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The Self-Made Man: The Adoni Brothers

Jensen and Jordan Adoni are two very interesting guys. They’re the kind of young moguls that business magazines like Forbes and Inc. cream their jeans about (not literally, of course); social media savvy, friendly with reporters, and manufacturers of a boutique product?designer shoes?that’s more fun to write about than stock portfolios.

What’s especially cool about the Adoni brothers is that their shoes are made in the US. In fact, their main production facility is in New York’s heralded Garment District, and they’re making it a point to encourage domestic manufacturing with their lines of designer shoes and handbags. It’s because of those strong principles that TSB is recognizing the Adoni brothers as this week’s Self Made Men.

Jensen and Jordan’s father, Jay Adoni, came to the US from Israel as a teenager and ended up running a very successful shoe business, so he was a great resource for his boys when they decided to join forces and start their own shoe brand, Modern Vice.

Before that, the Adoni brothers were a bit rudderless. Jensen (who looks a bit like HP Lovecraft) dropped out of college after one semester and tried his hand at professional tennis, while Jordan bummed around Vermont and Oregon for a while before returning to New York to work in real estate.

One of Jensen and Jordan’s goals was to make their shoes in the US, and their reasons for that are sound. Setting aside their obvious nativism, the brothers found that manufacturing costs in the US aren’t prohibitive when shipping and fuel costs are considered. It’s also easier to fill small orders and then boost them with domestic manufacturing, and it’s easier to see trends coming and capitalize on them; with foreign manufacturing, there’s a certain amount of risk in assuming that a certain kind of product will still be viable in the time between ordering it and receiving it.

Enough with the technicalities, though. The other component of the Adoni’s success is their command of social media. Their brands are very active on Facebook and Instagram, among other platforms, and they’re very friendly with fashion and style bloggers, going so far as to take them on tours of their manufacturing facilities in Manhattan. Because they curate the shoes their company produces, they’re consequently very proud of them.

They’re also appreciative of good craftsmanship too, and the people who make their products are all highly skilled. Their father Jay is even thinking of opening schools to teach those skills to younger generations, who aren’t as good at sewing and cutting leather as their parents were.

Even if you can’t afford a pair of Adoni shoes (and let’s face it, you probably can’t), it’s easy to see that they’re doing a pretty cool thing, and that they have principles beyond just making money.

I’ll leave you with this Quiet Lunch feature video about the brothers and their Modern Vice shoe line.

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About Dave Kiefaber Dave Kiefaber is a Baltimore-based writer who regularly contributes to Adfreak and the Gettysburg Times. His personal website is at

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