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SIMPLE, ELEGANT, AND FASHIONABLE: HAND-MADE SHOES BY THE SANTONI GROUP
Not a fashion victim but a trend setter: he has a distinctive personality and very clear ideas, and is in search of a product with both value and high quality. This is the picture of a “typical customer” drawn for us by Giuseppe Santoni, Chief Executive of Gruppo Santoni (the Santoni Group). The company has its legal headquarters in Milan and operational branch in Civitanova Marche, an area with a grand tradition of shoemaking, and produces prestigious hand-made shoes, admired and recognized throughout the world. We asked Santoni how he accounts for the success of the brand, what he thinks lies ahead for his company and what, on the other hand, has survived from the traditions of the past.
Mr. Santoni, what is the special added value of your manufacturing group?
It is undoubtedly the quality of our products, and our very high quality craftsmanship.
On which foreign markets do you operate?
Our distribution is spread fairly evenly over various parts of the world, but we have a particular presence in the United States, Japan, Eastern Europe and the countries of the ex-Soviet Union.
Are there any markets which have potential and which could constitute a challenge in the future?
Of course there are. I could mention in particular some South-East Asian countries, such as Singapore, the nations of South America, and also China, where our products are greatly admired.
What are the characteristics of a typical Santoni client?
We are talking about a man with very clear ideas and a distinct personality. He is someone who is a trend setter rather than a fashion victim: that is to say, he is perfectly capable of dictating fashion trends. The Santoni customer knows very well that he is buying an extremely special, high quality product.
Are there any other brands you consider your competitors at the international level?
To tell the truth, it is difficult to make comparisons with other brands operating on the world markets. Ours is an Italian, hand-crafted product, made from specially selected materials so it is impossible to compare it directly with other products.
What are you going to be concentrating on in the future?
Our attention will certainly be focused on two particular sectors. The first is the leisure market, because we want to offer our customers a wide range of versatile footwear, which is both comfortable and suitable for relaxation. The second area is shoes for women, for we have discovered there is a particular demand in this field which we would like to try and satisfy.
What remains of past traditions in a pair of Santoni shoes?
The first thing that has definitely endured over time is the quality of the materials we use, a distinctive hallmark of Santoni shoes. Then there is the colouring, and our special “signature”, the hand-rubbed antique finish. If anyone would like to discover more about the Santoni brand, I invite them to visit one of our boutiques, which you can find all over Italy and abroad. We also recently conducted our new promotional campaign for spring and summer, located at Villa Monastero on Lake Como. This emphasized the two main characteristics that its creators wanted to attribute to the brand: elegance and simplicity.