“We strongly believe that footwear in Tuscany is not an industrial product, but craftsmanship that belongs to the historical and cultural heritage of our beautiful area”: with this mantra Francesco Bonetti and Mireno Fanucchi have been successfully driving the national and international growth of Club Shoes based in Camigliano S. Gemma Capannori (LU) since 1995. Historical exhibitors of Expo Riva Schuh, with the Tuscany by Easy Street brand, they offer their items directly to the final public through e-commerce. We met Mireno Fanucchi, founder of Club Shoes, who told us about the compan’y history but above all future.
How was Club Shoes born? Where did you start from?
We were born in 1995 as Club Tre and in 2010 we changed into Club Shoes, specialising and distinguishing ourselves on the footwear market for the production of women’s and children’s sandals suitable for the world market and typical of Lucca and its surroundings, made above all in leather and with monobloc bottoms. In a few years, we have grown thanks to our customer’s trust in our products and in the company, with detailed and constantly updated collections directed to the volume market and at a highly competitive price.
What are your reference markets and distribution channels?
We refer to world-wide markets, such as the U.S., English, European and Italian market. Our customers are looking for comfortable sandals at the right price and with constantly updated but not extremely trendy fashion contents. Most of our production is done under the customer’s brand, but we also produce under our Mariella brand, especially on the U.S. market.
What do you think are your features and strengths compared to competitors?
For sure constant updating and an international vision of the product, but also the ability to propose our customers specific collections based on their needs, with a competitive price per volume offer.
How did you react to the ‘new normal’ and the post-pandemic situation? What has changed?
We have tried to follow our customers in their specific needs without forcing, adapting to the current and rapidly changing market. We have invested even more in the fashion content of the collection, trying to anticipate current trends and interpret them in the best possible way.
There is a lot of talk about ‘sustainability’ today: what steps have you taken in this direction?
I believe that the sustainability issue is of the utmost importance and that it will probably be the path of the future, but today it mainly concerns designer labels and brands that can afford costs and investments. For the volume market, sustainability must first of all be confronted with the ‘price’ problem, which must remain competitive. That said, we as a company try to do our best, starting for example with the use of LWG leathers.
What are your expectations for the near future? How do you expect the footwear market to evolve?
The immediate future is fundamentally influenced by the uncontrolled increase in raw material prices and transport costs, as well as by the transport logistics itself, which has doubled delivery times. Consequently, it is foreseeable that footwear prices in stores will increase and this can be an advantage for Italian production compared to the one in Asia and in the Far East.
You have been attending Expo Riva Schuh for years: why is your participation in this fair important to you?
Expo Riva Schuh has always been the reference fair for us, because being the first on the calendar, it ‘opens’ the fashion season, both in winter and summer. Unfortunately in the last two years, Covid has hit it as hard as it did other events in the world. I believe though that thanks to the Green Pass and the security measures adopted, il will be possible to carry out the January edition in the best possible way.
How is the new collection that you will present at the fair characterised?
Since we specialise in summer sandals, we will present our SS22 Ready Fashion at the January appointment: a collection where bright colours stand out, which is characterised by the use of very soft materials and new weaves. Heels and wedges stand alongside flat evergreen summer sandals. In general, it is a slightly more elegant collection.