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17 Oct

Velasca Ramps Up Offering With Menswear Line

Velasca Ramps Up Offering With Menswear Line

MILAN — After constructing a solid business in men’s footwear, Milan-based direct-to-consumer shoe brand Velasca is able to tackle able to wear.

Exactly a 12 months after doubling its offering with the introduction of girls’s footwear, the brand established in 2013 by Enrico Casati and Jacopo Sebastio is taking one other big step to scale up its business by unveiling a full clothing line dedicated to men.

The project has been within the pipeline for some time and has significant potential considering that the brand has built a loyal customer base during the last decade, now counting around 170,000 clients.

“Being a [d-to-c] brand comes with advantages. One is the value as we will apply a single markup that’s far more competitive versus other brands as we don’t have intermediation….The second is owning the connection with our consumers. We all know exactly each of our clients,” said Sebastio, underscoring the worth behind such a database.

The pandemic further propelled this one-to-one approach, as Velasca used the crisis to broaden its marketing beyond the mere promotion of its footwear, pivoting to wider storytelling on different pillars of the Italian lifestyle, starting from cinema to cuisine. Similarly, the corporate worked with stylists to supply its clients with total-look styling suggestions, which “began from the feet upward.”

“So consumers began to ask where they might find those particular pants or sweater or shirt, and we saw a possibility…that’s to supply our clients other Made in Italy products,” said Sebastio, underscoring the possibility of accelerating the common purchase of the identical customers as well.

A complete look by Velasca.

Keeping with its original mission of connecting Italian artisans with global consumers, Velasca relied on local suppliers for ready-to-wear. Determined to leverage a brief supply chain and enhance different districts across the country, it tapped artisanal manufacturers scattered in numerous regions, starting from Apulia for shirts and Campania for pants to Veneto for outerwear, amongst others.

“Along with the footwear district of Montegranaro [in the Marche region], we desired to humbly attempt to support other districts, as well,” confirmed Sebastio, whose company recently became a B Corporation.  “To be honest, for us it’s not only necessary to talk about environmental impact, that could be a topic often subjected to greenwashing, however the social one we wish to have,” he said on this corporate recognition.

Before being manufactured by local factories, Velasca’s key apparel items were conceived by an in-house design team, while premium fabrics encompassing cotton, denim, linen and wool were sourced from different specialists within the country. These included firms comparable to Albini, Candiani, Zegna Baruffa, Canclini and Lanecardate, to call a number of.

A complete look by Velasca.

Overall, the primary collection includes 200 items, divided into five categories to supply a complete look: outerwear, knitwear, shirts and T-shirts, sweatshirts and pants.

The gathering mirrors the brand’s ethos of an understated elegant aesthetic, favoring unfussy designs and a focus to materials over logos and prints. Highlights include double-breasted coats; field jackets in Shetland wool; classic, padded raincoats; polo shirts in merino wool and pleated, carrot-leg pants in numerous shades, amongst others. Prices range from 60 euros for T-shirts as much as roughly 550 euros for outerwear.

A complete look by Velasca.

Launched on the brand’s e-commerce site, the range will debut in the brand new store Velasca will open on Oct. 24 in Via Mercato, in Milan’s Brera neighborhood. This will probably be the primary flagship dedicated to the brand’s total look as it’s going to showcase a number of footwear as well.

“We’re lucky because we may have a prompt feedback from our consumers, so we’ll understand quite quickly if this ready-to-wear project works. We are going to take these last three months of the 12 months to gather the primary data and understand what’s the perfect strategy going forward,” said Sebastio on the longer term distribution strategy for the apparel line.

“Needless to say it’s going to be a combination of three forces: our e-commerce; the opening of latest stores dedicated to this recent format, and a revamp of existing units,” added the cofounder, who was aptly Zooming from a store in Brescia “to see if we’ve enough space to do exactly this” and accommodate the ready-to-wear line.

Items from Velasca’s first menswear collection.

In the mean time, Velasca has 19 points of sales, 16 of that are stand-alone stores. These include three international flagships in London, Paris and Recent York, where the brand opened a men’s unit in NoLIta last 12 months.

Last month, Velasca also debuted its first corner at Rinascente in Milan, which Sebastio described as a “pilot project which is performing thoroughly, so the concept is to scale-up this format, too.”

Along with the brand new flagship in Milan, Velasca will open a store in Rome, dedicated to the ladies’s footwear collection.

To make certain, for the launch of the ladies’s line last 12 months, Velasca — which has two private equity investors, P101 and MIP Sgr — created a unique version of its logo, developed recent graphics and conceived a unique store concept. The brand’s strategy is to proceed down this path and differentiate the 2 divisions in all facets, from separate brick-and-mortar units and e-commerce to different social media accounts and newsletters.

“In the mean time, that is proving to be a winning strategy. The concept is to customize the experience and communication based on the goal,” Sebastio said.

A complete look by Velasca.

While a women’s apparel line is just not on the agenda for the near future, the cofounder said the brand will proceed to take a position in the expansion of the ladies’s footwear line — and construct a powerful database as for men’s — in addition to give attention to the worldwide growth of the brand.

Sales within the domestic market account for 62 percent out of total revenues, which last 12 months were 12.8 million euros, up around 60 percent in comparison with 2020. The web channel currently accounts for 55 percent of total sales, which Sebastio expects to achieve 20 million euros at the top of 2022.

After Italy, the U.S. and France are the best-performing markets, followed by the U.K., Germany and North European countries.

“Along with consolidating distribution in Italy, for the offline channel Germany could possibly be an interesting country to open stores in,” said Sebastio, noting that the country is comparable to Italy because the population is just not concentrated in only a number of cities. He mentioned Munich, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Hamburg as fitting selections for store openings.

“The U.S. has potential too, needless to say. We’re just in Recent York and this city alone could easily welcome two other Velasca stores. And so does Paris, with all its different neighborhoods,” he added.

A complete look by Velasca.

While Velasca built a reputation for itself in men’s footwear mainly due to high-quality formal shoe styles at inexpensive prices spanning on average from 180 euros to 320 euros, the ladies’s offering is more casual. Several men’s designs were revamped with a women’s fit, but recent footwear options were also introduced, comparable to equestrian boots and more feminine flat mary janes.

Sales of girls’s footwear currently account for 15 to twenty percent of the whole, and are generated by a goal that goes from university students to “the partners of our male customers,” Sebastio said.

Mainly aged 35 to 45, Velasca’s male goal is generally “lawyers, bankers and consultants, who purchase the brand for its formal styles — whose sales are fully back starting last month — but additionally pick it for his or her casual moments.” To wit, throughout the lockdowns the corporate invested in the event of more informal styles, specifically moccasins, boat shoes for summer and booties for winter. The move turned out to be key not just for offsetting the losses attributable to smart-working and the closure of its physical stores but additionally for proving consumers’ loyalty to the brand.

“On average, our male customer buys 4 pairs of Velasca shoes. Considering we’re not sneakers specialists, we did a fairly good job,” concluded Sebastio with a smile.

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