Italian Shoes with the World at Their Feet

Italian Shoes with the World at Their Feet


"We started out without a cent, knowing nothing about either shoes or technology, but persuaded by direct experience that Made-in-Italy quality products sold at affordable prices abroad were something that was missing." Enrico Casati, born in 1987 and Bocconi Class of 2011 in International Management, recalls the beginnings of Velasca, the company he started together with business partner Jacopo Sebastio (also a Bocconian) which sells handmade shoes both online and through a network of directly managed brick-and-mortar stores.

«Our start-up phase has been quite long, we have grown slowly and also through many mistakes. Understanding what to focus on, analyzing market mechanisms and making the right moves is what’s hard. However, now that we are officially a scale-up we can build on this experience to make the most of external capital inflows.»
The latest capital infusion of €4.5 million will support the company’s international expansion and the opening of new shops. "Velasca was born in 2013 to sell only online", Enrico explains. «Already in 2014, however, our first experience with a temporary store made us understand that we could get a lot of satisfaction from the physical retail channel. Today our plan is to open 20 new stores, of which 16 abroad, starting with Paris, London, both just opened, and New York, where we will open in January." In-person selling brings new opportunities and new challenges: "To support the channel, you need to have a lot of circulating product, move pre-emptively with suppliers, and have the capital to support the investment. For this, we analyze e-commerce data a lot ".

by Emanuele Elli
Translated by Alex Foti

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