MILAN — After building a solid business in the men’s market, Milan-based direct-to-consumer footwear brand Velasca, established in 2013 by Enrico Casati and Jacopo Sebastio, is breaking into women’s.
The label, which expects to close 2021 with revenues of 13 million euros, up 64 percent compared to the previous year, has just unveiled its women’s footwear line.
In keeping with the brand’s signature strategy, the new collection was launched with a dedicated e-commerce site, as well as with the opening of a boutique located in Milan’s posh Magenta district.
“During the lockdown, we started thinking about what to do when everything would restart and we had the idea of expanding our offering to meet the needs of female consumers,” said Sebastio, explaining that for this launch Velasca was able to rely on its existing chain of Italian suppliers and artisans. “While our style is basically gender-fluid, we wanted to maintain the two businesses separated both in terms of communication and distribution in order to guarantee a dedicated focus on our consumer base.”
While Velasca built a name for itself in men’s footwear mainly thanks to formal shoe styles, the women’s offering is more casual. Several men’s designs were revamped with a women’s fit, but new footwear options were also introduced, such as chic equestrian boots and more feminine flat mary janes.
For the launch of the women’s line, Velasca — which has two private equity investors, P101 and MIP Sgr — created a dedicated version of its logo, developed new graphics and conceived a different store concept, where a wooden floor is mixed with hand-painted wallpaper and with walls in a delicate sage green.
“We designed the first women’s store as a welcoming place where women can meet and get together in a serene environment, furbished with our iconic vintage furniture,” Sebastio said.
According to the entrepreneur, if the women’s store in Milan meets the expected targets, in 2022 more locations dedicated to the women’s collection will debut in Italy and across Europe in cities including Rome, Turin and Paris.
Last July, Velasca inaugurated its first men’s store in the U.S., in New York’s NoLIta neighborhood and a unit, selling exclusively men’s styles, will open by the end of the year in Naples. The brand already operates nine men’s boutiques in Italy, as well as a store in Paris and one in London.