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In Conversation with Enrico Casati of Velasca

Velasca transcend the ever-changing trends of fashion to deliver a timeless style that values tradition — like the time-honoured secrets passed down from a father to his son. Their shoes are made with passion and unique Italian expertise, ensuring your shoes will last a lifetime. This brand believes high quality craftsmanship should be accessible to all. And, by leveraging innovations with online shopping, they’re able to cut out the middleman and connect artisans to customers. This is a story about a passion for Italian craftsmanship, and about dreamers who decide to jump in on a new adventure. It all started with the research stage. The co-founders quit their jobs and went looking for the very best footwear district in Italy. This search took them to the region of Marche: where the whole urban fabric is built on shoes, from generation to generation. While fashion changes every season, Velasca offer a timeless style that represents a refined, Italian elegance. They are inspired by classic lines and pay meticulous attention to detail.

In this episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interviewed Enrico Casati, Co-Founder of Velasca about the founding story of his men's direct-to-consumer shoe brand. The initial plan was to operate exclusively online but he quickly realised physical stores were the best way to showcase the quality of their product to customers. Our host Peter Brooker and Enrico also talked about engaging with community, brand philosophy, social media advertising, Italian shoemaking, life after Covid-19, and their new London store on Chiltern Street in Marylebone.

“I was living in Singapore at the time and I couldn't find a pair of moccasins. All I could find was expensive luxury products or cheap low-quality ones. We started talking and quickly decided to launch a brand that essentially makes these artisanal products. The term Direct-to-Consumer has become popular and well-known in the industry. But at the time we didn't know that term existed, we just felt like there was no need for all that intermediation in the market. We wanted a direct relationship with our customers. I didn't have much to lose, I had a stable job, but I didn't want to be in banking anymore. So, it was quite easy for me at 25 years old to come back to my home country, move in with my parents for a year, and limit my costs. We have never changed the business strategy, the only thing that we didn't predict is to have as many shops as we have now. We thought the business would be exclusively online, but after trying a few pop-up stores, we started engaging with consumers, and after some traction, a permanent one was the right way forward because for our products to be really appreciated you need to physical touch them. We've always been customers of our own brand, so it was kind of easy for us to put ourselves into the shoes of our community.”

This is a shortened transcribed edit of episode 125 of the MenswearStyle Podcast with Enrico Casati, Co-Founder of velasca.com You can listen to the full version below or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favourite podcast player.

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