Shaper: Daniel Rubin

Show aired on 31st December 2016


Daniel Rubin

Daniel Rubin’s grandfather arrived in London from Lithuania in 1895. He subsequently opened a shoe workshop in Whitechapel, which he ran with his three sons, where they made ladies footwear. Daniel, who was practising as an accountant, joined his father’s footwear business in 1976. By the 1980s, he was one of the leading designers and importers of footwear in the UK, bringing in 10 million pairs of shoes a year and selling them on to Next, M&S and Debenhams. In 1992 Daniel founded leading footwear brand, Dune.

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“I am the fourth generation of shoemakers. My great grandfather was a cobbler back in the mid nineteenth century in Lithuania.”

“I mean I failed O-level maths so I struggled to become a chartered accountant. I did finally make it…”

“My father needed some help, his health wasn’t very good, so in 1976 I decided to do what he had told me not to do, to become a shoe manufacturer.”

“I suddenly thought, you know I’ve got nothing really. I don’t have a brand here. All I am doing is a lot of work.”

“I think the thing about entrepreneurs is they are all a little bit insecure…”

“I have in the past maybe meddled a little bit too much and I think one of the good things about getting older you sort of realise that actually a lot of people can do a lot of things a lot better than you.”

“…if you get the range wrong in retailing, you’ve got no chance, you are dead in the water.”

“Vision for the future? To make Dune a global brand…I think there is a real opportunity for international growth.”