Miguel has been working at the family business for 10 years. Footwear has always a passion. With an academic background in Management, Miguel Moreira, alongside his family, has taken the lead of Gladz, the new brand of the company Fernanda Oliveira.
Why did you choose to work on the footwear sector? Was it a natural choice?
Yes, definitely. I grew up with footwear all around me. I remember being very young and going to “help” on the factory during the summer vacations. It’s a passion that I gained throughout the years. When I had to choose a degree, as my parents were the factory owners, I decided it made sense to pursue the financial area. When I came to the company, we started thinking about the idea of creating an own brand.
What do you believe are the biggest challenges in the succession process?
Although I always had freedom to choose, as soon as I got to the company, I’ve always included my parents in the decision-making process: they always have a say in the matter. It’s a compromise between generations. And for me that’s what makes sense.
In your opinion, what does the new generation of entrepreneurs has to offer to the sector?
This new generation, which is succeeding their parents, has a common characteristic: the investment in own brands. A few years ago, this kind of thinking didn’t exist. We were solely focused on the production but nowadays that has changed. Every businessperson wants to leave its mark on the world.
What changes do you feel are happening in the shoe industry?
There’s a severe shortage of specialized workforce. Every day there’s new designers, creatives and jobs associated with image. However, there’s a lack of workforce for the production.
This new generation has a desire to create, has great ideas and is able to dream high but there’s a lack of specialized training. Any young person that is a footwear designer should have a lot of training. Getting to know the productive process is essential.
What piece of advice would you give to a youngster who is entering the industry?
Try to be genuine, to have truly different ideas and not only be inspired by what already exists. Above all, have a story to tell. Nowadays, there are a lot of shoes but telling a story with them makes a crucial difference.
Gladz emerged as a manifesto to women… Why?
Gladz was born because we always wanted to have our own brand, for which we would be really passionate about and made us happy (Glad). That’s where the name comes from. Thereafter, we decided to create a story around the brand and associate influent women to each collection, such as Simone de Beauvoir and Marie Curie. And this “environment” brings up a lot of curiosity among the customers.