by the French retail shoe business, as being the “Best Shoe Brand in France”.
Q: Where do you predict the Mephisto brand will be in the next 5 years?
A: MEPHISTO will remain the leader in European walking shoes. However, we will continue to work hard on segmenting our product lines to different target groups in order to become a staple in the closet of any discerning consumer with an eye on style and comfort.
Q: What social causes are important/ or represented within the brand?
A: Sustainability and ECO conscious manufacturing procedures are paramount at Mephisto. We start with the selection of the finest materials available, produced by like-minded vendors and craft them with our own valued employees. This has been an area that most have cut costs in….we have in fact gone the other way to ensure a more long-term approach to building a truly sustainable business.