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Interviews

Miguel Ramalhao

February 11, 2013

 

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Mr. Ramalhao Portugal and Spain are countries in which presently RTW shoemaking is very present, and there are a lot of business based on shoemaking that grow very fast. How did you develop your brand (Ramalhoni) and what are the expectation in the near future?

There are quite a few Companies that are prospering very well in the RTW shoemaking business. Mainly producing for other brands. A big Portuguese brand is yet to be born. Let’s hope it’s mine!

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They do grow at an amazing pace. Just last week I was talking to a N.D.C. re-seller here in Oporto and they said to me that ever since the Brand started producing here they had phenomenal growth. This is part because we make a very high quality standard shoe for a very reasonable price. And this is very important to brands that are focused not only in design but also in producing a High End product.

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I started as a made to measure shoe company and went from there, first the Havelocks, I posted them on my blog and people started to get interested. This January I found a partner that has 30 years in the shoe business that wanted to fund me, so that I could make a RTW shoe collection for Men, that ended up having a little collection for women too!

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In the near future I see the Ramalhoni Brand giving a better Made 2 Measure service with easier steps in the measuring guide, a new website, and just today I procured a last maker that will help me make bespoke shoes.
The main difference between a Made 2 Measure and a Bespoke shoe is the last. On the made to measure I adjust the shoe to the correct size, on the Bespoke a last is made specifically for the costumer. This is an amazing thing that I will be able to offer at a very fair price. Nothing like the 3000€ that John Lobb charges, more in the 1000-1500€ mark.
And also the RTW collection at a carefully selected assortment of shops, from Barcelona, to London, to NYC.

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Your identity brand is – Classic with a twist. What is your target customer?

My target costumer is someone that likes shoes obviously! That thinks it’s important to own a quality pair and that takes pride on their appearance.

Someone that has suits and shirts made specifically to their measure and that thinks that it is obvious to also do so with a shoe. My communication strategy will be on these lines. Why own bespoke suits and wear shoes that don’t fit you right?!

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Regarding your shoes I find very interesting Tanakas. What other shoes do make and what materials do you use?

The Tanakas are one of my favorites. The soles have three parts, one that is sown to the welt of the upper (they are 360º Goodyear welted), a second in micro foam that is sown to the welt and a third that is glued to the second, this way if the sole has to be replaced it will be a very easy task.

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The materials are Box leather and buffalo linings for the made to measure shoes, and vegetable tanned Cordovan for the RTW collection, and also a rain ready suede.
All the hides come from Italy.

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The Box and Suede from a company near Bologna and the Cordovan from little tannery near Naples. The cordovan was very difficult to find but thanks to a great work from my product development team I was able to source the best.

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Please tell me details about other interesting shoe the Larabees loafers.

The Larabbes are the classic Tassel Loafer with the perfect proportions and with a great finish. I absolutely love them they are very comfortable and I wear them all the time. With suits, or Shorts they are perfect.

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