Men shoes: what is the consumer looking for in his favorite store?

The owners of shops that sell quality handmade footwear often ask themselves this question. The following ones are:

How can I counteract online shopping?

How can I convey to my customers the added value of my shop?

How can I communicate to potential customers the quality of certain products  (when quality itself already explains the price)?

The list of questions could be very long.

Retailers, who decide to offer high quality products to a niche market made up of customers who buy exclusive shoes, need answers and strategies to let the market understand their value. They do not want and cannot be classified as places that simply sell expensive products.

So let’s see together what today’s consumer is looking for when he enters his favorite store and what this store can’t miss.

  • Very high quality and durability

It seems obvious to say that a high-level shoe shop should only deal with excellent quality products but it is not. Shop owners are well aware that there are brands that over time have not been able to maintain the high level of their products; the quality should always be verified for the entire period in which the shop owner collaborates with a brand. In case you meet with problems and defects the products should be sent back to the manufacturer because no shop can afford to sell poor quality shoes.

  • Differentiating positioning

As a retailer of handmade shoes, you have to understand and communicate your identity to your customers. The more easily recognizable you are in the eyes of your customers, the more they will remember you (and not your competitors) when they search for a certain product.

If you sell wedding shoes, you can’t have sneakers, for example. If you are recognized for your selection of made in Italy shoes, you cannot sell imported products. If you are known for being a talent scout of the best crafted shoes, don’t disappoint your customers’ expectations.

Today’s customer comes to your store because he knows that the products he finds worth the journey and should always have certain expectations that cannot be disregarded.

  • Alway be up to date with the trends

Differentiating positioning and selling a certain type of shoe that makes you instantly recognizable doesn’t mean you never need to change.

It is important to know the current trends and innovate to be able to meet the expectations of a range of customers who follow the evolution of men’s fashion. Magazines, fairs, fashion shows, presentations of collections are useful tools that should not to be left behind.

  • Give assistance and consulting to the client

For sure, this aspect is more difficult to find online. A store that you trust is made up of people who are always ready to welcome customers, listen to their needs and then translate them into the right product.

From this point of view, the shop owner should select brands that are open for consultancy aspect. The “advantage” of buying a handmade shoe is also to be able to request some alterations or particular colors of the original model.

Many customers are looking for the possibility  to have customized products and if you are able to satisfy them it certainly represents an added value for your shop.

  • Sustainability

This is a fundamental element in all the areas: the market seeks and demands products that are sustainable.

Even in the field of handmade shoes, your customers are looking for brands that are sensitive to sustainability.

For this reason it is necessary to consider the fact that the reduction of the impact on the environment can be translated into many characteristics: the choice of local leathers, the willing to collaborate with 0 km suppliers, the use of certain machinery (more sustainable than others), the search for non-toxic colours, the production of recyclable packaging, the use of green labels, etc.
The owner of high level store should know all the brands he deals with and know what type of actions they have taken to reduce the environmental impact of their business.

  • Know the products and the production processes

A reseller should know in detail the products he sells: characteristics, manufacturing techniques, materials, colours, etc. But knowing the products is not enough, you also need to be informed about the brands: history, company choices, policies relating to sustainability, peculiarities… in short, all those elements that make the brand worthy of interest.

Provided that Italy is the heart of  craftsmanship in the footwear sector, retailers who want to stand out from the multitude of shops have the opportunity to select the best examples of craftsmanship, thus offering unique and precious products.

Fratelli Borgioli shoes are the result of a family tradition that began more than seventy years ago in an artisan workshop in the heart of the Florentine countryside, in La Stella di Vinci.

Each shoe made by Fratelli Borgioli is a true artisan masterpiece, flawless and comfortable. The tradition of Tuscan craftsmanship and technological innovation blend together to give life to a shoe that accompanies his owner for a lifetime.

With the style and formal perfection of its products, Fratelli Borgioli keeps the passion for Italian taste alive in the world, thanks to a network of selected retailers who believe in beauty and quality.

If you wish to become our reseller CONTACT US.

Men shoes that never go out of fashion

Are there any shoe models that never go out of fashion? Shoes that, season after season, always remain iconic and favored?

Obviously, the answer is yes.

The history of fashion is made up of garments that have become an essential reference point during the upcoming years; just think of Coco Chanel’s suit, Dior’s New Look, Elsa Schiapparelli’s lobster dress, Givenchy’s Little Black Dress or Diane Von Furstenberg’s Wrap Dress.

This list is very long and shows how some models become real icons, a source of inspiration for stylists all over the world.

Even in the footwear world, there are timeless models that have “marked” the history of fashion. Many brands continue to propose these styles in different versions, knowing that the market still requires them.

At the same time, a high rank shoe retailer knows that in order to satisfy the needs of the customers, the shop cannot omit to offer some “timeless” shoe models which are requested by the customers, season after season.

Let’s have a look at some styles that your shop should have as continuous selection.

The moccasin, the shoe of Native Americans 

The history of this shoe is ancient and it seems to have its origin from the American Indians who used to bandage their feet with pieces of leather tied together.

The most similar version of today’s moccasin spreads in the United States in the 1930s when the GH Bass company launched moccasins, also called loafers, on the market. In that historical moment when men prefer shiny lace-up shoes, moccasins were not very successful because considered not enough elegant. It was an American dancer, Fred Astaire, a celebrity of the time, who made them famous, using them to tap dance and wearing them with a tuxedo.

In the 1950s, moccasins spread among American university students who called them penny loafers because they used to insert a coin in the strap on the upper.

In the past decades, moccasins have spread widely, becoming the subject of creative research by many brands. Such an example is the model designed by Aldo Gucci in the 1950s, unisex style, made in leather and decorated with the metal clamp which later became one of the iconic elements of Florentine brand. The success of this shoe was so huge that it was included in the permanent collection of the maison and every year it is reinterpreted and proposed in different versions.

In the 70s they became one of the symbols of businessmen status, thus clearing the cliché of their lack of elegance.

Today moccasins have freed themselves from classifications and influences of a social and political nature and have become an “ever green” shoe style that cannot miss in the male wardrobe. Each brand interprets them in its own way with different leathers, colors and finishes, with or without tassels, in all year round collections.

Oxford, an icon of style and elegance

An icon of style and elegance: the Oxford shoe is a timeless model that cannot miss in a shoe collection, this style is produced in differente materials and colors. More or less elegant according to the finishes, the Oxford differs from the other lace-ups for the characteristic “closed lacing” system.

This shoe has many names and perhaps for this reason every now and then there is a bit of confusion about this model; the Americans call it Balmoral (like the Scottish castle, the residence of the British royal family), the French call it Richelieu and the British call it Oxford (as an evolution of the Oxonian, thevery popular boot among Oxford University students in the 19th century). In Italy they are called Oxford or Francesine.

There are many news about the origin but there is no certain attribution: they certainly appeared in Ireland and Scotland in the 19th century as a lighter and more elegant version of the boots.

The upper of the Oxford shoes can be totally smooth or have hole design on the toe and / or upper (in this case we are talking about Brogues). Whatever you want to call them, they are the most elegant shoes as well as the protagonists of the men’s collections of high-level brands.

Derby, the Oxford’s “sisters”

Often confused with the Oxford shoe, it is a less formal shoe that stands out from the others for its “open lacing”. There are several stories that tell its origins, including that of the Prussian army officer Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher who during the Napoleonic wars would have created these shoes for his soldiers, tired of wearing high boots. It was a shoe with an open lacing, much more practical and suitable for the long and difficult journeys to which the military were subjected.

If this is not their true origin, what is certain is that the Derbies spread in the 19th century between Ireland and Scotland and have never ceased to be successful. Also in this case Derby has become a style icon that each brand wants to reinterpret in one or more versions. Colors, materials, finishes and broguing characterize them and make them suitable for different occasions.

A high rank shop should have several versions of these three models in its selection. Obviously, the value of the footwear doesn’t depend only on the model but also on the materials, finishes and production characteristics; in this case the details do make difference.

Fratelli Borgioli produces numerous variations of these three models every year, paying attention to every single detail and trying to interpret tradition with elegance and innovation.

Fratelli Borgioli’s shoes are the result of a family tradition that began more than seventy years ago in an artisan workshop in the heart of the Florentine countryside, in La Stella di Vinci.

Each Fratelli Borgioli shoe is a real artisan masterpiece, flawless and comfortable. The tradition of Tuscan craftsmanship and technological innovation merge together to create a shoe that accompanies its owner for the entire life.

With the style and formal perfection of its products, Fratelli Borgioli keeps the passion for Italian taste alive in the world, thanks to a network of selected retailers who believe in beauty and quality.

If you want to become our resellers, CONTACT US.