“A young, modern and a forward-looking industry, which combines tradition with the latest technologies and know-how with the best design: The Portuguese footwear industry is in constant evolution”. This is how the Portuguese companies present themselves to the international market since 2008, within the Portuguese Shoes Campaign, Designer by the future. However, this is just a variable on the equation. In the last decade over 342 footwear brands were created in Portugal. In the first half of this year, 8 new brands appeared within the national scene. The numbers are from the Footwear Technology Centre of Portugal’s GAPI - Unit for Industrial Property Promotion (UIPP) and attest a new reality on the sector: the appreciation for the collections and the ‘made in Portugal’ products.
The creation of new brands is a practical interpretation of a priority defined in the Strategic Plan of the Portuguese Footwear Cluster: FOOTure2020. “Apart from the image branding of the Portuguese footwear, the cluster reality on this matter is that it is still diverse. Therefore, it is important to mobilize the skills that have been used to build a collective image, in order to favor the companies. The companies should be assisted on the development of the image campaigns and personalized communication plans, on the contracts with advertising agencies, on the participation in showrooms abroad, etc. They should be equally assisted on its internal image's improvement, which is essential for its relationship with buyers that visit them. In some cases, the creation of private brands will be the peak of these actions.”
There are several advantages associated with the creation of a brand. Firstly, because it allows to cross generations and frontiers. Moreover, they will be able to assure a greater independence and profitable gains. After 50 years working as private label, the Calçado Dura Factory, from Felgueiras, that at the moment employs 115 workers and exports 80% of its production, launched the men’s footwear brand Exceed. “Our aim is to potentiate the accumulated know-how through the decades”, revealed Agostinho Marques.
Exceed favored the British and French markets, in the first stage, in order to approach contemporary men. In this regard, it counts with an international development team, which includes Portuguese, English and Italian designers, stated the company’s director.
On the other hand, Ferre is a luxury footwear brand of the company Ferreira & Avelar, created in 1947, which “due to strategic issues never was a commercially strong option”. The aim is “to explore the accumulated know-how in 6 decades of existence and the positioning on the luxury market, with footwear for an audience within the age group between 40 and 70 years old”, highlighted Ruben Avelar. According to the company’s director, Ferre will favor the approach to “classic and sensitive men with a taste for luxury and life itself”, and it is estimated that the price of a pair of shoes can oscillate between the 200 and 500 euros, depending on the raw material that is used.