Made In Portugal A Sleeping Giant

Now that we've let you in on who we are and what we do, we wanted to share some info with you on the high quality shoes that are coming out of Portugal on a global level. What better way to do this, and to follow on from last week's post, than to give you the low down on the world's best kept secret; Portuguese shoes!

As most will agree, when one thinks of quality shoes, most people tend to gravitate towards Italian brands, which is quite understandable. Most of the typical high end Italian brands have been around for years and are well established in the fashion world.

Portuguese designers have the same high end reputations and heritage in shoe design and manufacturing, but the difference is that they are not marketed the same way. Most sought after labels from Portugal are well known within international celebrity circles for their craftsmanship, design and quality, making it impossible for most to know enough about them and what they have to offer.


Only in the last few decades has Portugal begun to reveal and showcase their skills, expertise and design flair in the shoe industry. They have begun to do this through APICCAPS, a Portuguese owned and run Association for Portuguese Manufacturers of footwear. APICCAPS represents all footwear manufacturing companies based in Portugal, who produce for local and foreign brands.

A recent Forbes article highlighted the fact that Portuguese shoe designers produce their products locally, which in turn is changing the perception of Portugal's craftsmanship worldwide. This can be seen as a huge asset in forging a name in the global market. Still, APICCAPS notices that there is a big demand for Portuguese craftsmanship from other countries like Germany, France as well as the Italians, which are known for their locally produced shoes.
"They seem to be warming up towards the idea of 'Made in Portugal'" APICCAPS' Communication Director, Paulo Goncalves said to Forbes "A couple of years ago you couldn't imagine an Italian brand like Prada, producing their shoes in Portugal instead of Italy. Nowadays our factories produce shoes for many well-known Italian brands such as Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace and Gucci." The APICCAPS Communications Director further adds, "Producing a pair of leather shoes in Portugal averagely costs less than it does in Italy. The big brands don't necessarily come here because of the difference in price but because we mix know-how with advanced technology and fast delivery.
In a recent article published by Business of Fashion, Mario Ortelli, senior luxury goods analyst at Bernstein Global Wealth Management says that "The key issue for the Portuguese leather industry ‎is that 'Made in Portugal' is less alluring than 'Made in Italy'. Portugal still lacks a domestic brand with global recognition. I believe Portugal can be the 'Made in' choice for luxury brands, Portugal has history and has, undoubtedly, established itself as a reputable, flexible and affordable European leather manufacturing hub. But to rival Italy, 'Made in Portugal' will need to cultivate a stronger brand in the eyes of end consumers."
With these challenges in the Portuguese shoe industry, APICCAPS is on a mission to increase the global market's idea of what Portuguese shoes symbolize. They want to create a "Made in Portugal" brand and bridge the gap in people's awareness of true quality and craftsmanship- considering that some of the high end brands are now being produced in Portugal!

They have started a campaign and brand under the main APICCAPS umbrella called "Portuguese Shoes: Designed by the Future" and "The Sexiest Brand in Europe" which aims to market Portuguese shoes as shoes to be coveted and sought after. Through this Association, designers now have a platform which supports & enhances their brands.
According to CNN, who spoke with APICCAPS, Portuguese shoes are now the second most expensive in the world, behind Italian shoes. Marketing and innovation has helped grow the industry's exports by 6% every year for the past five years. That's a whopping 213 % overall in the export department according to the Business of Fashions' article.

Well, Portuguese Designers are definitely on the map and on the rise- which means that buying Portuguese means, quality, longevity and assurance that you are investing in one of a kind designer pieces that are taking the world by storm! 

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