Situated in a strategic position in Elche, the Spanish city of reference for the production of footwear, Calzados Pasoli makes the most of the know-how acquired since 1982 in the production of footwear, by successfully proposing its very own brand Lola Canales both on the Spanish and international market. A pathway of growth and growing customer loyalty that has led it to celebrate the important anniversary of 40 years of activity this year. We spoke of this and of the company’s plans for future development with Antonio Olivares, CEO of Lola Canales.
In 2022 you celebrate 40 years: what is the secret to arriving at such an important milestone?
In reality, there is no secret! It’s the result of constantly striving to always create an equilibrium in a product capable of interpreting the latest fashion trends, while however also proposing it with new materials and technologies, so as to always guarantee the excellent quality and comfort that has always characterised us since the beginning. At the same time, it is important to know how to adapt to the important changes that have taken place over the years, both in production and, as a consequence of globalisation, in new sales channels, new trends, etc.
Are you planning to present a special collection or organise a special event to celebrate the 40th anniversary?
Yes, naturally we are planning to celebrate our 40th anniversary with our customers and what better place to do so if not during the Expo Riva Schuh fair, which has seen us star as one of the protagonists for some time now with our collections! For this reason, we have come up with an event for the evening of Saturday 11 June in a venue of Riva del Garda, where we will have the opportunity to thank in-person and in the very best way possible our clientele for the trust they have placed in us and in our brand over the last 40 years.
How have the market and consumers changed over the last 40 years?
Over the last 40 years, the market has changed a lot. When we first started off and for a very long time, our only market of reference was Spain, but with the arrival of globalisation, our products were forced to face a competition that made low prices its strength. And this occurred during a time when Spain was in the midst of a terrible economic crisis and consumers were in search of low-cost items, and were accordingly willing to accept cheaper imports, even if the quality was lower. In those years, we understood that if from one end globalisation opened up the Spanish market to all those manufacturing countries that made low-cost and inexpensive products their main strength, in the same way we, with our brand and our quality, were able to successfully approach foreign markets interested in a higher quality shoe. We were accordingly given the opportunity to leave Spain in search of other markets and this was the beginning of our opening up to foreign trade.
What do your customers look for in a shoe today?
Today, our clientele is in search of a product that is more or less the same as the one from 40 years ago, which is to say a comfortable and modern shoe made using first-rate quality materials – all features that we have always guaranteed in each one of our collections.
Comfort has always been very important for your product: what allows your shoes to be not only trendy, but also comfortable?
Comfort has always been an essential requirement for our shoes, a trademark, which has allowed us to win over a clientele that is quite fond of Lola Canales. For this reason, our research and development team is constantly in contact with our suppliers for the application of any and all innovations aimed at increasing the well-being of the foot and the comfort of our shoes, for a public that seems to be increasingly demanding. At the same time, our stylists constantly travel and are always ready to pick up on and interpret new emerging needs, in order to offer a quality product that is always cutting-edge.
Your production is 100% Made in Spain: how important is this and why?
"Made in Spain" represents an added value, recognised and appreciated all over the world for its quality standards and fashion content. We are proud to be part of all this and we never thought of producing our footwear elsewhere. We were in fact able to bring, through our shoes, the quality, design and comfort typical of Spanish footwear to the rest of the world. Today, the end customer has understood that the price of a shoe is not everything and that “Made in Spain” is a safe bet.
You have been present as exhibitors at Expo Riva Schuh for many years now: why is this event so important for you?
Like I said before, when the low-cost shoe from Asia first invaded Spain, we decided we needed to open ourselves up to the foreign market and, after having studied different ways for doing so, we saw that Expo Riva Schuh was the ideal fair for proposing our product to international clientele.
In 2009, we exhibited for the first time in Riva del Garda, and in a short amount of time, managed to create an increasingly vast and loyal portfolio of customers. Even today, with our participation in other international fairs, we still consider Expo Riva to be the most important event and the most interesting business opportunity of the season.
What are the features of the new collection for summer 2023 that you will present at Riva del Garda?
The collection for summer 2023 will have two different lines. The first is the “Natural Earth Collection” focused on a use of natural and sustainable materials like jute, raffia, and linen. There is then our other collection, the “Happy Life Collection SS 2023”, which as suggested by the name itself is aimed at helping us forget these last two years of pandemic and war through a proposal that includes leathers and cheerful patterns that are full of colour. The entire planet needs joy, and our collection aims to evoke happiness and the desire to live.