“We tried to bring our three most representative brands and as many different models as possible to the fair,” says Phill Glenn-Campbell, who owns the company with his brother Paul. “Our goal is to connect with as many people as possible, show our product, what we can do, and maintain contacts that can then develop into long-term collaborations. We work both with our own brand and with private labels.”
Vita Pacific was originally founded under the name Vita Shoe Company during World War II, producing boots for soldiers. After the war ended, it turned to civilian footwear for men and women. Footwear Manufacturing in New Zealand was in steady decline through the 1990’s. In 1999, the Owner offered their product manager Paul an opportunity to purchase the business and take it into new directions. The company had shut down all production in New Zealand to focus on developing and importing footwear from various parts of the world: “We have production experience in many countries, including China, Indonesia, Thailand, and throughout Europe; keeping our own product developement based in New Zealand is very important to us.”
What is the difference between the various brands you present at the fair?
Bresley is our main brand, which is aimed at a target audience between the ages of 35 and 65. With a mixture of style, comfort and colour. Cassini, on the other hand, is dedicated to a more mature market, with models characterized by a wider fit and designed to solve some specific foot problems related to advancing age, but still attentive to new trends and looks, because women today, at any age, want to be attractive. Finally, we have Gelato, a lifestyle brand with strong luxe sneaker looks. Modled insoles improve comfort and the superlight outsoles make for easy wearability. We believe that quality products are important so we develope using high quality quality leathers and componentry, that we control and specify to manufacturers.
What are your main markets?
We sell our footwear throughout the New Zealand and Australia markets, independent retails, chain stores and major departments stores, we have been increasing our presence in Canada and the USA. Our goal is to continue to expand our reach. That is also why we came to Expo Riva Schuh as an exhibitor.
What is your impression of the fair?
We were already very familiar with the fair in Riva del Garda, because we have visited it over the past 15 years in search of interesting sourcing companies. We know that it is a very good fair with an international character. Also, we love its informal atmosphere, which is similar to our lifestyle and the way we do business in New Zealand. In the past we also participated in the Dusseldorf fair and Micam Milan, but after Covid we decided to focus only on Expo Riva Schuh.
What else changed for you after COVID?
It was very difficult dealing with the factories whilst arranging new seasons product development. Under normal conditions we would be with the factories, talking with the samples rooms to ensure understanding of our intructions, now we had to be more specific, take our time with factorys and get confirmation of understanding from them. Shoes are a complex product, many components which needs to be touched, explained … so the inability to meet generated quite a few difficulties. We overcame this period and our collaboration with manufacturing companies is going from strength to strength. The factories we work with are precise, have a great understanding of our requirements and on time with their deliveries and respect our development designs.
What are the fashion trends for the coming season, in your opinion?
What we are seeing in the New Zealand and Australian market is an interest in bright colors, even in winter, such as fuchsia and orange. Also, prints and metallics are going to be important. In terms of patternmaking, however, ankle boots and loafers are dominating, versatile styles suitable for a variety of occasions are also in demand.
What are your customers looking for today?
We are driven by our customers success and profitability, we support them by finding out what the the market requires and continuously adjusting the collection by offering models in tune with the market and their needs. In-season new developements must be turned around fast, we have manufacturers which are able to produce quickly to meet these demands. Thanks in part to this strategy, our business has grown significantly over the past 6 years. Our goal is that our customers will grow with us.